West Valley Lodge
West Valley Lodge, or Vallée Ouest Lodge, is a newly opened accommodation since May 2019 close to the village of Antsalaka in north Madagascar. The area is on a plateau about 600 metres above sea level, which enjoys a slightly cooler climate than elsewhere in the same region of the country.
Built in style of an orderly Malagasy village, conveniences are no more than necessary, such as a comfortable bed with mosquito net, running water and shower and toilet in each bungalow. The real luxury is after all nature itself: The sounds of the little rivers running between the houses, the wind, birds and other creatures, especially the nightly concert of innumerable frogs. A bonus of the existence of these tailless amphibians in the area is that their favourite food happens to be mosquitoes and as a result, there are very few mosquitoes even during rainy periods.
There is no TV or generator and no motorised vehicles can reach the valley so peace and quiet are guaranteed. Solar is used and a dim light at night is powered up by solar chargers throughout the day. It's difficult to find any place where a good rest is much easier.
Much of the farmlands surrounding Antsalaka is where most of the country's kaht grows, a widespread and illegal class C drug that is tolerated by the authorities. At West Valley Lodge, however, no kaht is cultivated. Instead, a wide range of naturally organic fruits and vegetables are and whatever is in season will be freshly prepared by the kitchen and oftentimes even plucked from the ground, tree or bush at the time of order.
The slow food concept applies both in terms of the use of almost only local ingredients and the slowness of preparation since ingredients are harvested at the time of cooking. Rarely anything needs to stay in a fridge or freezer before. Also, mineral water is sourced and filtered at the lodge, although guests who are dubious about its purity can always order bottled Eau Vive.
Trekking trails are endless in all directions around West Valley Lodge. Either set off on your own accord or ask a local to show you the sometimes otherwise hidden attractions.
West Valley Lodge was founded by Dolie Monunibo who herself grew up in the village of Antsalaka. Together with her husband Toto Mounibo from Diego Suarez and a dedicated team of gardeners, planters, kitchen and service staff, they welcome visitier to their their tropical farm and nature lodge in North Madagascar.
First row from left to right: Jean Chry (Manager in Charge), Lionel (Gardener), Dada Fara (Planter of Vegetables).
Second row: Randria (Carpenter), Clement (Vegetables and Gardening), Papan'i Amba (Security).
Third row: Pasteur (Security), Fona (Driver), Dada Michel (Mason).
Fourth row: Nina (Houskeeping), Mamani Oliska (Maid), Dolie (Boss).
West Valley and Antsalaka are close to an entry point of Montagne d'Ambre National Park and route leading through the park between Joffreville and Antsalaka. If driving along RN6 from Diego Suarez, turn right after 60km at the sign for Antsalaka and Park National d'Ambre. Antsalaka is 7km from the RN6 and thereafter another 1.5km of walking trail leads to West Valley Lodge.
For further information, rates and reservations, contact:
Rue Sadi Carnot
Tel: +261 (0)33 37 954 03 / +261 (0)32 05 597 75