Go down Sambirano River

The Sambirano River, located in Ambanja, north-west of Madagascar, has its source in the Tsaratanàna massif and flows to the bay of Ampasindava. It is possible to go down it, sometimes on foot, sometimes in a canoe. A sporting and meditative adventure where the exuberance of vegetation is omnipresent.
Remnants of primary forest, the imposing bouquets of ravinala and the majestic trees testify to the natural opulence of the place. The birds singing above the trees form a most harmonious sight. One has to imagine entering these beautiful corridors with a woody aspect where rice fields and farms follow one another. The western granary completes the journey with a spectacular mangrove swamp and vast areas planted with mangroves harbouring luxurious fauna and flora. The time of descent depends on the rhythm and desires of each one. It can go from one day to several days. Several stops are possible, especially in the village of Andranomandevy, Antanambao and Ambobaka.

This article was featured in Prime Magazine March 2018

Useful Information


When to go

With a mild climate and less rainfall, try the descent of Sambirano during the dry season, ie from April to November. This region of northwestern Madagascar is marked by heavy rains, these are the most favourable months to go.


How to get there

Opportunity to enjoy the scenery of the National Highway 7 (RN7) or take a regular flight to Nosy Be via Air Madagascar. Ambanja is only a few hours away.


Where to stay

Palma Nova Hotel offers various air-conditioned rooms. Family atmosphere and traditional music provided live by local musicians. As the ecosystem is in the spotlight in the Sambirano Valley, why not try an eco-cottage? The Panorama Inn "Mitsinjo" in Andranomandevy will give you a warm welcome.


Where to eat

Possibility of dinner in all hotels. Local flavours and fresh produce contribute to the journey and discovery of the Sambirano Valley.


What to see

In Andranomandevy, do not miss the cocoa productions, the therapeutic hot spring and the bird sanctuary. In Antanambao, enjoy a quiet location near the crystal clear Ambahatra river. The village of Ambobaka is also located along the river. It is known to be an important place for traditional medicine (massages with plants). An opportunity to visit the garden of medicinal plants. To end your journey in beauty, come invigorate yourself at the cascade of " Bons Pères ", amazing with its succession of waterfalls forming natural baths.

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