Overview – Sainte Luce Reserve

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Sainte Luce Reserve is located in the idyllic and remote Baie de Sainte-Luce, locally known as Manafiafy. The reserve was established as an Australian-run community-based project in 2009. The main aim is to protect one of the last remaining coastal forests and its unique fauna. Although anybody can visit the forest, the only real traveler set-up in the area is the superb Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, an exclusive beach accommodation option offering forest walks and water-based activities.

Best Time to Go August to November (Less rainfall)
High Season Late June to late November (High-season rates apply)
Size 14km² / 5mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Community reserve mixing culture and nature-based activities
  • Exclusive rustic lodge offering a bush and beach experience
  • Unique coastal rainforest
  • Night walks available
  • Only one pricey lodge
  • Not very accessible

Sainte Luce Reserve Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Day and night walks in the rainforest offer chances to see some of the lemur species, including the locally common, endangered red-collared brown lemur. There are lots of frogs and chameleons in the forest as well and dolphins are commonly seen on boat trips. Humpback whales come to the bay for calving and can be spotted from a purpose-built observation tower from June until November.

Scenery

This remote destination has it all. The lodge is located on an isolated palm-fringed beach in a sheltered bay perfect for snorkeling and kayaking. Further afield are scenic mangroves and forested islands to explore. Inland, the area gives way to grassland, wetlands and most importantly a unique coastal rainforest.

Weather & Climate

Sainte Luce Reserve has a warm to hot climate, but a sea breeze usually provides relief from the heat. It rains throughout the year and the lodge is closed during the wettest months from January to March. The cooler months from April to September are the most comfortable.

Best Time to Visit

Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, the only accommodation at Sainte Luce Reserve, is closed from January to late March. These are the wettest months but aside from this period, there is no bad time to visit the reserve. Humpback whales come to the bay to calve and nurture their young from June to November.

Want to Visit Sainte Luce Reserve?

Sainte Luce Reserve Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Beach and bush at Sainte Luce Bay
4/5

Sainte Luce Reserve, located at the stunning Sainte Luce Bay, protects one of the last remaining coastal forests of Madagascar. The reserve is located at the edge of a village but there is only one tourist lodge nearby. I stayed at the...