Accommodation, Northern Madagascar

Domaine de Fontenay

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A small, friendly and comfortable lodge with its own 300-hectare private rainforest park ideal for night walks. The main building is a restored colonial villa with a large garden. Rooms are spacious and individually decorated with colonial era furniture and decor. The lodge is situated on the edge of JoffreVille village just 15 minutes’ drive from Montagne d’Ambre National Park.

In the main building is the small but intimate restaurant furnished with rosewood and other local Malagasy woods. It offers authentic and refined cooking, including both French and local Malagasy inspired cuisine, plus a bar and terrace for relaxing. The garden has a path leading straight into the rainforest reserve where an incredible variety of wildlife can be found. There are plans to install Wi-Fi in 2020 and the there is also a very old pet Galapagos giant tortoise in the garden.

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Domaine de Fontenay -12.494978, 49.202900 View

Facilities

Spacious en suite bathrooms, restaurant and bar inside the grand main colonial building. Wi-Fi being installed in 2020.

Local Wildlife

The lodge sits next to a private forest reserve which acts as a wildlife corridor to the larger nearby Montagne d'Ambre National Park, the oldest National Park in Madagascar. Both the private reserve and main National Park protect a wonderful isolated mount of rainforest in an otherwise semi-arid landscape. This isolation has resulted in many locally endemic species found nowhere else. Lemurs include the crowned and Sanford’s brown, plus several localised nocturnal species such as the Montagne d'Ambre fork-marked lemur, dwarf lemur and mouse lemur.

Reptiles are a highlight here as the National Park is home to 11 species of chameleon including one of the world’s tiniest, the minute Amber Mountain leaf chameleon: (Brookesia tuberculate). This tiny species is usually only 25 to 35 mm in length when fully grown and confined to the leaf litter of the forest floor but is surprisingly easily found by the eagle-eyed local guides. The private park of Domaine de Fontenay is also the best location for spotting perfectly camouflaged leaf-tailed geckos, various snakes, stick insects and many species of nocturnal lemur.

Birdlife includes the Madagascar blue pigeon, Madagascar crested ibis and Madagascar pygmy kingfisher as well as the highly localised Amber Mountain rock thrush and the ring-tailed mongoose is a common visitor to the park’s picnic site.

Optional Activities

Walking in the National Park and private forest reserve which are perfect for night walks.

Alan Godwin

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding our Madagascar tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Tour guide was perfect (Excellent++). Attentive and caring. Outstanding person. Became part of the family. Give her an award!!! Local guides very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and pleasant people to be with. Helen’s enthusiastic and sparkling voice was a pleasure to hear on the ‘phone. All questions answered in detail and printed information sent was helpful. You guys really cared. Very attentive in Madagascar and went well. Very pleasant and good driver. No corners cut and a well planned trip with all details covered. Perfect for us. Due to good guides and spotters we saw 16 species of lemurs and plenty of them. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see so many species and so close to us. Marvellous – very emotional. Lemurs are such wonderful gentle creatures. This trip was so well-designed for people like us. I will never forget this trip in my life. What a humbling experience it was. Some time in the future we will be back to see these special animals. In the mean time I look to our video footage of our time with the lemurs of Madagascar. Helen Cox – well done. Your company is at the top of our list.

Mr & Mrs M - Berkshire