I’m back home now and my trip went very well. I got a chance to talk to a few landowners and other business owners in the area. I also looked at some of the hotels that are in the region to see what kind of rooms they offer, and ate some of their food to see what sort of offerings are standard. I’m very glad I got a chance to go back to keep pursuing my business ideas. It was also really nice to see Khen and his family. They are very hard workers and they’re really excited to have some new projects we can work on. In the next couple weeks their restaurant is going to get some small renovations. Their porch for outside seating is going to get expanded and fixed up to fit more people and look nicer. Some of the paint and floors will also get redone. This will let Varibolo be able to accommodate a lot more tourists each day, as thousands of people come to Ranomafana between July and December.
We also are going to get some good inflatable kayaks to Ranomafana and offer 2-hour excursions for about $20 per person. It would be great if we can incorporate a few hours of kayaking into an entire “fun day” for tourists. This could include activities such as a tour of a medicinal plant garden, swimming in Ranomafana’s natural hot spring pool, and a performance from a local Malagasy band or dance group.
I am looking forward to accomplishing some of these smaller ideas before starting such a large project as operating a hotel. I still think a nice hotel is a big need for the area and it can definitely be done at the right time. I am happy to be home now, but I know I will be back in the rainforest before too long. I really enjoy everything that the lifestyle of Ranomafana entails and I have made a great connection with Khen’s family. I know they were sad to see me leave after my 3-week visit.
Below is a link to an album of some of the pictures I took on the trip. Thanks for taking a look at this site.