Updated: Jan 12
During the latter half of the year, VIP’s Fund has been working on creating an ecotourism restaurant located next to Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. This restaurant is meant to serve as a new business for the Varibolo restaurant which was forced to shut down during COVID-19 due to the lack of tourism and rising rent costs.
Patrick Randriamamonjy and his family were the owners of the Varibolo restaurant. Varibolo was very popular due to its status as the only place to have a sit-down meal next to the National Park, and also because Patrick and his brother Khen would rent kayaks to visitors, leading tours down the river flowing through Ranomafana National Park. The new Varibolo will be built and owned entirely by Patrick, helping to ensure that they will not be forced to leave because of rent costs.
Madagascar holds an incredible amount of biodiversity. For example, this island is the only place in the entire world where lemurs, as well as 85% of the species that live there, can be found naturally. Due to a very cruel colonial history, Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the effects of COVID-19 had a devastating effect on many eco-tourism businesses that serve to protect this natural bounty. VIP’s Fund understands that economic stabilization, education,
and the many other hardships that come with poverty all directly impact wildlife conservation. With Patrick as part of the VIP’s Fund family, we hope that resurrecting Varibolo can help empower his community and bring sustainable prosperity to those who live near the National Park. Patrick's family cares deeply about the rainforest and he hopes to use his own profits to improve the local school by providing learning materials and teaching about rainforest conservation.
It has been a difficult couple of years for Patrick and his family being separated from the rainforest. Fortunately, thanks to VIP’s Fund and our wonderful supporters it is possible for the Randriamamonjys to continue to help spread the joy of wildlife conservation to those who visit Ranomafana National Park.