The Andasibe National Park best known for Madagascar’s largest Lemur, the Indri whose eerie call one is bound to hear is located in eastern Madagascar. Once a contiguous forest and park area with Mantadia National Park today both the reserves stand separated due to deforestation and logging.
WHAT TO SEE
The Analamazaotra or Perinet Special Reserve is locally known as the Andasibe National Park due to its proximity to the Andasibe village. The Andasibe-Matadia National Park together covers an area of 154 sq.km., however, they are distinct two reserve areas today with the Analamazaotra the smaller of the two. Both of the parks belong to the humid rainforests and were created in 1989, however the incessant felling of the forests for farming and granite mining has become the biggest threat to the natural habitat and its biodiversity. Conservation efforts are thus on the upswing with the introduction of various endangered species such as the Black and White Ruffed Lemur and the Diademed Sifaka.
Things to do
The Indri is the star of Andasibe National Park and is in many local villages and folklore revered. It’s distinctly peculiar call is hard to miss for even those within a mile of the park, however, the reserve is also known for its other 13 lemur species that inhabit the park, such as, the woody lemur, grey bamboo lemur, brown lemur, red-billed lemur, red mouse lemur, greater dwarf and the aye-aye.
Covered with moss and spotted with orchids the park area is dotted with several lakes and home to a varied wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians including, the Parson's chameleon, tiny horned chameleon, the Boa Manditra, different species of frogs, insects, butterflies and birds. Some of the birds found in the reserve are the Madagascar falcon, Madagascar green sunbird, wagtail, serpent eagle, Madagascar yellow brow and long-eared owl.
Mantadia is the larger reserve and hillier than Analamazaotra or Perinet. The black and white ruffed lemur and the diademed sifaka are the additional lemur species found here. Perinet is relatively flat and has a number of walking trails to sight the wildlife. Mantadia on the other hand though less visited has slightly tougher topography to manage and is known for its various routes and circuits, such as the Sacred Waterfall Circuit (cultural tour), the Rianasoa Circuit for the gorgeous orchids and indri sightings, the Tsakoka circuit and the Belakato circuit.
The Mitsinjo a local NGO manages the Analamazaotra Forest Station which is a well-conserved reserve home to the indri families and various other reptiles and geckos. The proceeds from the ticketing are used for the community projects and one can interact and shop with the locals exploring their traditions and arts and crafts.
The village of Andasibe is close to a number of reserves and besides the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the other added parks include the Mitsinjo Reserve, Mahay Mitia Ala and Torotorofotsy Reserve.
East of Andasibe village lays the Vohimana Forest and the Maromizaha Reserve.
The Andasibe National Park is hence a delight for naturalist and home to the different lemur species that are hard to spot in their natural habitat anywhere else besides in Madagascar. The island nation of Madagascar is a unique landscape and wildlife destination and the Andasibe Mantadia National Park together with the other dotting reserves are definitely one of its finest wildlife biodiversity and natural hubs.
How to reach
Located in the Alaotra-Mangoro region of Madagascar the Andasibe National Park is only about 150km from Madagascar capital Antananarivo. Antananarivo is well connected by air to the major cities of the world. The National Park is a mere three-hour drive from the capital city.