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Zombitse and Vohibasia National Park

Map Zombitse-Vohibasia Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park was established in 1997 and covers 363 km² of dry forest, marshes, and savannas. It is located on the southwest of Madagascar about 90km west of Isalo NP and 20km northeast of Sakaraha. The Park is divided into three different sections: Zombitse (168 km²), Vohibasia (161 km²) and Vohimena Isoky (32 km²). This National Park can personify the biggest environmental problem of Madagascar: deforestation. Hundreds of year of slash-and-burn agriculture and tree falling have turned the landscape into an arid and almost lifeless plateau. The local Bara and Mahafaly populations are zebu holders who need more and more space to feed their herds and grow rice and corn. Only a patch of protected forest remains nowadays in the middle of this devastation, giving shelter to an abundant fauna and flora biodiversity.

These isolated forests constitute the most important remnant of dry deciduous forest of Madagascar. Zombitse-Vohibasia acts as a transition zone between the dry and the humid forests of Madagascar. Therefore the flora is especially rich within the protected area. Baobabs and several orchids are particulary common.

Verreaux´s sifaka
    Verreaux´s sifaka caught by jumping © Gail Johnson
The number of animal species living here is also remarkable. 15 small mammals, 2 carnivorous and 8 lemur species, such as the Verraux´s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur, ring-tailed lemur, pale fork-marked lemur and the Hubbard´s sportive lemur can be observed here. Birds are also a park highlight. There are 85 species, most of them endemic like the rare Appert´s greenbul, which only lives in this forest. 33 reptile and 8 amphibian species have been reported in Zombitse, such as the Standing´s day gecko, which is also local endemic to the Park.

Four different short and pretty easy circuits (from one to five hours walk) are offered by the park authorities in order to allow visitors to discover the richness and diversity of this last natural refuge. Fees are 3,000 up to 6 people per circuit.

Zombitse-Vohibasia is easily accessible all the year round. It lies just on the best road of Madagascar, the RN 7, approximately 350 km from Fianarantsoa and 150 from Tulear.
If you are travelling by taxi-brousse just ask the driver to drop you at the park entrance or at Sakaraha, where the Park Office is.
ring-tailed lemur
    Ring-tailed lemur with its baby © Gail Johnson
There are two recently built  camping sites inside the Park (3,000 Ar per night), but most visitors still prefer to stay at a hotel at the nearby village of Sakaraha.

The Park Office is located in Sakaraha, about 20 km from the Park itself. A couple of park-guides speak some English.