We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great stop off for Lemurs”

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Andasibe
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Vakona Forest Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Andasibe
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great stop off for Lemurs”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

The hotel is well positioned for the national parks, you will need a car for this, you will either be able to pre book all trips through your travel agent or the hotel will sort you out a lift in their car (there are no local taxi's). Note, if your travel agent arranges for your taxi driver to do your trips, they will also stay at the hotel and you may need to arrange for their meals etc.

The Lemur island is at the entrance of the hotel, its about a 5 minute walk, this is where the rescued Lemurs are housed, they are very friendly and jump all over you! I recommend going to the national parks before coming here otherwise you will be spoiled straight away and the fun goes out of searching the forest for the wild Lemurs. Its only a few dolars to come here and you can get the ticket from the hotel reception, it also includes access to the crocodile park.

The rooms are ok, its not the best but its clean and tidy and the linnen is fresh. The views and the set up is nice but do prepare for the cold and the rain. The rooms do have a small heater and extra blankets.

Everyone comments on food for this place, the restuarant has one menu and when they run out of ingredients they kind of hash something else together that looks the same, they also always over cook the Zebu meat. The only food we really liked was the caramalised pork. As the same menu covers lunch and dinner, we ended up eating this a lot.

Me and my husband both came down with stomach bugs while we were here, I was really very ill, I don't know if this was down to the food, water or a general stomach bug I picked up. Anyway, one thing we will say, the hotel isn't close to a pharmacy so do make sure you pack a very good first aid kit which luckily we did!

The staff often come across rude but I think this is down to the fact their English isn't the best, there are a few English speaking staff here but their English isn't great, they know some words, but when you repeat it back to them, they look at you blankly.

We did have a great time here, the room was more than adequate and we did so much walking through the forest that we slept a lot!

Top tip, do go to the second national park, it is more expensive but there are more types of Lemurs there. Also, if you can, go on a night walk, it doesn't take long and you will see so much, pack your own head torches for this.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank London_Scooter71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

496 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    152
    267
    54
    13
    10
See reviews for
86
261
26
7
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Gauteng
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2011

We are very late with this review, having visited Madagascar for the first time a couple of years ago end July beginning August 2009 but we just had to write in, especially as we are coming back, but in December this year... what an experience!

Husband and I always wanted to do the intreped travelling thing and always wanted to visit Madagascar. Our trusty travel agent MadagasCat Charters and Travel arranged the MOST awesome holiday imaginable. Half land and half sea.

After visiting the Pangalanes and then a long bumpy drive to Andisabe, we stayed at Vakona Forest Lodge and loved it! It is the most awesome setting with the main lodge building set upon a lake and the chalets surrounding on the hillside. The plants are to die for and truly, Vakona is a paradise in the middle of the forest. The birds are amazing and we were there in winter so it was quite chilly and there weren't the usual amount of birds around however there were enough to keep us very occupied. The sounds that carried in the forest were beautiful. Little frogs clicking in the stream and spying the Madagascan Kingfisher darting about the lake, was a treat. Rooms are really comfortable with all amenities well maintained and a lovely verandah to sit on and drink in the peace and beauty; there is a huge 360 degrees fireplace in the main restaurant/lounge which is much needed as the forest, quite typically is quite damp and cool. The views from wherever you are at this lodge are breathtaking and there are a number of activities on offer.

The best experience we had at Vakona Forest Lodge was being able to meander at will along designated paths through the forest alongside streams and at night, travelling a way down the road, meeting the guide and walking back along with headlamps spotting chameleons, frogs, mouse lemurs, other lemurs, and whatever else we could see. It is an experience not to be missed and the rainforest at Perinet is truly beautiful. Coming back late to the cosy and warm lodge, having a nightcap in front of the fire and popping into a nice warm bed and drifting off to sleep to the night sounds of the forest is the perfect end to the day and evening in the forest. The sun and birds greet you in a warm echo the following morning as you awake in your paradise forest chalet and hot coffee.

Looking past the poverty, exploitation and wretched de-forestation Madagascar has some really fine rainforests. Andisabe/Perinet is one of the finest and Vakona Forest Lodge is probably the very best place you can stay at in this region for all of the above reasons. They have definitely set a precedence with excellent standard and moreover how they have managed to retain their staff for years and provide work and power in the area. The dishes are traditional or otherwise, as one may prefer and the food good. There is a wide selection to choose from and all well prepared and tasty. Either way the bar and restaurant service is excellent. We think the place is fabulous in all ways given it's location. Don't go looking for city 5 star standards and being picky about silly details. Vakona Forest Lodge provides absolutely everything you need, in pure Malagasy tradtion, in one of the most special places ever and given you're in a forest and the remoteness thereof, they have tried to think of everything that could possibly make your stay memorable and beautiful. There was a couple there who did nothing but complain about everything in the room and the dining table and make other guests feel uncomfortable but not once did they venture out and experience the forest. This place is about beautiful Madagascar and her nature at it's best; not what goodies you can find in the room, that makes it. (There are actually some divine handmade soaps, mozzy lotion and handmade sweets in the room anyhow)........

Room Tip: They are all splendid and the higher you go to the top rooms the more wildlife there is! It is stee...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ndlwane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
154 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2011

wonderful big bungalow, beautiful airy restaurant with great food, professional service, conveniently located near park + Lemur Island. if the weather is nice you can enjoy the lovely pool. oh, and the view and surroundings are gorgeous.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank susanned
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windhoek, Namibia
Level Contributor
155 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2011

I stayed there with my sister and nephews. Beautiful location, just inside of a forest reserve and great views from the swimming pool and the cabin. The restaurant serves good food (western and malagasy dishes, as you are there I recommend to try the malagasy dishes they are pretty good). There is plenty of space for kids to enjoy (forest trails and playground) and in the same time is good place for couples too. Believe me, they have so many space that kids will not annoying adults or vice-versa. This place own's the Lemur's island (only 15 min by walking) and you can go to this place and have real Madagascar taste and have fun with lemurs.

Room Tip: All rooms are great
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simonest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
192 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2011

After the long drive from Tana through very winding roads, we were delighted to find this little piece of Paradise in the middle of nowhere. Our driver/guide informed us that there will be nothing of Vakona which we will not like and he was absolutely right about that!!

We stayed for 2 nights while we were at Andasibe and we enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Our bungalow was clean and spacious, we were provided with good mosquito net and we had adequate hot water for our showers during our entire stay there.

The staffs were very friendly and polite, the food at the restaurant was good – there is a variety of Western and Malagasy dishes fro you to choose from. The restaurant and reception area overlook a beautiful pond and all the bungalows are surrounded by beautiful and well-kept gardens.

Vakona is an ideal and very convenient place to stay as a base for exploring the nearby Parc National de Mantadia and the smaller Reserve Speciale d’Analamazaotra. We visited the latter in the morning and took a 3-hour trek with the local park guide, who was very good at spotting lemurs. We saw 4 species of lemurs (Sifaka, Brown, Indri and Bamboo) and witnessed the famous Indris communicating with one another!! After such wonderful experience, we decided to give the bigger Mantadia Park a miss.

We paid a nominal sum to visit the Lodge’s own Lemur Island (accessible by canoe; just a short ride of about 80 metres). We had so much fun feeding the tame lemurs and there were quite many of them running around on the ground and swinging from tree to tree. All were very friendly and the brown lemurs will even sit on your head and shoulders!! It’s a paradise for those who want to see the lemurs up close. We also visited the Crocodile Farm, which is within walking distance from the Lodge. However, we enjoyed the trek there through the forest more than the farm itself.

The nearby Andasibe village is also full of life and worth a visit, if you have time. We went there around noon and were met by throngs of children who have just come out from the school. It was quite an experience walking through the village and seeing the way of life there. We mingled and chatted with the children and locals alike.

Overall, it was an enjoyable stay for us and we will not hesitate to recommend this gem to other travellers visiting Andasibe.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hannisze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint-Denis, Reunion Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2011

We are students who travelled around the north of Madagascar for 2 weeks, travelling by taxi brousse and staying in fairly basic accommodation, most of which had no hot water (and one with no running water at all). We had decided to spend a couple of nights at the end of our trip somewhere a bit more luxurious, and to me Vakona sounded perfect; a "forest lodge" right by the national park. I was expecting somewhere comfortable, with a great atmosphere, surrounded by nature. However what we found was a tourist resort, miles away from Andasibe national park, surrounded by "nature" that was completely artificial.
"Lemur island" (although a bit contrived) was good for seeing lemurs up close, however the "Vakona reserve" was a horribly depressing place filled with animals and birds in tiny cages.
This is a place for people who come to Madagascar just to see a few lemurs without leaving the luxury of their usual lives and want to avoid experiencing the poverty in this country. Vakona didn't feel like Madagascar at all, it had no character and was a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank pcacd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2011

I'm normally quite an easy traveller and can take my share of dodgy places, especially when I backpack. However, we wanted to treat ourselves for the last night in Madagascar, and this just didn't live up to its PR.
Dirty pool, no internet access, no credit card payments, awfully dirty mattresses (have gotten into the habit of checking for bed bugs, so I noticed that), they make you pay for their own park, even if the price per night is already quite high...
Overall, I think this is a decent enough place, but waaaay too overpriced for what it is.
Service not very enthusiastic either

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Adria051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Andasibe
405.5 mi away
Constance Tsarabanjina
Constance Tsarabanjina
#1 of 1 in Nosy Mitsio
5.0 of 5 bubbles 438 reviews
60.1 mi away
Hotel Belvedere
Hotel Belvedere
#4 of 60 in Antananarivo
4.5 of 5 bubbles 132 reviews
159.4 mi away
Boraha Village
Boraha Village
#8 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.5 of 5 bubbles 82 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Hotel Cotsoyannis
Hotel Cotsoyannis
#4 of 4 in Fianarantsoa
3.5 of 5 bubbles 43 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Brajas
Hotel Brajas
#42 of 60 in Antananarivo
3.5 of 5 bubbles 78 reviews
0.0 mi away
La Crique
La Crique
#9 of 15 in Nosy Boraha
4.0 of 5 bubbles 75 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Vakona Forest Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Vakona Forest Lodge

Property: Vakona Forest Lodge
Address: BP 750, Andasibe, Madagascar
Location: Madagascar > Toamasina Province > Andasibe
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Andasibe
Hotel Class:3 star — Vakona Forest Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Also Known As:
Vakona Forest Hotel Andasibe
Vakona Forest Lodge Madagascar/Andasibe

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing