We set out on the 9th for a 135 km drive to Manambato, a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Rasoabe where we were met by our boat driver to take us into the heart of the Canal de Pangalanes to our accommodation, the Bush House Lodge. The canal consists of a series of natural rivers, waterways and man-made lakes and unspoiled natural beaches that extends for over 645 Sq.kms and runs down the east coast of Madagascar. It is used primarily for transportation and fishing. Major expansion of the area was completed during the French colonial period between 1896 and 1904 and additional expansion during 1949-1957.
The final 7 km drive from the main RN2 “highway” tar road to access Manambato requires a 4×4 and takes close to one hour to drive. It absolutely did require a 4×4 and the “road” was a 4×4 enthusiasts delight as there had been some rain the previous day that added to the excitement.
Unfortunately the staff on site had very little training (not their fault), could not speak a word of English (again, not their fault but ours also) so it made for some very frustrating situations.
The on site manager, I believe his name was Stephan could speak English but was usually too busy dealing with his cell phone than to pay attention to the guests. We did have a couple of other issues but suffice it to say, although the location was beautiful we wouldn’t recommend this place.