Bemarivo Special Reserve

Map Bemarivo The small Special Reserve of Bemarivo lies on the western part of Madagascar next to Besalampy and just 5 km from the coast. It was established in 1956 and covers a surface of 13 km². Despite its tiny stretch of land, the ecosystems are quite varied, ranging from subtropical to dry deciduous forest, savannas, lakes and marshlands. This wetlands are the main attraction of the Reserve: immense flocks of waterbirds fly around and very active crocodiles are easily seen. The Sakavala communities settled here live from breeding, fishing and farming. The slash and burn agriculture is the main threat for the Reserve: in this extremely dry region fires are sometimes devastating.

Bemarivo is principally known because of its rich birdlife. It is indeed an ideal place for birdwatchers, who can spot 73 different bird species (almost half of them are endemic) found inside the reserve. Some of them are threatened species, like the Madagascar fish eagle, Bernier's Teal, Schlegel’s asity or the Henst’s Goshawk.
15 mammal species, including the fossa and 6 lemur species inhabit the Reserve. During the day you can see Decken´s sifakas, red fronted lemurs and Lesser bamboo lemurs. At night Gray mouse lemurs, Milne-Edwards' sportive lemurs and fat-tailed dwarf lemurs go out of their lairs to look for food.  
There are also 24 reptile species (river crocodiles are very common) and some rare frogs.

Madagascar fish eagle  Madagascar fish eagles are critically endangered © Muzzanese

The climate is warm with an average temperature of 25°, and it only rains during a short rainy season from November to February. 

Bemarivo Reserve is situated 12 km. from Besalampy in the province of Mahajanga.
To reach Besalampy take the R1 in Tana. After Tsiroanomandidy the road is not that good. There is a taxi-brousse from Tana to Besalampy, but the journey can take two whole days.

Bemarivo is a hardly known Reserve and just a few adventurous travellers visit this area, so there is no tourist infrastructure at all at the moment.

So far camping is not allowed inside the park, but a huge empty beach lies only 5 km from the reserve. There are several simple accommodations and restaurants at Besalampy.

Madagascar crocodile
The river crocodiles of Bemarivo are supposed to be more active and
violent than other Madagascar crocodiles © David Darricau

There are no Park Office either, so if you want to visit Bemarivo, you should contact the main ANGAP Office in Tana.

 Madagascar National Parks
Immeuble Madagascar National Parks
Ambatobe- BP 1424, 101 Antananarivo
Phone : + (261 20)22 415 38 / (261 20) 22 418 83
Email : contact@madagascar.national.parks.mg