Flying to the Ends of the Earth – Madagascar

There are places in the world that are so remote they can only be accessed by air. Places that hold a great mystery for travellers and a distinctive bounty for those living there.

In the globetrotting series, Flying to the Ends of the Earth, pilot and former Royal Marine, Arthur Williams flies to places just like this – the world’s most remote and spectacular regions – by way of small prop plane. His mission: to find out how people survive and thrive there. The series opens your eyes to what these unique corners of Earth have in common – a sense of true adventure, authenticity, and a freedom and space – space without people – that is hard to find.

One faraway wilderness that holds this attraction for us is the island of Madagascar – more particularly, the protected Anjajavy peninsula where Anjajavy le Lodge sits between sea and forest.

We’ve written about our love affair with this part of the world before, but we thought we’d unravel the simple mystery of just how to get to paradise.

Below are a few need-to-knows about visiting one of the world’s most remote and remarkable corners.

Getting There

No road leads to Anjajavy… Only a few paths that gradually fade away lead from the town of Majunga to the lodge. You need to access Anjajavy le Lodge by a private plane which will land you gently in the heart of the reserve – the end of the world!

International flights from Europe, South Africa or Reunion fly in to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Then a private flight will fly you over the west coast of the Grande Ile for 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach the peninsula of Anjajavy.

Formalities

Your passport, valid for the following six months, will be stamped with a free visa for a stay of 30 days from arrival at the international airport of Ivato in Antananarivo.

Time difference

Madagascar: GMT + 3 hours

A time peculiar to Anjajavy le Lodge was created so to be better adjusted to the natural cycles of the reserve and the village. At 5 pm, lemurs naturally join guests in the Oasis garden to take advantage the foliage. It is fresh hour, right in time for the “5 O’clock tea”.

Anjajavy le Lodge: GMT + 4 hours

Health

Anjajavy le Lodge has its own medical doctor or a paramedic staff based at the hotel. They are responsible for risk control supervision in terms of food safety (including daily microbiological control, inspections, delivery and medical supervision and employee training). They recommend taking a probiotic to help visitors who are travelling to other regions of Madagascar before going to Anjajavy.

No vaccination is required. Your vaccination records should however be up to date.

Malaria prevalence on the peninsula of Anjajavy is weak. Antimalarial treatment is however recommended in any part of Madagascar. Contact your doctor for advice.

Mineral water will be available in your villa throughout your stay.

Suitcases

Luggage needs to be flexible, 140 cm of linear dimension (height + width + depth) to fit light planes compartments. The maximum weight of baggage should not exceed 20 kg per person.

Dress code

In order to honor the hotel’s particular environment, the preferred dress code is “casual chic / safari chic / tropical chic” for the evening. No T-shirts and caps at dinner. To be culturally respectful, it is not suitable for women to reveal a bare chest. The same applies in the public areas of the lodge, whether it be on the beach or at the swimming pool.

Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and light clothes.  Closed and/or walking shoes could be useful for some hikes. The hotel has a shop for common products.

Calm and stillness are all around. Children and teenagers will appreciate the peaceful character of the premises if they are initiated to it before arrival.

Communication

Anjajavy is an isolated place, the mobile coverage is restricted. The hotel uses a satellite connection for telephone and internet.

The maximum flow rate is 1 Mb/s which they share between everyone. For technical reasons beyond their control, this connection may be cut or delayed, sometimes for long periods.

A simple download can considerably disrupt the overall connection. They ask guests to be kind and to avoid video streaming and disable automatic updates for connected devices.

Currency

Malagasy currency: Ariary

one Euro = approximately 3,500 Ariary

Accepted currencies

Ariary, Euros and US Dollars

Credit cards

The lodge does not take commissions on credit card payments by International Visa Card and MasterCard.

Read more about Anjajavy le Lodge and Madagascar in our blog here >

10 Questions with Camp Jabulani GM, Stefan du Toit

Part of Camp Jabulani’s new General Management team, together with wife Chantel, Stefan du Toit has been part of the herd for many years. He’s spent countless mornings with the lions out roaming in the golden light of an African sunrise, endless afternoons with the woodpeckers and rollers in flight, and hundreds of secret sunsets with the elephants big and small.

This is Camp Jabulani through his eyes.

10 Questions with Camp Jabulani General Manager, Stefan du Toit


Five things working at Camp Jabulani has taught you about yourself, life and love?

Interacting with people from across the world who has an interest in our wildlife is an amazing privilege. If you love what you do, what you do will never feel like work. I have a passion people and enjoy every moment I get to spend with guests.

How did your path lead you to Camp Jabulani?

When I finished University I needed to find a interim job before starting my next University course. I started working at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, not long after starting at the centre I was asked whether I would like to join the team at Camp Jabulani. Needles to say I jumped at the opportunity and well I never really went back to University. I met my wife at the Centre, after working at Camp Jabulani for 5 years we decided we would like to spread our wings in the industry. We got an opportunity in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve which was amazing but not as amazing as the being able to come back to where it all started.

Favourite part about living in the bush and in particular, the Kapama Private Game Reserve?

There is no better way to wake in the middle of the night and hear the Camp Jabulani elephants rumble as they communicate with one another during the night.

A never forget moment from your time at Camp Jabulani?

One evening during an elephant walk we came over a little hill and startled a male white rhino. The rhino started running towards us, with the intention to investigate what had startled it. It happened so quickly, before we knew it Jabulani pushed me out of the way, challenging the rhino. The stand-off that lasted felt like a lifetime but in reality it was only few seconds. The male rhino then turned around and ran off. Jabulani turned towards it in an almost light-hearted way as if he is saying, “Come on, get a move on.”

How has your relationship with Africa and her wildlife changed while at the lodge?

Growing up in Africa one can very easily become complacent about the animals seen every day. Being a guide for a long time, I had the privilege to experience Africa through the eyes of my guests, with a fresh perspective every day.

What is it like to spend time with the Camp Jabulani elephants?

Having worked at Camp Jabulani for 5 years and then leaving, the one constant piece missing was the elephants. Being back at Camp Jabulani is almost as if I came home and love seeing the elephants. Needless to say I try to spend as much time with them as I can. Nothing can compare to spending time with such magnificent animals.

You favourite meal on the menu?

Chilled tomato and apple gazpacho soup.

Favourite time in the bush and the best way to start the day?

Early morning. The best way to start the day is by watching the elephants start their day as they walk out into the bush.

The best way to unwind on a day off?

Sitting at one of the most interesting birding spots on the reserve and trying to identify as many bird species as possible.

What unusual and unexpected things does your job entail?

Unclogging drains in the middle of the night always makes for an interesting evening.

To Protect and to Serve in the Wilderness of South Africa

CJ_shawu-herd4

To protect and to serve – these words aren’t merely the dictum of US police departments. They’re what drive so many conservationists in Africa, fighting each day to conserve the Earth we call home.

They’re the words of special people like Adine Roode, Camp Jabulani lodge owner and elephant conservationist, and her team, who continue to inspire hope with their efforts to save the elephants and other endangered species of the continent in their special place in the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Following their adventures adds a wild spark to our days back home, in the city, as they remind us that there is always hope as long as individuals continue to, well, protect and conserve.

In Adine’s own words, here is an update on another successful introduction of an elephant orphan to the Camp Jabulani herd.