There’s nothing like hearing such positive feedback from clients, read their story below to get inspired and learn what Madagascar has to offer as far as surf, family and cultural experience goes :
“A Liaison with a Seductive Temptress
Words By : Michael DeVilliers
Okay, okay so I can’t make any more excuses about not giving True Blue a report back of our recent trip to Fort Dauphin, Madagascar….they have asked me a couple of times to give them some feedback and each time I have been evasive about when I would do it.
My reasoning was simple….much like the surf community tries to protect a new surf spot by not disclosing it’s whereabouts or it’s quality, my reluctance to share our experience in Fort Dauphin was driven by a selfish desire to try and ensure that this place remained just as it is…a seductive temptress that lures you in with her authentic simple soul-restoring charms.
The Lodge was our home for 10 days…..this place is THE place to stay in Fort Dauphin…..with magnificent views from every room and a short walk to a fantastic swimming beach and surf spot (Baie de Monsigneur) it ticked all the boxes for a group that included surfers, young kids looking for a safe place to swim, snorkel and SUP and also for those who just wanted to relax with a good book.
While there was plenty of time for relaxing at the hotel pool or on the beach, Madagascar is a place that needs to be experienced, it’s a place that will challenge all your senses if you let it….just walking or driving through the villages chatting to the locals and sampling the homemade samoosa’s or tea being sold by tiny old ladies from the little roadside huts was an experience in itself.
The surf in Fort Dauphin can be a little fickle and during our stay we had unseasonal wind and swell direction for the first couple of days. That being said, we still SUP’ed most days as the setup is such that there is always somewhere where the wind is offshore…..during our 2nd week we enjoyed fun 3ft rights at Baie de Monsigneur which is the local break 10min walk from the lodge. One thing is certain though, this place must have huge potential when it’s on.
One of the guys with us had never surfed or SUP’ed before and managed to catch and ride his first wave ever on an inflatable SUP…..not only was he completely stoked, but it reminded us all of the essence of surfing and, after a few of the local rums, we decided that it was also a great metaphor for life.
To be honest, it was probably not a bad thing that the surf wasn’t firing as it allowed us to experience Fort Dauphin in another guise.
We managed to spend a day and night in one of the Lemur reserves where the kids had an absolute jol interacting with these little creatures; we even managed to spot the tiny nocturnal Mouse Lemur during our evening walk which, according to some sceptics in our group, was probably fake and had been tied to the tree to satisfy those coming to search for these elusive things. The sad reality is these Lemurs now need to be protected as their numbers have declined due to the locals eating them and also deforestation.
We also did a day trip to Lokaro Bay. This involved a boat trip through the mangroves followed by a short hike through a village and hilly surrounds before being spat out onto a beautiful little beach where we spent the day swimming, fishing, relaxing and eating freshly caught crayfish prepared for us by the local villagers.
On another day we had planned to visit the museum in Fort Dauphin but our plans were scuppered when we ended up getting stuck at a fantastic little pizza place (Coco Beach) that overlooks the mangroves. Run by a Frenchman who was very free with his rum, our lunch turned into a very festive daytime disco with everyone dancing to the tunes of Vusi Mahlasela while the Frenchman looked on in amusement.
Other days were spent on the beach where the kids could be kids….hunting for sea ‘things’ in the rock pools, snorkelling, swimming and SUPing on the inflatable SUP’s; feeling hungry, merely ask the locals and anything from fresh oysters, fish and crayfish could be prepared for us on little coal fires on the beach.
People have asked me what the trip was like and, to be honest, I can’t really do it justice with words ….even the pictures do not capture the full experience of being there….it is more than the sum of it’s parts and creates a simple unique experience that is so refreshing but hard to find in today’s world.
Much like catching one’s first wave, the experience cannot be explained but needs to be experienced…………….
Shot Greg Bertish, our Surf Travel Guru, for teeing everything up including the Rental SUP’s….can’t wait to get back.”