Location: Betsileo Country Lodge is a small rustic hotel located near Ambalavao, in the central highlands of Madagascar. The nearby Andringitra National Park is a paradise for hikers. Tsaranoro Valley offers a wide range of stunning trails, from easy, to challenging trails. Located among granite rock formations, the ecotourism project Parc d’Anja is just south of town and well worth a visit. Troops of ring-tailed lemurs, perhaps Madagascar ‘s best known lemurs, can be seen only a short walk away. On this natural border between mountains and lowlands, and between cattle-breeding and rice cultivation, two Malagasy ethnic groups meet: the Betsileo and the Bara.
How to get here: To get here you will have to drive 480 km south from Antananarivo. An overnight in Antsirabe and then one in Fianarantsoa is recommended to balance off the journey. Thehotel is located in Latintsena, 65 km south of Fianarantsoa (1,5 hours away by car) and 8 km from Ambalavao (10 min away by car).
Structure: Betsileo Country Lodge has 10 light and airy en-suite rooms with a simple design and comfortably furnished. In the pretty gardens there is a welcome swimming pool. The rooms from the main building are suitable for families with young kids and wheelchair travellers, and the comfortable en-suite bungalows in the garden have balconies with spectacular views on the mountains and the valley. The pool bar has great views of the mountains and the restaurant serves international food, such as Thai soup, American hamburgers, Italian pizza’s, Indonesian beef stew and Dutch cheese sandwiches.
Why staying here: There are not many options in regards to hotels in the area. Betsileo Country Lodge is without doubt the best in the region and is located in a scenic location, right on the NR7 route. From the hotel you can see the Three Brothers. Ambalavao is a picturesque town surrounded by mountain peaks, rice fields and vineyards. Betsileo people are very diligent cattle farmers. On Wednesday and Thursday, the largest zebu market in the country takes place in Ambalavao. In addition, there are also winegrowers, traditional ‘paper makers’ as well as weavers of wild silk which are interesting craft places to visit.
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The Route Nationale 7 Tour is a private guided itinerary along the most popular route in Madagascar. RN7 Route presents a combination of sightseeing, nature walks and cultural discovery - see Madagascar in a nutshell in 12 days. The tour starts in the chillier Asian part of the island, in Antananarivo, ending in the African part of it, in Toliara. Along 960 km of tar road, the landscape will be changing every day. RN7 will take you along terraced highlands, dramatic mountains, dry savannah, impressive baobab trees and exotic thorny forests, ending nicely on a beautiful beach with turquoise waters. The scenery along the way is truly spectacular.View full itinerary