Experience Madagascar's Indris in Andasibe-Mantadia N.P.
The mountain cloud forest that is the easiest to visit.
The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park was established in 1989 and covers two areas with its 154 km². Both parts belonged to the same humid forest and because of the human activities in Two parts divided. The small Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra is located in the south of the area and bears the name of the adjacent village Andasibewhile the much larger Parc National de Mantadia the northern part of the forest. Due to its proximity to Madagascar's capital Antananarivo and the good road conditions, the park is visited very often and also throughout the year. The undisputed stars of this park are the Indris, the largest species of lemur, whose cries are followed every morning by many groups of tourists. The primary forests of Andasibe-Mantadia consist of dense forest with moist moss, ferns, trees of impressive height and more than a hundred species of orchids that bloom between September and January. Other plants native to the area include pandanus, the Ravinala palm, bamboo and some precious woods such as rosewood and ebony. Illegal logging of the trees as well as graphite mines inside the park are major threats to the fragile ecosystems of the forest.
The Indris - The "Stars" of Andasibe
The Indris (called Babakoto in Malagasy) are the largest lemurs on Madagascar and grow up to 1 meter large. Andasibe is the best place to observe the indris throughout the year and listen to their piercing calls. Their peculiar cries penetrate the dense forest from early morning until midday. These lemurs live in small groups and can only be seen under very survive specific conditionsthat not many forests on the island can offer them. They need leaves from several dozens of different trees to be able to feed properly. It is impossible for this lemur species to adapt to other biotopes or even to survive in captivity. The survival of this species is unfortunately endangered by agricultural activities, deforestation and also by poachers.
Apart from the Indris live other 13 other lemur species in these forests. With a little luck you will meet a gray bamboo lemur, the diadem sifakas, brown lemurs, red mouse lemurs, black & white varis or even an aye-aye. The extraordinary animal diversity is home to another 15 species of mammals, more than 100 species of birds, 50 different reptiles, including the Madagascar giant chameleon with 70cm length, the Boa manditra, many leaf-tailed geckos and more than 80 amphibians represented in Andasibe. There are also a few local endemic fish in the small rivers and hundreds of insects, including some exceptionally large and colorful butterflies.
Hikes in Mantadia and Andasibe
There are different tours for both Andasibe and Mantadia that can be adapted to your condition and personal interests. Andasibe is rather flat and the different tours are very similar. When you are ready more demanding trails In Mantadia you will enjoy a wild and dense forest with trees that are older and larger than in Andasibe. In addition, there you will encounter fewer people who venture on the more difficult trails. The landscape is also more diverse and is at an altitude between 900 and 1,200m. Besides the magnificent orchids, there is also a Waterfall inside the park, which is considered sacred by the population.
Almost opposite the official park entrance is the office of the local organization "Mitsinjo. This organization manages the Analamazaotra Forest Station, which starts right behind the office. This forest is very well preserved and provides shelter for some Indri families, other lemurs and also for a whole range of chameleons and geckos. The entrance fee is much lower than in the national park and you will encounter the same animals. Apart from that, with your visit you support various conservation projects. You can also make a Night hike book, where you can observe lemurs, frogs and nocturnal reptiles.
Your journey to Andasibe
The Andasibe-Mantadia is not far from Antananarivo and is therefore very well visited. The car ride over the RN2 lasts 3 to 4 hours from the capital (150 km) and 5 to 6 from Tamatave (250 km). Mantadia is located about 15 km north of Andasibe and is also easy to reach. The few hotels and lodges near the sanctuary are usually booked out months in advance, especially the Vakona Forest Lodge is very popular among travelers. There are many travel packages that include a visit to Andasibe. For example, it is possible to take a 3 days tour of Andasibebut also during a tour along the northern east coastA stopover is made in Andasibe on the way to the airport.