Mandrare River Camp is an unforgettable eco-style “glamping” experience and an essential stop on any Madagascar itinerary. Tucked away in Southern Madagascar just west of Fort Dauphin, this luxury tented camp sits within the heart of the fascinating Antandroy tribal area under the shade of the Ifotaka Community Forest, a secluded region where pure tranquility and exceptional service translate into authentic discoveries of the area’s exotic wildlife, vegetation, and culture.

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Mandrare River Camp’s six large tents exude comfort and romance, with luxurious yet eco-sensitive extravagances of four-poster mosquito netted beds, ornate hand-carved furniture, substantial en suite stone bathrooms, organic toiletries, 24-hour solar water heating, and private wooden verandas. Perfectly dispersed under the protective branches of Tamarind trees along the banks of the majestic Mandrare River, the tents are situated directly opposite the revered ancestral forests of the Antandroy tribe, one of the most fiercely traditional and beautiful tribes in all of Madagascar. This setting makes for especially magical mornings. Step outside to witness the breathtaking sunrise along the river and listen to the sound of the river’s soundtrack come to life as the local Antandroy children play and sing in the water and the resident coucal and crested drongo release their morning bird calls.

This peacefulness continues around the communal pallisander wood table, where breakfasts of freshly baked bread, Parisian patisseries, locally made preserves, and hand-squeezed fruit juices accompany the serenade of the forest. Mandrare utilizes the freshest and finest Malagasy produce to create artistically prepared and presented all-day cuisine, from succulent lunchtime barbecues and fresh, funky salads to elaborate three-course dinner productions in the warm glow of hurricane lamps.

The seclusion of Mandrare River Camp affords guests intimate access to the Gallery and Spiny forests, home to an abundance of unique wildlife and the captivating life and culture of the Antandroy Tribe. Experience day and night guided walking and driving safaris through the forests, trekking five different lemur species and various types of amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Many of the weird and wonderful creatures found within the forests are some of the world’s rarest specimens to behold.

Richly diverse and completely removed from the Western world, this region is also known for the tribe of the Antadroy, who have spent their lives protecting the Sacred Forests where their ancestors rest in their ornate tombs. Spending time with the Antandroy—learning their bizarre customs, shopping in their colorful markets, and visiting their ancient burial grounds—is one of the most fascinating experiences of any stay at Mandrare River Camp. Days at Mandrare River Camp end just as magically as they began: with an enchanting sundowner under the towering Baobab groves, a spontaneous music and dance performance by the local villagers around the campfire, and the crystal clear stars shining above, the sounds of the life-giving river lulling its visitors to sleep.

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