Canal des Pangalanes, Eastern Madagascar
Bush House is a small eco-lodge located in the east coast Toamasina region of Madagascar, within the Canal des Pangalanes lake district, where fresh water lakes merge with the Indian Ocean. It's perfectly placed to visit the Palmarium and its lemurs.
At a Glance
Lovely walks down the beach to see some of Madagascar's amazing plants, including the pitcher plant
Easy access to the Palmarium, to spot a wide variety of lemurs
Bamboo lemurs will come right into the dining room in the mornings
The wild beach of the Indian Ocean is a mere thirty minutes' walk away
View several varieties of endemic orchid in the Palmarium
The Canal des Pangalanes is an unusual phenomenon, a collection of natural rivers and artificial lakes that stretches 600km along Madagascar’s east coast, although it is navigable only in the northern section. As you cruise along you will pass many local fishermen and see a fascinating assortment of local vessels piled high with anything from logs to vegetables and with colorful square sails made from leftover pieces of carpet or curtain. The canal terminates in the north at the large port of Taomasina (Tamatave), Madagascar’s second city.
Bush House can only be reached by boat, helicopter, train or 4×4 wheel drive. Once you get there, however, you can watch the lemurs, discover the natural botanical gardens, take a low-impact hike tour, or just enjoy the peace and quiet.
Bush House has ten en-suite rooms, each with a deck and the main area houses a bar and small sitting area as well as a dining room. The atmosphere is friendly and the accommodation is basic with limited supplies of hot water and electricity. Six of the rooms are situated just above the small beach with another four up some steps above the main lodge. Of these four, two have a mezzanine with a single bed which is ideal for a child.
The lodge is located very close to the Palmarium Private Reserve (a two-minute boat ride away) where guests can see a variety of lemur species, including the indri, at close range.
Bush house has 11 bungalows built of local materials with simple style handcrafted furnishings, a double bed with mosquito net and private shower/WC. All bungalows have a large terrace with a spectacular view over the lake. There are six waterfront rooms and four hilltop rooms. Shower water is heated over a flame in a small water tank behind each bungalow. Electricity is powered by a generator and is available in the morning and evening.
This property is not suitable for very young children as it is remote and does not offer any specific childcare facilities. However, older children are most welcome and would find a stay here most rewarding and beneficial due to the experience and knowledge they will gain from it.
The small outside restaurant, which is sheltered under palm roofing, serves yummy Malagasy, Creole and French food. The bar offers a selection of drinks and cocktails and, of course, the traditional local rum assortment in a large variety of flavors.
Various walks and tours around Bush House can be arranged. The use of canoes is free of charge, while boat tours are available at an additional cost. Visits can be arranged to Palmarium, a private natural reserve on a peninsula with several species of lemurs, endemic palms and orchids. It is also possible to hike to the Crocodile Lake, where numerous Pitcher Plants can be seen at the shore of the Crocodile Lake.
Location & Directions
Canal des Pangalanes, Eastern Madagascar
Bushhouse is situated in Ankany Ny Nofy (the Nest of Dreams), in the east coast Toamasina region of Madagascar, within the Canal des Pangalanes lake district, where fresh water lakes merge with the Indian Ocean.
When to go
Any time of year is fine for a visit except from January to March, when heavy rainfall in many areas can make some roads all but impassable, and when there’s a high risk of cyclones in the east and northeast. In general, the best time to travel in most areas is April and October/November. The coolest time to travel anywhere is during the dry season (May to October).
Average maximum temperatures vary from about 30°C in coastal areas (higher in summer) to around 25°C on the hauts plateaux. In Antananarivo and other highland areas, temperatures during winter can drop to 10°C and even lower during the night.