Reniala Private Reserve

Map Reniala Reniala Private Reserve is a small protected area of only 60 ha, managed by an environmental association called Reniala (which means baobab in Malagasy) that is trying to develop eco-tourism in the area. The reserve is located less than 1km from the Mozambique Channel near the village of Ifaty-Mangily, about 25 km North of Tulear. It shelters an amazing, bizarre and unique ecosystem which only occurs in the south-eastern part of Madagascar: the spiny forest. The towering spiny bushes are home to more than 2000 plants species (many of them local endemic), some spectacular and very old baobabs (there is a giant baobab of 12,5 m diameter) and a complete endemic plants family, the Didieraceae. Reniala includes a botanical trail and a bird sanctuary. 

Reniala Reserve is a paradise for birders, who can easily observe some very rare endemic species, such as the long-tailed ground roller, the subdesert mesite, the red-capped coua or the blue vanga. There are 65  bird species in total within  the reserve.  Madagascar hawk
  Madagascar hawk taking a rest © Reniala
Visitors can also spot mammals including the grey-mouse lemur, one the smallest primates, and some carnivorous; reptiles, like the threatened radiated and spider tortoises, warty chameleons, lizards and snakes.The association organises guided visits where the excellent prepared English speaking guides provide visitors all kind of information about the local fauna and flora.

Apart from preserving this threatened ecosystem, this organisation makes a great job together with the local communities. They carry out programs and pedagogic activities to raise awareness about the importance of protect the environment amongst scholars and try to find alternative and sustainable ways of living to the local inhabitants like apiculture and vanilla. Reniala works together with some universities of Madagascar and offers scholarships to students and scientists.
Future projects are the creation of a public library, a museum about traditional Malagasy music and a formation centre of hotel management and catering.

Amazing baobab´s "face" © Reniala
Didieraceae plant © Reniala
The Reserve opens 7:30 am to 17:30 pm in winter and from 8 am to 18 pm in summer.

Admission: 10.000 Ar including one guided visit for the first circuit (1-1,30 h), and 12,000 Ar for the second one (it can take from 2 to 2:30). Children under 12 go for free. These two circuits are mainly botanic ones.
For those visitors more interested in the fauna, there are longer trails depending on your interest (normally 5 to 6 hours) Fee is 30.000 Ar.

There are some simple but welcoming and bungalows with shared facilities and some more comfortable rooms inside the reserve. Camping is also permitted. There is a restaurant as well.
Price for a double bungalow: 15.000 Ar
Price for a double room: 30.000 to 40.000 Ar

You will find more information (so far only in French) under http://reniala.jimdo.com
and http://reniala-madagascar.over-blog.com 
You can also contact the Reserve staff directly  by phone (+ 261 20) 94 417 56 
or by e-mail: reniala2005@reniala-madagascar.com 

For further accommodations in the area see Tulear to Morombe