Visiting Fetrahomby with its stunning rainforests and laid-back, hospitable communities is a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Fetrahomby is both a village and a borough i.e. a cluster of several smaller villages. It is situated in the eastern province of Toamasina, in the Brickaville district of the Atsinanana region. It is adjacent to both the virgin rainforests Belambo and Andriantantely. The latter is part of what is known as the ‘corridor’, a strip of land connecting two large nature reserves, Ankeniheny and Zahamena. This is the home of the Indri-indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, which can only be seen in the wild, as it does not survive in captivity. Fetrahomby is primarily a trekking destination, due to the large distance between the villages and the lack of means of transportation.
The inhabitants of Fetrahomby want a future in ecotourism. To this end, they have founded a local organisation called RIANALA. The organisation has around 50 members (women and men) from different backgrounds: farmers, schoolteachers, the former mayor of the village. They took the initiative of building the first bungalow to receive tourists. With the help of Centre Lambahoany, more infrastructure and facilities were realised: several houses were extended to receive tourists and the water supply system was renovated. Several members received training as tourist guides, for hotel and catering, and for bookkeeping and management.
The village Fetrahomby has about 500 inhabitants (100 households), of which about half is younger than 25 years. The economic activities are mainly agriculture (rice, coffee, manioc, fruit), fishing (river), forestry (for building wood and charcoal) and seasonal gold digging in the riverbed. Average income is estimated at about Ar. 100,000 (40 EUR)/month/family.
For a village, participating in the Lambahoany project not only means training and constructing infrastructure, but also that the village is supplied with a Naiade for safe drinking water and that the villagers really benefit from a touristic visit. If you book a trip to Fetrahomby with Centre Lambahoany, 82% of the money you pay will go directly to the villagers; the rest is for transport, the guide who will accompany you from Tamatave and overheads.
Lambahoany project also offers training to the villagers in agricultural methods other than the traditional slash-and-burn. The main source of income will remain agriculture, with responsible tourism as an additional income. Both this new source of income and other agricultural methods will help them to preserve their sacred forests.
Fetrahomby is a destination which can be visited for any purpose and field of interest, just as you like. At Centre Lambahoany you will find all the information you need to visit Fetrahomby and the surrounding villages participating in the Lambahoany project. The village tourist organisation will welcome you and together you will explore the forest or visit culturally interesting sites, be it a holy waterfall where you cannot take pork or garlic, or caves that were used as a refuge in earlier days. The members of the village tourist organisation will make sure you feel at home.