Ambanja and the Sambirano region, a true taste of adventure in wildlife
At the north of Madagascar, between Nosy Be and Diego Suarez, the town of Ambanja and its surroundings will open you many surprises, a change of scenery assured... Ambanja is the heart of the Sambirano region, which comprises the area along the course of the Sambirano River, from the Tsaratanana Massif down to Ampasindava Bay. This region nestled in the hollow of a green between sea and mountain, will enchant you with its peaceful atmosphere and its paths with large trees. In the heart of huge plantations of cocoa, coffee, pepper, vanilla, ylang-ylang and vetiver, immerse yourself in the valley of perfumes, or off the beaten track, near an exuberant nature and a population with an unparalleled smile. Guaranteed immersion in rural areas, here all within lush landscapes adorned with springs and forest trails.
The region of Sambirano is famous for its colorful chameleons. The chameleon pictured at photo is an Ambanja Panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis).
Forests near Ambanja offer opportunities to view the northern giant mouse lemur (Mirza zaza), which appears to be especially abundant in abandoned cashew orchards. The northern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis) can also be encountered in forests along the Sambirano River valley. The Sambirano fork-marked lemur (Phaner parienti) can be seen in this region as well, sometimes even along the main roads at night.
A Delicious chocolate from naturally organic cacao grown in the Sambirano region is known worldwide.
Due to natural seasonal flooding of the river, the soil along the Sambirano riverbed and its surrounding cacao plantations are highly enriched with minerals and nutrients. Much of Sambirano's cacao trees stand on former fruit plantations dating back to the French colonial times. The resulting cocoa has hints of citrus fruit and is naturally sweet, which makes the Malagasy cocoa especially suitable for production of non-bitter dark chocolate without use of excessive sugar content or other additives. Furthermore, the final Madagascar chocolate product is usually rich in antioxidant flavoinoids as well as other healthy and reputedly aphrodisiac ingredients found in high proportions in pure Malagasy cacao.
If you can't buy chocolate Chocolaterie Robert's in Madagascar, various chocolate makers in other countries offer Madagascar cocoa based chocolate. However, such brands are mostly available in specialized gourmet chocolate stores, usually at relatively high prices.
The NDAO-i-Travel proposes to you to discover the region of Sambirano through various thematic excursions. With us you have the possibility to explore the region through original circuits that offer different modes of discovery: mountain biking, walking, canoeing or all-terrain vehicle. For those who wish to explore this blessed region in depth we can also organize visits to little explored sites. We take you to a little-known area to share find authentic encounters and a true taste of adventure in wildlife.
Unforgettable moments for a long time will remain in your heart, as well as social networks and personal photo albums.
ENJOY THESE… activities:
Sambirano Cocoa Cycling Tour. It is not a difficult cycling tour through the cocoa region - 4 days/3 nights. This tour is ideal for nature enthusiast and chocolate lovers alike.
The Exclusive Sambirano River Trekking Tour. Trekking tour along the Sambirano River from Ambanja to the first mountains of the Tsaratanana Integral Reserve - 8 days/7 nights. It requires a reasonable level of fitness.
The mangrove and the village Antsahampano. This one-day circuit from Ambanja allows to discover the mangrove of Sambirano region whose role is an essential for the west coast of Madagascar that it protects from erosion, and also serving as a nursery for many marine species.
The Waterfall Bons Pères and Ambobaka village. This one-day circuit from Ambanja makes it possible to discover the High Sambirano and its immense cocoa plantations, its rice fields and its small villages.
Visit to The Millot Plantations. Top choice of "lonely Planet" of farm in Ambanja. This beautiful plantation, established in 1904, is a leading producer of organic cocoa, spices and essential oils, and a visit to this little slice of paradise is not only highly informative but a true festival of the senses.
Expedition to Tsaratanana Integral Reserve, to the peak of Maromokotra. We can to organize a trekking expedition-level to explore this impressive volcanic granite massif and the protected isolated and remote area. It takes a week or even more to reach the peak. A reasonable level of fitness is also necessary.