Sahamalaza Îles Radama National Park

Map Sahamalaza-Radama Sahamalaza-îles Radama is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which also became National Park in 2007. It is located on the northwest coast of Madagascar around 100 km south of Nosy Be and 80 km north of the city of Analalava. The protected area comprises a total surface of 260 km². Half of its surface is underwater and consists mainly of coral reefs. The terrestrial part is shared by mangroves (57 km²) along a 30-km-long bay and one of the last patches of dry littoral forest on the west coast (75 km²). The Sahamalaza peninsula has steep slopes, (up to 400 m at Ankitsiky hill) and abundant small rivers where these vestiges of a dry deciduous forest form two blocks, the Analavory Forest in the south and Ambinda in the northern part of the peninsula. About 40% of the species are endemic to Madagascar.

The whole region is underdeveloped and poor compared with other parts of Madagascar, which increases the tendency of local people to depend on natural resources. Local development is hampered by low incomes, malnutrition, sanitary problems, over-exploitation of marine resources, etc. The Biosphere Reserve – National Park brings a unique opportunity to promote local development and reach a sustainable management of woody vegetation and marine resources as well as to an improvement the agricultural production.

Mangrove in Sahamalaza
The mangroves, which can reach more than 8 m height, shelter the eight mangrove species found in Madagascar. The main mangrove areas are the delta of the Andranomalaza River and the Coast of Maromandia.  © Madagascar Travel Guide

There are eight lemur species in Sahamalaza. The Sahamalaza sportive lemur (one of the most endangered lemur species with less than 100 remaining exemplars) and the blue-eyed black lemur, also known as Sclater's black lemur (the only primate with blue-eyes of the world) only occur in this remote zone of the island and are true treasures of the reserve. Other rare species found here are the fork-crowned lemur and the Western grey bamboo lemur and the fossa.
Apart from mammals, there are 20 reptiles, 3 amphibians and 41 bird species, such as the crested coua, Madagascar buzzard, crested ibis, Sakavala weaver, common jery, Madagascar heron or the rare Madagascar fish-eagle.

More than 200 coral and invertebrates, 20 sea cucumbers and 170 fish species have been catalogued in the coral reefs and coast around Sahamalaza peninsula and the Radama islands. The coral reefs of Lagna an Ankakabe are the habitat of sea turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches of Nosy Valiha.
The conservation of coral reefs is necessary for the sustainable development of the area and its population, since many families are dependant on the fishing for their survival.

The Park is easily accessible as it lies next to the national road RN6 which starts in Antsiranana and passes by Sahamalaza towards South.
It is also possible to reach the Park by boat from Nosy Be or from Analalava. The transfer lasts from 3 to 5 hours, depending on the boat and the sea conditions.

Sahamalaza-îles Radama has a big touristic potential since it offers a perfect combination of land and sea activities. Some circuits and excursions across the mangroves and the littoral forest as well as diving possibilities are currently being developed.

The accommodation is also very limited in this remote area of Madagascar. There are some basic bungalows in Maromandia net to the Park Office and some more are being built in other parts of the Reserve.

There is a local Park Office in Maromandia and a bigger one in Mahajanga, where you can get more information:

Madagascar National Parks à Mahajanga
14 Rue Philibert Tsiranana, Mahajanga
Phone : + (261 20) 62 226 56 / (261 32) 52 349 00        
Email :
angapmjg@yahoo.fr  mjg.parks@gmail.com

Sahamalaza-îles Radama National Park
Phone : +(261 32) 02 972 66
Email : sml.parks@gmail.com