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“Highlight of my trip to Madagascar” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mandrare River Camp

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Mandrare River Camp
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Villa Andry, Lot 1221 MC Ter, Mandrosoa-Ivato | Ifotaka, Tana 101, Antananarivo 11085, Madagascar   |  
Hotel amenities
Burford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Highlight of my trip to Madagascar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

I was lucky enough to have stayed at Mandrare in April 2013. From the very start i knew Mandrare was a great choice, the staff were very professional, yet friendly and you instantly feel at home there. The camp is extremely clean and well looked after, from the main areas to the rooms i couldnt fault it. (I saw a review below about bugs which i find really hard to believe, the housekeepers were brilliant and I cant remember seeing one bug in my room!)

The activities are great from camp, really varied and interesting. You can go to the spiny forest, or the sacred deciduous forest for a walk to see lemurs and various other wildlife. You can also see the magnificent Baobab trees in he area which make for an ideal sundowner drinks spot.

The guiding was superb and so was the cultural aspect. Mandrare srike a good balance of providing guests with an insight into the local culture without it being 'staged.' We saw some local songs and dancing one evening and many of the local kids from the village turned up to watch which showed it was a genuine, entertaining evening that the locals look forward to.

To sum Mandrare up in one sentence is hard. If you want a well run, charming, authentic bush camp style property with top class guiding, great food, wildlife and a tasteful cultural fix then Mandrare is the camp for you!

Room Tip: All rooms are great, If you are a family or a group travelling together there are two rooms which ar...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

It is a very long drive between the two camps about 8 hours! The camp is very quiet and all the tents are raised above the river. The bathroom is like an extension. The tent has everything you need, bed, toilet, shower and a balcony, to watch the river go by. There are lots of animal noises at night.
We were the only people staying when we went and had the tent at the far end, so very private.
The wildlife trips are brill, lots of wildlife and plants to be seen, the sundowner is interesting- not sure the road side makes it very special. The villagers coming to dance is great fun too, they bring all their family and everyone has fun.
Food is very western orientated, the waiter was very nice and friendly and knew when to leave us alone to enjoy our food. With only being the two of us there we did have to ask the guide not to join us for every meal as it wasn't very romantic just the 3 of us!
This is an amazing place to stay, lots of animals, lots of waving children on trips out and lots of natural things you will see no where else on the planet.
The flight out was amazing as the weather was so bad we flew very low for the whole journey and could see everything.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

.. as summed up by a fellow traveller from Bedford!! Roger, you are so right. We arrived at the River Camp after a day stuck in Tana due to a few difficulties. It was our honeymoon and we started with a few airport issues beyond anyone's control. The only way is up they say and it certainly was. Ok, it takes a flight from the capital of Madagascar and a 4 hour drive (or a 20 minute flight in a 4 seater plane as we did on the return leg) but it's so worth it! The drive is actually really interesting.

It is an amazing place and we loved every minute. The guide and driver were fantastic, taking us around and finding some superb wildlife, some very rare but also spotting some very small creatures. Their knowledge of culture and wildlife were out of this world and they could readily impart their knowledge in English or French, I can't praise the chef, waiters and camp mamangement enough. A really intimate place with maximum capacity of 10 ish. Eco tourism at it's very best. They even organised for the local village to come to the step and demonstrate their local dances and singing. Amazing!

Our only regret is that we had to leave. In the 3 weeks of our honeymoon across Madagascar and Reunion we had 8 hotels, many of them 5 star, and this alongside the company's sister hotel of Manafifafy Lodge were our favourites

A massive thank you to all, particularly to our guide Earnest who helped us every step of the way, you all helped to make our honeymoon a holiday to rememeber!

Room Tip: Make sure you take time to enjoy a drink on your balcony overlooking the river at sunset!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

A very small and intimate camp, fantastic views over the river, great food and friendly atmosphere. To have all of this in such a remote area really is something special.

The activities are exciting, walking in the sacred forests to learn more about the local beliefs and spotting Lemurs jumping between the trees really was an awesome experience. Seeing how the local tribes people trade at the market was something that will never be forgotten and the dancers at night really just topped off what was an experience of a lifetime.

The team at Mandrare are doing a fantastic job and have managed to keep the experience of visiting them very authentic and unique. A must visit if you are in Madagascar.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

After driving 3 and a half hours over pot holes, we arrived at Mandrare river camp, only to find it wasn't really a camp with a central clearing as you'd expect, but a series of tents in the bank of the river, under the trees, so the insects rained down on us 24/7.
With pretty nice views across the river, the camp was ok, but has no communal clearing areas to sit and relax other than a tiny restaurant tent.
The food is excellent, three course meals being offered at lunch and dinner, and the Madagascan staff are tireless hard workers, with a huge knowledge of Madagascan culture and good English, and French. In fact the guide really made the stay special as he was friendly and informative.

The tents themselves aren't really 'luxury tents', only big enough to hold a double bed and small wardrobe and although there is a stone toilet and shower at the back of the tents, this is not sealed off from insects, so you have to unzip the tent flap and risk being bitten if you want to use the loo or shower, especially after dark. And once you turn on the light in the bathroom, or the light on the porch, thousands of moths come and die, leaving a carpet of flies and moths corpses on the floor.

Also there is nowhere to charge cameras or phones or medical aids, despite lighting being wired to the tents, meaning you have to give anything to Ed to charge at the kitchens.

There were some interesting outings such as a trip to a sacred forest and a trip to the boabab forest, however some of the trips were only available on certain days such as a trip to a local market, and Ed was very iffy about us stopping at a local village, despite us being adamant we would be respectful.

Also they spray insecticide in the tents which can give you breathing difficulties, my husband was struggling to breathe after coming back from dinner to go to bed, to find they had only recently sprayed insecticide. Once we got in bed little tiny flies were dying and falling on us as the insecticide kicked in.

We wrote a letter to thank the owner for our stay and give some postitive feedback, and never heard back from him.

Was worth a stay though.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madaclassic, Manager at Mandrare River Camp, responded to this review, July 28, 2012
Dear Lizzie,

Many thanks for your feedback as regards your stay with us, I am very happy that you gave us 5 stars for service despite having an average overall stay. I apologise that not all aspects of your stay were as you expected and I have reviewed your points and corrected many areas raised.

Madagascar is famous for its wildlife, including its rare and unique insects and while we are pleased to have a plethora of these in camp (especially just after the rains when you visited), we do spray the tents at night with insecticide while guests are at dinner, for guest comfort as is done in most African Safari Camps. Once you raised the issue that this was affecting your husband on the first night we immediately stopped spraying your tent. Our bathrooms are mosquito netted to reduce insects and this is the first time I have had this point raised, perhaps this was also due to the fact that we stopped spraying.

We now have a lovely pit fireplace and terrace and for communal seating outside of dinning times and this has become a real focal point of camp life as we tell stories of Madagascar and give star talks on the beach just below.

We are very much an Ecological property and all of our tent power is 12volt solar lighting which is why we charge AC-220/240 Volt items in the main building where we run a small generator for this purpose. We will shortly be adding charging points into the rooms so that this will avoid the need to give them to us for charging.

As regards your visit to the village, we are proud of our excellent relationship with the local community and while we make every effort to accommodate guests wishes, we need to be very careful with requests outside usual tourism visits, so as not to offend the local villagers and damage the relationships we have built up with them.

Many thanks once again for your feedback, apologies for not replying earlier to your and Tony’s original email and we are printing the photo’s that you have sent to give to the villagers.

Warm regards,

Edward Tucker Brown (Manager – Mandrare River Camp)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012 via mobile

Worth a visit. Very different and great tours. Edward and his team couldn't have been more helpful.

Stayed September 2011
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CANADA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

We arrived at thr River Camp after travelling in Africa for 5 weeks. We were ready for some relaxation. Upon arrival we were met by Edward, the owner, with a cool drink and a tour of our accommodation. It was quiet, luxurious and was more than we could possibly have wished for. The scenery was stunning, unspoiled loveliness. Our meals were three course banquets. And that is just the beginning. The excursions we went on were tailored especially for our interests. The guides were knowledgable and accommodating. We saw everything we wanted and more. So after this special experience we wondered if the Manafiafy Beach Lodge could possibly live up to this.
But you will have to go to that site to see if it did.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mandrare River Camp

Address: Villa Andry, Lot 1221 MC Ter, Mandrosoa-Ivato | Ifotaka, Tana 101, Antananarivo 11085, Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Antananarivo Province > Antananarivo
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Antananarivo
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the banks of the Mandrare River, overlooking the sacred community forests of the Antandroy Tribe, the camp offers luxury tented accommodation in a stunning setting, great wildlife & culture, combined with excellent guiding, activities and food. Explore the Spiny Forests of the Antandroy Tribe. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mandrare River Camp Hotel Antananarivo
Mandrare River Camp Madagascar/Antananarivo

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