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Madagascar East - La Pirogue, Mahambo Beach

Mahambo is a coastal village with a safe swimming beach and luxuriant vegetation that comes right down to the shore in some places. It’s much quieter and generally more enticing than Foulpointe, primarily because it’s further from the main road, and while facilities are expanding it should still be some time before resort life starts to take over!

90 km north of Tamatave, this beautiful east coast village is home to some luxuriant vegetation, beautiful beaches, very easygoing locals and some nice, fun surf. The tranquility is the main mode of the village but does get interrupted by a village party every two to three weeks. A guitar will be playing somewhere most of the nights as song, beer & rum are part of what the locals call “The good, easy life in Mahambo”.


Day 1: Johannesburg –Antananarivo
Arrival in Antananarivo. We meet you. Transfer to La Ribaudière on a half board basis.

Day 2:Antananarivo –Mahambo
After breakfast, drive to the eastern part of Madagascar. From the capital to Mahambo ,you will enjoy the green landscapes composed of hills, mountains, rice fields, forests etc. Accommodation at La Pirogue on a half board basis.

Days 03-04-05-06 : Mahambo
Mahambo is the quiet place in the Indian Ocean. The hotel is located just in the front of the ocean with its wonderful beach. Accommodation at La Pirogue on a half board basis.

Day 7:Mahambo  –Antananarivo
After breakfast, return back to Antananarivo .Accommodation at La Ribaudière with dinner.

Day 8: Antananarivo –Johannesburg
Breakfast and then transfer and check in for the flight back to Johannesburg.


  • Return flights on Airlink
  • Airport taxes
  • Accommodation and meals as specified - Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • All transfers with fuel and a driver
Please enquire for pricing

A mythical Lodge in Madagascar on the East Coast , La Pirogue offers authentic and comfortable bungalows nestled in the heart of Madagascar 's vast coconut grove 3,5 hectares Bordering the white sand beach . A deliciously relaxed atmosphere as well as the generosity and attention of its staff have made the reputation of this warm and friendly lodge hotel of incomparable charm . Beyond its heavenly setting and extraordinary sunrises Madagascar . Let yourself be rocked to the rhythm " Mora Mora" fishermen from the village of Mahambo returning every morning , exposing their fishing on the beach of the Hotel Lodge La Pirogue

We offer several activities from La Pirogue

A whole range of activities in collaboration with selected local operators for their professionalism.

From July to September, Humpback whales move into the waters of St. Mary to give birth to their calves. A magic show not to be missed. Santa Maria has a multitude of dive sites, including several wrecks. Stunning underwater fauna to discover.
For hiking enthusiasts, forests Kalalao or Ambohidena dotted with small villages the opportunity to meet fauna and endemic flora and to meet a welcoming population.


Surf/Spot description

Mahambo has become my “home spot” as I have spent a total six weeks (and counting) there. I have never witnessed a flat day so there by I will call it a consistent spot. In Mahambo village you will find no less than 4 spots (3 reefs and one beach break) and 1 reef spot in the neighbouring "village" of Ambatmalama..

Beach Cafè Reef is a right hander that the local kids surf a lot. Personally I have never seen it bigger than head high as it breaks in south direction (from south and east swells that are turning into the bay) but usually clean and nice as the prominent south wind is offshore for this spot.

La Point is a beautiful right-hander that is breaking just outside of the resort Pirog. This wave can get heavy, fast and hollow, recommended for a bit more experienced surfers, mid to high tide. Even here the local crew will paddle out on smaller days but if it gets bit you will most likely find yourself alone wondering when and where to take off J

Be Maxim Reef is the longest wave in Mahambo village. The braver and better surfer you are the longer you can make this wave as you can take off more on the inside. As the most common and the biggest swells are from the south and are hitting this reef straight on it can get really big and heavy. Of course, the most common wind is from the south or south east which is a pity but most mornings the wind is not a factor and some days there are north winds transforming this spot into a classy wave. The reef can also handle a bit of south wind but the ride gets a bit choppy.

Be Maxim Beach break is the beach where you will always find a wave. On days with no wind or north wind (offshore) and a swell of 5 foot and up, this spot is host to some perfect lines lining up to hit the beach. I have had 2-3 big days surfing alone and believe me, Be Maxim gets you focused and perfectly scared, all Mora Mora flies out the window and you find yourself sharper than ever. Most days however it is a normal, good beach break where you will always find something to surf. Pay attention to the tides as high tide produces too much back wash. Even if small and windy, rent a SUP and surf on. Local French ex pat Remy is likely to be found on Be Maxim (either the beach or reef) charging his SUP twice per day.

Ambatmalama From Be Maxim, the beach continues (into a bay) for 6ish km. On the other tip of the bay you will find Ambatmalama which has to be the most consistent spot. Waves are breaking of the tip of the cape and on good days you are up for a 200m right hander ride. Finnish the wave off right on the beach and walk back to the entrance point, jump in, paddle for 10 meters and go again J This is one of few point breaks that I have surfed where I feel totally safe but still get a pretty good wave with a decent wall to work on. South wind is not a problem here, on smaller swells it even seems to help. According to the local surfer it can get big at Ambatmalam, 3xoverhead some say, getting hollow and creating a strong current, transforming this spot to an “advanced only” but I have yet to witness one of those days. Due to all exiting and entering I recommend booties for this spot. Off course, you can always paddle back to the take of point J

Shark Situation
Mada east coast is sharkwater, from what I am told. Having said that, I have not seen a single one. Mahambo surf is shark free! One reason is that in Tamatave there is a big slaughter house that lets out huge amount of blood in the water making Tamatave area very shark dense. Furthermore, I have talked to surfers who have years of experience and no one has ever seen a shark in Mahambo. Local fishermen give the same story, saying that occasionally they will se and catch a shark but always a couple of km out in the deep waters behind the reefs.

Surf to explore
On my way north of Mahambo, towards Ile Saint Marie I have seen several spots, beach breaks as points. There is much to discover, accessibility is ok, places to stay can be found (however, local standard where you should count on a madras on the floor) and on the coast there is plenty of good food where ever you go. The same goes for south of Tamatave, even better accommodation but for both of these discovery options you have to take into account the sharks, especially if close to Tamatave. Take your time, talk to the fishermen and the locals. Also remember, in Mada, if you ask a questions you will most probably get an answer, whether the person you are asking knows or does not know the answer :)
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