Location: Domaine d’Ambohimanitra is a vanilla plantation with an on-site lodge, located 45 km to the south of Sambava, near the coastal town of Antalaha, in the east of Madagascar. The estate is located on a hill with a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean. The name of the lodge means “hill of perfume”.
How to get here: The closest airport from the plantation is Sambava (SVB). From the airport it takes around 1 hours to get to the south, to Domaine d’Ambohimanitra.
Structure: Domaine d’Ambohimanitra presents 60 ha of vanilla plantations and other spices such as cloves, ylang yland, cinnamon and pink peppercorns. The plantation has on-site lodge with simple but comfortable suites. The views down to the sea are stupendous and the whole place has a refined and relaxing air. They grow various types of vanilla, starting with the Mexican variety, the original spice from Latin America, the pompona or the planifolia. The latter is the most cultivated variety. It takes three years to produce the first pods, after the vines have been grafted on top of stems. You will be offered a cooking workshop with a renowned chef and will learn the secrets of vanilla from plantation to plate.
Why staying here: Vanilla is a cultural and ecological symbol of Madagascar. The best time to visit is between May and February, August being the month when the vanilla is in flower, a very beautiful time. Vanilla is a delicate orchid, which cannot reproduce itself without external intervention. This know-how is essentially shared by Malagasy women. This plant requires patience and passion. It is necessary to fertilize each flower of each vine. In order to obtain 1700 tons of vanilla, it is necessary to fertilize more than 40 million flowers by hand! It is through the passionate work of the workers that we obtain this fruit.
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The Vanilla Triangle Tour is an 11-day adventure itinerary in the north and north-east of Madagascar, in the land of scents. This off the beaten track program has exceptionally been designed for nature lovers and hikers, including several overnights camping in the forest. Awake your senses to the perfume of spices, vanilla, ylang ylang and many essential oils. Learn about the great culinary and medical traditions of the island. Discover and explore virgin rainforest with unique animals and plants. You will forever remember the time spend in the middle of green landscapes and joyful rivers. Finish off on the tropical beaches of Nosy Be and the nearby islets. A good level of fitness is desirable.View full itinerary