Cloves Encounters at Ambohikarivo Fénérive-Est

The city of Fénérive-Est or Fenoarivo Atsinanana in Madagascar is where the Betsimisaraka people come from. Once the area was inhabited by the Antanaratra ethnic group, but they were expelled from their lands by the rival Tsimbala clan. However, the future king Ratsimilaho, son of Princess Rahena and the British pirate Thomas White was able to reclaim this territory and founded the Betsimisaraka ethnic group in 1712. While in Fénérive-Est, make a small detour through the village of Ambohikarivo.
It takes 20 minutes by 4WD from Fénérive-Est. Still unexplored, this village is famous for its clove plantations. The 900 villagers who live here subsist on this harvest and on an artisan distillery. Pressed in an old-fashioned way, the oil possesses a very distinctive and excellent flavour. Accept the invitation of the villagers who will gladly show you around the plantations and the distillery and, for the younger ones, the manufacture of wickerwork. After your tour you can eat and sleep with the locals for a total immersion into the village life.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine September 2018

Useful Information

When to go

Ambohikarivo shares the same tropical climate as Fénérive-Est. Rainfall is heavy throughout the year (a slight drop in October). The temperature averages around 26°C.

How to get there

To get to Fénérive-Est, take the RN2 to Tamatave then follow the RN5. Fénérive-Est is 100km north of the capital Betsimisaraka. The village of Ambohikarivo is 4km from the city. Walk for 1h15 or drive 20 minutes by off-roader.

Where to stay

There is no hotel structure in Ambohikarivo. For accommodation, return to the town of Fénérive-Est and drop by the Oasis Lodge or Sahorana Lodge, which we recommend. Most of the accommodation infrastructure is situated in Mahambo, a tourist town a few kilometres from Fénérive-Est on the way to Tamatave (Hotel La Pirogue or Hotel Hibiscus). To fully enjoy the calm of the east coast, opt for a night in Foulpointe. There is no shortage of places to stay here. The Azura Resort &Spa and the Hotel La Cigale are particularly noteworthy. If you decide to head directly back to Tamatave after visiting Fénérive-Est, book your rooms at the Calypso Hotel & Spa, the Sharon Hotel and the Sunny Hotel & Golf, all a good standard.

Where to eat

For a gourmet stay east of Tamatave, take a seat at the restaurant La Veranda, or various other restaurants offer food and dining.

What to see

The Tamatave - Fénérive-Est axis is not short of attractions. You will find on your way the seaside resort of Foulpointe, an ideal place to swim in the waters of the Indian Ocean with complete safety. As you continue your trip, you will arrive in Mahambo, a very quiet place famous for its surf spots.