Ambohitantely Special Reserve

Map Ambohitantely
Ambohitantely Special Reserve is located 130 km northwest from Tana and 30 km from Ankazobe. This small reserve with only 56 km² was established in 1982 and consists of several areas covered with primary rainforest (certainly the last ones in the high plateau in central Madagascar) and grassland fields with gramineous vegetation. It is a good place for trekking with several marvellous places and not far from Tana. The whole area is threatened by the agricultural activities of the inhabitants, mainly belonging to the Merina, Betsimisaraka and Betsileo groups, who continue the slash and burn tradition and need water for the rice paddies.

You can find 70 species of birds, such as the Madagascar harriet or the crested ibis, 17 of mammals (3 lemurs: the diurnal common brown lemur, and the nocturnal brown mouse lemur and eastern woolly lemur), 17 reptiles including the smallest chameleon of the island, 17 amphibians.
The dense forests shelter a wide diversity of plants, among them more than 40 different orchids and several endemic palm trees forming beautiful thick forests. Some palms are critically endangered, such as several species belonging to the Manambe Palms.
There is also an excellent botanical garden.

There are several circuits ranging from two until five hours in order to fit the different visitors’ interests and conditions.
The easiest ones go around the botanical garden, where you can admire palm trees, orchids and spot lemurs and other animals. Another treks lead to a cave full of bats, a nice waterfall where you can take a bath or up to the highest point of the reserve, the “Doany of Ampasandoaka” (1.660 m.) where you can enjoy a spectacular view over the forest.
There is a cute Park Office where you will get all the information regarding the circuits, flora and fauna. It is optional to walk together with a guide, so if you feel adventurous enough you can walk by yourself!

brown lemur     Brown lemurs are easy to spot
  © Madagascar Travel Guide

The reserve is accessible all year round. The trip takes around 4 hours by car. If you are travelling with a taxi-brousse you have to change at Ankazobe and take another transport towards a place called Firarazana.

The best time to visit this reserve is in September and October. From April to October during the rainy season temperatures can be pretty chilly at night! From November to March the rainy season makes a visit much tougher although there are more possibilities to spot animals (during the colder dry season many of them hibernate).

You can stay at Ankazobe Hotel (simple rooms with or without hot water), where there is a restaurant as well or at a humble hotely in Finarazana.

Camping is posible inside the park, but you must buy all supplies in Ankazobe. There are currently three campsites with basic facilities. Price for a tent is 3,000 Ar per night.

For further information you can call  to the reserve: 
Mobile: +261 (0)33 01 958 04 / (+261) (0) 32 45 457 10

or you can contact the Central Offices in Tana,
Email: contact@madagascar.national.parks.mg  
Tel: (+261) 20 22 415 38 / (+261) 22 418 83