Just inland from the village of Ifaty is the small Reniala Private Reserve. This is a reserve whose chief attractions are the magnificent Baobab forest, a spiny forest and for those interested in feathered friends, a mecca for birders.
Entry starts from 10000 Ariary, and includes the shorted botanical circuit, which only take an hour or so. This was sufficient for us. The guides are knowledgeable, and in our case were not repeating by rote.
If you cannot tell a Baobab from a Flame tree or a Balsa tree, this is the place for you to get the knowledge. The oldest of the Baobabs is 12m in diameter and 1200 years old. Though it looks like the trees are dead, they are dormant, waiting for the wet season to return, when they will burst back to life with a brief flowering. All we saw were the remnant fruit 9which look more like something one would play cricket with than a foodstuff!).
The reserve has a small zoo, and even some cheap bungalows
Stroll along the beach either side of the Le Paradisier Resort, just to watch the local lifestyle.
We watched the local fishermen gather to find customers to take out to the reef for snorkeling. local women bringing the days catch back home for cooking, and a group of girls who sung to us as the sun set (and requested soaps and shampoos from the room for their effort)
See accomodation tip for further info.
We ate here 3 evenings.
Favorite Dish: Definitely not the fish! I loved getting the bones out but it didn't taste very nice.