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La vallée du Sambirano

Practical information on La vallée du Sambirano

  • Encounters with locals
  • Countryside
  • Mountain
  • River
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
Begin at Ambanja
When to go
Between April and October (dry season). Risk of cyclones between late December and mid-April.
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of La vallée du Sambirano

Julie Sabatier Seasoned Traveller
73 written opinions

The green side of the long Sambirano Valley contrasts with the dry landscape of savannah and red soil on the western coast of the island. 

My suggestion:
Visit a cocoa plantation and sample beans fresh from their pods.
My review

Sambirano Valley is bordered by two massifs. To the west is the Manongarivo Massif and to the east is the Tsaratanana Massif, which is home to a beautiful high-altitude primary forest and Mount Maromokotra, the highest point on the island at 2,876 metres.

Sambirano Valley extends over more than 3,000 square kilometres.Sheltered from the winds thanks to the mountains, it enjoys a micro-climate that, combined with the drainage of alluvial deposits from the Sambirano River, makes its plains very fertile. This fertility is very beneficial for growing pepper, vanilla, coffee, ylang-ylang, vetiver, patchouli, etc. And it is also very beneficial for the globally popular "Criollo" cocoa growing in the shade of the high-altitude primary forest in this region of Madagascar.

In the village of Antsirasira, the landscape alternates between forest, paddy fields and plantations and offers a beautiful palette of greens to enjoy. The cocoa beans dry on the side of the trails and the heady aroma of their fermentation emanates from the villages: an enticing reason to visit!

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