Post 19 6 manioc Fetroamby Mai 2016Post 19 4 bananas, sugarcane, and manioc Fetraomby May 2016

Last week the cultivators of the rural community Fetraomby gathered to display their products, produced with recently introduced agricultural methods. Methods that will render the slash-and-burn practices superfluous, and thus help to conserve the forest.Corn, rice, manioc, and sugarcane could be admired, as were several kinds of fruit like tangerines, papaya, pineapple, banana, rambutan. Also spices were brought to the festival: pepper, cloves, ginger, and curcuma, and of course coffee and coconuts.The children enjoyed themselves with the merry-go-round, the adults with the speeches and the traditional songs and dances performed by the different groups the community boasts.

Post 19 7 the merry-go-round Fetraomby May 2016

If you visit Fetraomby with us and the hospitable population offers you a cup of coffee, they don’t just hit a button and a machine will do the work. No, they plant, tend, and harvest the coffee themselves.

Coffee plantation

Coffee plantation

They wash and dry the beans, roast them on a charcoal fire, and grind them manually with a pestle and mortar.

Coffee drying

Coffee drying

The water for your coffee comes from a reservoir in the hills, via a pipeline to the communal taps in the village. The water needs to be carried home in a jerry can and heated on a charcoal fire. And if you take your coffee with sugar they’ll squeeze the juice from a sugarcane with a specially designed instrument (the pigs’ beak). But then, you do have a very special cup of coffee!


The tourist season is only half way through and Centre Lambahoany has nothing but satisfied customers.

The treks are by all considered the highlight of their journey in Madagascar. It ís a unique offer: only Centre Lambahoany works with the local population to organise treks in the rural community Fetraomby and adjoining communes.


Homestay with the hospitable villagers, enjoying their dance and music after hiking in the jungle to spot the indri-indri or one of the twelve other species of lemur whose habitat is the rainforest, nothing but fresh air, submerged in rural Madagascar.





The true Darwin island

A month of diversity spent in just a small part of a majestic country leaves me thinking how many wondrous things are left to see in this part of the world. An impression of our holiday can be read in the following excerpts.

Primary rainforests with lemurs, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, frogs, gekko’s and chameleons in all sorts and sizes. Not to mention medicinal plants, pandanuce, palmtrees, rose wood and palissander.

The Canal des Pangalanes with its awe-inspiring lakes, white sandy beaches and fishing villages and all this is just a stone’s throw away from the relentless crashing and beating of the Indian ocean. Watching the fishermen braving the waves in small pirogues at first dawn is something I’ll never forget.

The humpback whales, just of the Isle Sainte Marie, did justice to their reputation by jumping from the water, splashing their fins and tales and performing an occasional spy hop.

Exceptional ‘off the beaten track’ days with the people from Fetraomby and the surrounding villages of Andranaotra, Lanonana and Razanaka. Trekking through primary rainforest whilst seeing various kinds of truly wild lemurs, wading through rivers and rice paddies whilst eating bananas and anon fruit straight from the tree. Meeting people living a simple but happy life surrounded by nature and the ones they love.

Many thanks to George and Marcia, from Centre Lambahoany in Tamatave, for putting us in to contact with the lovely and kind people of Madagascar. I hope they will continue this important work for many years to come so the Malagasy people can profit from tourism without losing their culture and biodiversity.


Photo: Canal des Pangalanes, Wikipedia



We have visited Fetraomby last spring and we must say it is very impressive.

Travel Impression

First we were taken by our guide to Brickaville to take some meat from the market for the next day and then into the boat with the locals. After some hours we arrived in Anivorano where a lady provided us with lunch in her house. After another boat trip we got off in Gisimay, from where we walked to Sahamamy. Unfortunately the host family had just lost their son, so their was no music, but the family was very open minded to share about their customs. We had a great meal and the next day they showed us the old graphite mine and factory. You would have wondered how they ever got these machines here, since there are only trails to this village.

After that we were going to find the Indri indri, which we did on a mountain top which gave a great view over the area. A steep climb over the mountain followed to get to Marovato for our next stay.

The children here gave us a good performance and the whole village came out to greet us. Like the locals do, we decided to take a bath in the small river just outside the village.

The following days we visited Fetraomby and had a little party here, with some music and dancing. We visited some pierre bizarres and learned about their importance for the villagers. We went to the waterfall and had a pick nick here. Also we were told how people make charcoal and protect their food from pest.

It was a lot of walking, but worth it. In one village we were the second white people ever visited, so that was very special. Also seeing that people really like to welcome you and secondary school children wanting to practise their English with a real ‘outsider’ is very special.

We can only say, that if you visit Madagascar, you definitely get a more special experience here than at other, more frequently visited, tourist areas



Fetraomby celebrated World Tourism Day. It was at the same time an opportunity to inform the world about the beginning of several new projects in the vicinity. All projects have the same aim: nature conservation and community development, in this still rich but already endangered part of the rainforests of East Madagascar.

Our partner organization RIANALA did a great job. Extra boats had been organized to transport authorities and tourists to Fetraomby. All tourist accommodations were, as always, in top shape. So was the village: the celebration started with the proclamation of the winner of the match ‘cleaning the village’. A boat race and a sack race were the next items on the programme, followed by a football match, which was won by the Fetraomby team!

As soon as it was dark enough, around 6 p.m., several instructive documentaries about the environment were projected on a big screen. Despite the drizzle the entire villages and all visitors from neighbouring villages were captivated. Television is already a rarity in these parts, let alone a big screen. The Friday evening was rounded off with a disco for the young. It lasted until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Folkloristische Dans

Saturday commenced with a more serious part of the programme: saluting the flag, singing the national hymn. Then M. Etienne, chairperson of Rianala welcomed the district manager, the district had of the gendarmerie, the mayor, and the representatives of the organisations contributing to the nature conservation and community development projects. The speeches by the authorities alternated with folkloristic dances, a match in eloquence (kabary) and poetry, a little boy demonstrating his ability in back flips and another little boy mimicking several birds, much to the amusement of the public. Especially the cock was a great success.

After giving out the prices to the winners, lunch was ready. Unfortunately authorities and tourists had to eat from plates, others used ravinala (traveller palm leaves) both as plate and as spoon.

The afternoon was dedicated to a visit of the pierre bizarre, a sacred place, only to be visited after a ceremony for the ancestors, and once again the young were treated on a disco.

Rianala wants to thank all sponsors who made this happening possible, first and foremost Ambatovy, but also Aspinall, Conservation International and Centre Lambahoany.