Community. Culture & Conservation
Community and culture
The small village of Ambodiforaha and their rice fields are a short walk from the lodge and the friendly people of the Betsimisaraka tribe are eager to provide an insight into their traditions and techniques of subsistence farming and life in the forest. The Masoala Forest Lodge is committed to a program of community benefit to assist these people to maintain their sustainable lifestyle in this protected environment.
Only local Malagasy craftsmen and artisans were commissioned for the construction and furnishing of the lodge, demonstrating the local craftsmanship and providing job creation.
The lodge serves as a living cultural museum, where traditional artefacts and utilitarian objects manufactured by the local communities are in daily use and on display, providing a sharing of cultural information with the guests and a sense of pride and ownership for the local community.
This vast rainforest of the Masoala Peninsula contains the largest tract of pristine rainforest remaining in Madagascar and being especially species-rich, Masoala is known in conservation as the “hot spot within the hotspot” of bio-diversity that is Madagascar.
This rainforest is home to primates, carnivores, birds and reptiles and countless plant species, of which over ninety percent are endemic to Madagascar.
Madagascar has the richest primate diversity of any country on the planet. Lemurs, a group of primates that is endemic to the island of Madagascar, are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for the bush meat trade.
If not protected, logging or slash and burn farming could eliminate half this forest and it’s wildlife by mid-century. Yet, these are the lungs of the world.
With this in mind, the Masoala Forest Lodge seeks to complement the efforts of Madagascar National Parks, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Zoo Zurich in the conservation of this rainforest and the Antongil Bay by embracing a philosophy of sustainable, earth-friendly design, construction, operation and maintenance, while providing an alternative and sustainable source of income to the local population