Palmarium Beach Lodge

A fantastic but rustic lodge on the edge of the Pangalanes Canal, perfect for photographers and families.

Palmarium Beach Lodge

Located on the edge of longest canal system in the world; the Pangalanes Canal, the Palmarium Beach Lodge is a simple but comfortable lodge, ideal for families and those keen to see the wonderful aye aye. The lodge is located inside the private Le Palmarium Reserve which means nest of dreams in Malagasy.
The lodge consists of 11 wooden bungalows with solid built en suite bathrooms and mosquito nets located on the shore of Lake Ampitabe. The bungalows have shared verandas with hammocks and are only a few steps from the lake’s sandy beach and are backed by a private littoral forest reserve, home to a wide range of endemic palms.

The restaurant has a very fresh menu as much of the food comes from the local market and the adjacent main lodge building has a small but comfortable lounge area and bar. The lodge is only accessible by boat and is around 4 hours from Andasibe and 1 hour from Manambato village. Due to its remote location, electricity is only available for limited hours and there is no Wi-Fi or facilities to use credit or debit cards at the lodge.

The Le Palmarium Reserve protects around 50 hectares of coastal littoral rainforest and provides a refuge for a good selection of native wildlife. The wildlife highlight is the population of currently eight aye ayes that live on a small forested islet on the edge of the lake. The aye ayes live wild on the island and forage naturally, but they are also offered coconuts by the local rangers each evening at a designated viewing area affording excellent eye levels.

Although the setting is a little less natural, this excursion offers a very rare and special opportunity to view these mysterious, elusive and fascinating nocturnal lemurs at uniquely close quarters. Flash photography is not allowed, but the local rangers provide sensitive illumination with torches for a great view and some low light photography and video of these remarkable primates. This is by far the easiest location to see and photograph a semi-wild aye aye in Madagascar.

The reserve is also home to numerous diurnal species of lemurs including black-and white ruffed lemur, indri, crowned lemur, black lemur and Coquerel’s sifaka. However most of these species have been introduced from outside of their natural range and some have also hybridised. Most of these lemurs are very inquisitive and fully habituated, so will often approach to within a few feet in the hope of some banana handouts. Many of the introduced species can be seen in their natural habitat elsewhere in Madagascar, but the site is ideal for keen photographers, looking to take more artistic an abstract images and those keen to see an aye aye.

There are also many reptiles and beautiful endemic frogs to search for as well the superb diversity of orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants, palms and pandanus plants to admire. If spending a few days in the area a boat trip to explore more of canal and lake network is another highlight. As the trails are flat and easy going and the wildlife very easy to view, this is an ideal location for families with young children too.

Facilities

Private bathrooms, a restaurant and lounge with limited use of electricity and wifi available.

Local Wildlife

This is the easiest location in Madagascar to see the wonderful nocturnal aye aye. There are eight living wild on a small forested islet on the edge of the lake where coconuts are provided for them each evening by the local rangers. The trip departs from the lodge at 1730 with a 15 minute boat ride back towards Manambato village and then a short walk. The excursion usually last an hour and up to four different aye aye have been seen feeding together in the past. Flash photography is not allowed, so a tripod and camera suitable for the low light conditions of torchlight only is recommended.

Other wildlife includes the huge tail-less indri and vocal and acrobatic black-and white ruffed lemur although please note these and other diurnal lemur species here have been introduced. We are not keen on the fact that many of the lemurs are also introduced from outside of their natural range and have hybridised. Nocturnal Eastern woolly lemurs, tenrecs and a wide range of reptile and frog species can be found as well including the giant hog-nosed snake (Leioheterodon madagascariensis) and blue-back reed frog (Heterixalus madagascariensis). Birdlife is not very diverse but includes the France’s sparrowhawk, Madagascar green sunbird and crested coua.

Optional Activities

Enjoy a boat trip to explore more of the lake and canal system.

Enjoy walking all of the trails.

Number of rooms

11

Air Conditioning

No

Swimming Pool

No

Ian Loyd
Area Specialist

Due to its remote location, electricity is only available for limited hours. If you need to charge phones or cameras it’s a good idea to bring spare charged battery packs.

If you have any queries about this accommodation please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

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Palmarium Beach Lodge -18.605185, 49.213421 Palmarium Beach LodgeView

Quality of wildlife: Excellent. We saw everything we wished for and more. All guides were excellent. English excellent, very comprehensive knowledge. [Our escort guide] in particular was superb with an encyclopaedic knowledge.

Mr D M - South Petherton