Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge: The Experience

Located in Nosy Komba Island, Madagascar

Here on this small remote island off the coast of a larger remote island, all activities take on an air of adventure. There is much to do on the Nosy Be archipelago, and Tsara Komba is central to all of it. It is one of the only properties that offers an enriching forest experience as well as activities on the water. Navigate Nosy Komba by foot or boat—there are no roads. Walk through the tropical forest and discover a multitude of endemic species, from frolicking macaco lemurs to fragrant flowers. Find seclusion on a boat trip, visiting uninhabited islands and traditional fishing villages, and slipping through thick mangroves. Go snorkeling and diving in sapphire waters rich in marine life, and follow local guides to secret fishing spots. Explore fragrant plantations and experience authentic Malagasy life in the nearby village of Ampangorina, or simply play castaway on the golden sands that spread below the lodge.

Things to Do

The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.

Nature Walks

Stroll through the Eden Garden, a botanical garden where hummingbirds and parrots flutter among some 200 endemic species of tropical plants; and discover the Baobab Nursery, which incubates unusual baobab species and spiny succulents.

Exploration by Sea

Set out to discover the island’s coves by pirogue, a traditional dugout canoe. Or, borrowing equipment from the lodge, snorkel just offshore or try your hand at bottom fishing.

Recreation

The lodge is equipped for many outdoor games and activities. Play beach volleyball, racquetball, and badminton, fly a kite or fling a Frisbee, or unwind over board games in the main lodge.

Optional Activities and Experiences

The following experiences, as well as excursions by 4x4 or bicycle or with a private guide are offered at an additional cost.

Half-Day Island Tour

Cruise along the shore of Nosy Komba on a motorized wood boat. Stop at a traditional village market and encounter black lemurs in the wild.

Pirogue Tour

Accompanied by a local guide, cruise the coves of Nosy Komba by pirogue canoe. Get out at Tam-Tam village, famous for the outrigger canoes made here, and the craftsmen’s village of Ampangorina, where locals create beautiful tablecloths, lace, masks, necklaces, and wood carvings.

Fishing

Whether you want to take to the open sea to troll for your catch, or try your hand at palangrotte fishing with a line and hook, the lodge offers a variety of fishing experiences. Catch (and release) swordfish, marlin, Jack Crevalle fish, African red snapper, king mackerel, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, dolphinfish, and barracudas.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Beginners as well as experienced divers and snorkelers are spoiled for choices in the Mozambique Channel surrounding the Nosy Be archipelago. Swim past corals, moray eels, and perhaps a giant grouper at shipwreck sites. Encounter kingfish, barracudas, tree-like black corals, and spotted eagle rays at Jo Langouste Point, where tens of thousands of fish can be seen during one dive, or at the Tanikely underwater reserve, a paradise of marine biodiversity. In November, swim alongside manta rays at Manta Point. Half-day and full-day outings are available.

Whale-Watching Trip

Join a knowledgeable guide on a boat trip through the bay in pursuit of whales and whale sharks (August through December). Or head to Russian Bay for a wildlife cruise, and explore beaches where sea turtles nest.

Trekking Tour

Follow the lodge’s naturalist guide on trek through Nosy Komba’s forest. As you ascend rain forest trails to the island’s volcanic peak, discover endemic flora and fauna—including the island’s famous black lemurs, chameleons, and butterflies—and learn about medicinal plants that grow in the wild here. Stop for a guided visit to Ampangorina village, then return to the lodge via pirogue canoe.

Plantation Tour

Breathe in the aroma of fresh pepper, pink berries, lemongrass, and ylang-ylang—the main ingredient in Chanel No. 5—on a guided tour of historic Millot Plantation, and immerse yourself in the renowned chocolatier’s decadent world of cocoa. Sit down to a delicious lunch in the old farmhouse.

Island Day Trips

Set out with a guide on a variety of island outings to explore the mangroves, beaches and reefs of nearby islands. On Nosy Iranja learn about the hawksbill turtles that nest here—inspiring the island’s nickname, Turtle Island. Visit a fishing village on Nosy Mamoko, and canoe up a river lined with mangroves. Go snorkeling and watch for the panther chameleon on Nosy Faly; or spend a day discovering the larger island of Nosy Be, home to a sacred tree, a sugar refinery and rum distillery, and a lively traditional market. Find fragrant vanilla and ylang-ylang amid the wild blooms on Nosy Sakatia, the “orchid island.”

Lokobe Tour

Join a naturalist guide on a half-day exploration of the Lokobé nature reserve. Encounter its 42 species such as boa constrictors, Asian paradise flycatchers, and malachite kingfishers.

Mitsio Archipelago Tour

Discover the laid-back fishing villages of this cluster of pristine islands fringed by vibrant coral reefs. At La Grande Mitsio, marvel at huge basalt columns that look like organ pipes protruding into the sea.

Spa Treatments

From the privacy of your lodge balcony, relax with a rejuvenating massage using essential Madagascan oils or enjoy a manicure or pedicure.

Cooking Class with the Chef

Join chef Tina Harry in the kitchen and learn his secrets to cooking with Malagasy flavors and spices.

Helicopter Flight-seeing

Soar over the archipelago in a helicopter, taking in spectacular aerial views of islands, lakes, and turquoise seas.

Food and Drink

At the main lodge at the top of the hill, Divine House Restaurant takes the crown as one of Madagascar’s finest restaurants. Adopting the slow food ethos, chef Tina Harry relies on wild and organic local ingredients to superb dishes that draw together Malagasy and French flavors. The menu changes daily, depending on what he picks up at the markets, what’s ripe in the kitchen garden, and what the fishermen bring in on their pirogues. Guests choose between three-course and nine-course à la carte menus; specialties range from barracuda pancakes and swordfish steak to lacquered duck and decadent desserts laced with Madagascan vanilla and cocoa. Vegan and vegetarian meals can be arranged.

The refined dishes served here are rivaled only by the views across the bay, with mainland Madagascar and the Tsaratanana Mountains in the distance. The rich cuisine is paired with a fine selection of French and South African wine, and the bar whips up a legendary coconut rum punch—an ideal way to toast the sunset over the bay from the lodge terrace.

In addition to the Divine House Restaurant and lodge terrace, guests can choose to dine in the privacy of their own room or on the beach or beach deck. Gourmet picnics can be arranged off site. Meal times are flexible.

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