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Sifaka, Berenty, Madagascar

Berenty

Whilst the name means “Big Eel”, Berenty Reserve is rightly famous for its close encounters with habituated ring-tailed lemurs and sifakas and is always popular with photographers.

Berenty itself can become very busy, however, so look further afield and the region offers so much more. Mandrare River Camp runs alongside the river of the same name and is a haven of well-watered habitat in the dry south drawing animals from afar – including ring-tailed lemurs – but without the crowds.

Some of the forests further afield are also home to ancient tombs, dotted with remote villages and weird and wonderful markets where communities come together once a week to trade gossip as much as their wares, decked out in their finest Malagasy headwear.

Sifaka in flight, Berenty, Madagascar
Ifotaka, Madagascar

Discovering Berenty

The remote location is reflected in the higher costs, but for those who make the effort, they are richly rewarded. Night walks are a particular highlight here, in spiny forests (which are only found in the south) where mouse lemurs hide in bizarre cactus and owls (known locally as ghost birds) stand watch. In addition to all of this, the journey here is an adventure itself, taking in spiny forests, stark deserts and mountain rainforests driving along one of the most dramatic coastal roads in Africa.

Experiences

Night Walks

Take night walks through haunted forests filled with ancient tombs.

Photograph Lemurs

Experience very close encounters with dancing lemurs – great for photography.

Ring-tailed Lemurs

Watch ring-tailed lemurs dancing in the trees of the Ifotaka forest.

Spiny Forests

Explore the unusual spiny forests of southern Madagascar, where lemurs hide amidst numerous species of leafless euphorbia.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Berenty Lodge £££££

  • Madagascar
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Berenty lodge is perhaps the most well-known property in the region, set in the heart of a private nature reserve allowing some of the best opportunities to observe lemurs up-close, and is naturally very popular with photographers. Each of the 12 simple, but comfortable bungalows are air conditioned and the open feel of the rest of lodge, with shady bomas in the garden are a great place to watch wildlife go by. Whilst the popularity of the lodge does mean it can get very busy at times, this is a simple, no frills lodge with good lemur sightings and some great self-guided trails in the reserve so you can wander to your heart’s content.

Mandrare River Camp £££££

  • Madagascar
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge
  • Tented Camps

Located in near the southern tip of Madagascar, this is an adventurer’s camp with a dash of style. The handful of large, Meru-style tents are spread out along the banks of the Mandrare River. They are the best place in the country for a genuine, African bush lodge experience. The huge bathrooms are connected to the back of the shady tents and the cool showers are a welcome relief after a day wading through rivers, searching for ancient tombs and exploring lemur filled forests.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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  • 01285 601 784

Chris Johnston

Having trekked through rainforests, searched for ancient tombs and been mistaken for a priest, Chris continues to travel the length and breadth of this beautiful, baffling country. Whilst many people consider Madagascar a wildlife destination, he finds the culture and landscapes just as captivating.
Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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Why Steppes