activities and excursions
While staying at HOTEL ENTREMER, there are a lot of possibilities of activities, for a week-end, a week or more, close to Belo or further away,from the farniente pleasure to the discovery of the Vezo culture.
CLOSE TO BELO
There is a beach on the seaside (water at 22 à 33° C depending on the season), with crystal clear waters from the Mozambique canal , which is reachable very close to the hotel, with a natural kind of swimming pool with sand floor, protected from waves by a bar of polished rocks, therefore very convenient for children.
At a few meters, dhows anchor for a stay at the village where they have been built.
An easy walk on the lagoon side offers the possibility to see those shipyards. Between the hotel and Belo’s market (15 mn), more than twenty Brittany schooners, with their two equal masts, are under construction, or, during raining season, under repair or being caulked.
Those transportation boats, carrying passengers, salt, rice or cement, are done with all the know-how transmitted, generation after generation, since the XIXth century. The boat launchings are celebrated by local feasts where the entire village joins the clan which is the owner of the boat to tow the boat down to the sea, with songs and conch music.
The life of this Vezo village is very quiet and authentic, punctuated by the coming and going of the square sailed fishing pirogues, the rasping of the masikoro carts bringing coal from inland and the vondro, children’s shouting and playing with their scale models of pirogues or dhows, women made up with white and ochre face paintings.
After returning to Hotel Entremer, why not organize a beach volley game, fly kites on the desert beach or just borrow a book from the library, take a cool drink while playing cards, chess or darts or enjoy a massage.
FURTHER North, Menaky Bay.
A nice excursion on foot (1h00 by the beach or by the inland route – some springs of fresh water in a tropical landscape), by kayak (polyethylene canoes, 2.78 m long), sailing boat, or motor boat.
The inlet deepens in a mangrove where “botry” are sailing down to the « port au sel » to load salt sacks from the saltworks.
At the bay entrance, quiet and deep water allows beautiful observations of seabed (snorkeling kits available at the hotel), trolling or angling fishing with nice catches possible (fishing equipment not provided, but Tsiko tsara is equipped with fishing rods rack).
In front , a little Vezo village has developed eco – tourism animations, to present their local way of life, culture of red seeweeds, fabrication of fishing nets , beauty masks .
FURTHER West, a strip of coral islands.
The closest island is a 1h30 cruise away with the Tsiko tsara or with traditional pirogue : turquoise sea, white shining sand, dark blue sky. You may meet, in this recently created marine national park, the last nomad people who are fishing and drying their catches. Coral banks host a very varied fauna, to observe by snorkeling or scuba diving.
Sea excursions offer as well, depending on chance and appropriate season, the opportunity to observe dolphins and whales. For fishermen, the waters are very good.
FURTHER South – Belo’s mangrove or Antanimanimbo Bay
To explore with kayaks (provided) or sailing pirogues, to better glide over the water between mangroves trees and come across fishing birds.
STILL FURTHER – the Reserve park (MNP) of Mitea (or Mité).
Reachable by sea (2 hours with a motorboat) or by land (2h30 with a four wheel drive vehicle, between early July and November), the site has many attractions : large and high dunes diving west down to the sea creating a long desert beach, descending eastward towards two holy lakes sheltering many different kind of birds, including Bernier ducks and pink flamingos. At the edge, a small forest with some beautiful baobab trees. Subject to the tides constraints, you can access to a nearby bay where amazing (flying foxes) bats live in the mangrove trees.
FURTHER East – Antsira salt works.
The two large Antsira salt works, crossed by the track arriving from Morondava or from Tulear, are also interesting to visit (3 hours by foot for experienced walkers, with ideally a return by four wheel drive vehicle or by carts). The salt works are still run as in the old times, by progressive overflowing basins, until the last where the salt is harvested with a crowbar or pickax. Quite a lunar view, refreshed by a nice walk in the dwarf baobabs park with many species endemic to the Menabe.
On the same track, 14 kms from the hotel, you can walk in the Ambararata park (7 kms walking trails), among impressive numbers of baobabs, spurges and “Didieracées” , sheltering a large variety of birds and lemurs . It is possible to buy entry tickets at our hotel (45 000 Ar for foreigners , 2 000 Ar for native people).
We have ourselves experienced all of these proposed excursions and therefore will be able and pleased to give you the information and support of any kind you may need (local village people to contact offering services at reasonable prices, availability of our Tsiko Tsara speedboat, picnic to take with you or bivouac to organize, equipment we can lend as kayak, snorkeling kit …).