Bright green | In the heart of Tropical East
Lemurs are watching you! | Visit the private reserve
Bush House's Deck | The way to Paradise
Watch the wild Indian Ocean | Time for a sunset drink
Fisherman in a Pirogue | Pangalanes daily life
HISTORY OF PANGALANES CHANNEL
THE ORIGINS OF THE CANAL
History of pangalanes channel: The Pangalanes is a chain of sweet water lakes and lagoons parallel to the coast of the Indian Ocean, separated by a narrow stretch of land. The lakes are connected by a man-made channel system that forms an inland waterway from Tamatave through to Farafangana, making it the longest canal in the world covering a distance of 600km. The canal was constructed from 1896 to 1904 under the governance of General Joseph Gallieni during the early French colonial years . It was designed to facilitate transportation of goods to the main trading port of Tamatave, because shipping on the Indian Ocean was too dangerous.
DAILY LIFE IN THE CANAL
The canal still dominates daily life in this region as it provides the main source of trade, transport and travel. Cruising by boat on the calm waters of Pangalanes is a fascinating journey through time and history. Many traditional Betsimisaraka villages can be seen along the banks, as well as pirogues, local fishermen, rafts with straw huts carrying timber en-route Tamatave, as it has been done since early colonial times. Over-croweded ferries have funny names such as “Great Hopes” and “Malagasy Fish”. Villagers wave and shout at the passing boats and fishermen yell from the other bank asking you if you spent a good night!
ENVIRONMENT OF THE CANAL
Along the many islets and water banks on the Pangalanes Channel, there are plenty of aquatic vegetation such as water lily, Ravinala (Madagascar’s national emblem), Pandanus, “Elephant’s ears” or Eucalyptus. Bush House hotel is located at Lake Ampitabe, the third largest lake of the Canal des Pangalanes. The lodge itself is situated on a slope with a view over the lake. Within 30 metres is a beach where the water is very clear and perfectly safe for swimming. The area is called “Ankanin’ny Nofy”, which very suitably means “Nest of Dreams” in Malagasy.