Located on a peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean on Madagascar’s north west coast, Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve is a remote, stunningly beautiful 450 hectare reserve. It harbours dry deciduous forest, pristine beaches, coral reefs, tsingy limestone pinnacles and a unique array of wildlife. More than 1 800 species of flora, mostly endemic, are found in the reserve.
Only one small hotel is situated in this magnificent area, and the only way to arrive is via a flight from Antananarivo. The reserve allows visitors to merge tropical beachside relaxation with the best wildlife viewing that Madagascar has to offer. The forests are composed of trees which shed their leaves in winter, in some places growing straight out of the jagged tsingy. Guided or unguided walks will reveal numerous lemur species and dozens of endemic birds, along with butterflies, chameleons and snakes. Several tsingy caves, sprinkled with stalactites and stalagmites, provide a perfect habitat for bats, and one cave boasts the skulls of an extinct lemur species embedded in the rocks.
The walking trails on the peninsula are well-maintained, easily accessible and suitable for all fitness levels. Some take you from one hidden creek to another along the sea, hopping between sheltered coves, while others will lead to small fishing villages where the gentle Malagasy people go about their daily business. Sunday mornings are an especially good time to visit the village of Anjajavy, which hosts a weekly market under a large mango tree.
On the western edge of the peninsula, Moramba Bay features gravity defying limestone islands covered in patches of baobab-dotted forest, home to critically endangered Madagascar Eagles. The bay provides splendid photographic opportunities and is perfect for swimming, sailing, snorkelling and picnics. This part of the Indian Ocean has a number of sought-after game species which anglers can target on deep sea fishing trips. Canoeing trips can also be undertaken in the calm sea waters or the dense mangrove swamps.
This part of Madagascar is mostly dry and sunny, except in February, when the tropical rains inject greenness into the environment. Interestingly, the hotel operates in its own time zone bubble; one hour ahead of the rest of Madagascar, to ensure that visitors can fit as much into their days as possible.