EXCURSION TO FORT MANDA AND RELAXING ON THE BEACH
Swimming, Cultural, Tasting
This excursion is an opportunity to admire the unspoilt beauty and at times wild stretches of Madagascar's east coast. We'll plunge into the distant past, discovering some of the history and traditions of this exotic, magical country, ending with a relaxing spell on the beach sipping a cocktail.
What we will see
- Centre of Tamatave
- Landscapes and typical rural villages of Madagascar
- Mahavelona and Fort Manda
- Stop at the beach and welcome cocktail
What we will do
- We leave the port in our minivan and cross the centre of Tamatave.
- We'll discover a large, typically African city, busy and full of traffic, with evidence of its colonial past which, although eroded by time and the often inclement forces of nature, can still be seen in the façades of the oldest and noblest buildings.
- We'll be given a taste of local modern life, with rickshaws pulled by young boys, women crowding the markets and men heading to work: it is an opportunity to admire the colours of this diverse and fascinating country, learning more about a culture that is very different to our own, but which has much in common with the rural lives of our ancestors.
- We leave the city and head north, admiring the varied and scenic landscape in a succession of coast, countryside, tended fields, forests, lagoons and villages where time appears to have stood still.
- We arrive in the city of Mahavelona, in the Madagascan language, or Foulpointe for the European colonists, to visit the remains of a 19th century fortress: Fort Manda.
- We'll be immediately struck by the thickness and character of its walls, built by the Merina tribe using ancient building techniques mixing stones, debris from the sea bed and egg white in a blend that over the centuries has resisted enemy attacks and adverse weather conditions.
- A pleasant walk inside the fortress will give us the chance to admire the remains of the soldiers' quarters and those of the military leaders, as well as a large tree at the foot of which gifts are still made to the ancestors.
- Our guide will tell us some fascinating facts about the history of the country, its changing royalty and the dominions that have alternated over the centuries.
- We then continue in our minivan to a simple hotel facing the ocean for a stop at the beach.
- Here we'll be greeted with a delicious welcome cocktail and savour the sweet taste of freshly-picked fruit, then relax to the rhythm of African music and dive into the blue waters before returning to the ship.
What you need to know
Transport and facilities in Madagascar are not necessarily of the standard usually found in developed countries.
This tour features an approximately 4-hour drive by minivan along local roads that are not in the best of conditions. Consequently, it is not recommended for
guests who suffer from back problems. Insect repellent is highly recommended. Casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes with non-slip soles are advisable for the visit to
the fort. For guests who intend to take a refreshing dip in the hotel pool we suggest bringing the onboard beach towel and a swimming costume. Space is limited, so please
reserve early. The means of transport used are small and do not have air conditioning. The excursion does not feature guides on each bus but some local guides will assist
groups providing information during the main stops. English speaking guides are available in limited numbers; if they are not available, the excursions will be conducted in
French. Due to the high number of tours and buses involved in the excursion there may not be a representative from the ship present. The beach offers sun beds, and parasols
(payable at the beach).?