Amber Mountain National Park

Established in 1958, Amber Mountain National Park was the very first park in Madagascar. Visitors are encouraged to wander through the isolated montane rainforest that spans just over 18 200 hectares, reaching altitudes of between 800 and 1 475m. A prominent volcanic massif, crater lakes and waterfalls make this one of Madagascar’s most beautiful and biologically diverse areas. Taking its name from the resin that seeps from some of the trees (some over 40m tall), the Amber Mountain National Park sits in a rainforest rising up from the drier lowland surrounds. Avid rainfall in the area has created a plush sea of greenery, with waterways providing life to many tree ferns, orchids, mosses and lianas. The forests of the park are home to some 75 bird species, 35 of which are endemic. These include the Faucon, martinet, wild pigeon and parroquet. Visitors can also look out for the 59 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians living in the forest. Our experienced guides will undoubtedly find the invisible leaf-tailed gecko, a species of gecko endemic to Madagascar.

Anja Community Reserve

Located in the highlands of Madagascar, the Anja Community Reserve consists of a forest and reservoir at the base of an imposing isolated granite dome. Some of the cliffs have caves, which offer refuge to owls and bats. There are two trails in the reserve: the shorter one, which is ideal for lemur-spotting, and the longer trail that goes up the dome and the viewpoints. Temperatures are often quite uniform throughout the year, but there is a defined wet and dry season. The dry season months range from April to November, offering the best travel conditions overall. The reserve is undoubtedly the most ideal place to spot Madagascar’s infamous ring-tailed lemur, the Lemur Catta, and if they are lucky enough, visitors may even get a glimpse of them sunbathing in the morning. No animal looks quite as chilled as a ring-tailed lemur facing the sun, eyes closed and arms stretched out wide as if suspended on invisible threads.

Isalo National Park

The Isalo Massif is an 81 540 hectare national park located just 430 miles southwest of Antananarivo. This geographical wonderland is nestled amidst sweeping canyons, jutting rock formations, and dramatic bluffs which are made up of continental sandstone dating from the Jurassic period. Isalo National Park has a dry, tropical climate and boasts beautiful tapia forests covering about 15% of the park. The park is home to approximately 14 species of lemurs, the most common being Verreaux’s sifaka, the fawn lemur and the ring-tailed lemur, and more than 55 species of birds, including the Benson’s rock robin which is endemic to the Isalo Massif.

Kirindy Reserve

Formerly named the Swiss Forest, the reserve spans over 120 000 hectares and was established in the late 1970s as an experiment in sustainable lodging, and has since become a protected area. During 1996, German scientists built the first primate research station which still remains today. This dry, deciduous landscape is filled with 6 different species of baobab tees, including the Andansonia grandidieri. Kirindy is most famous for two things: the fossa (crpytoprocta ferox)  and its lemurs. This is one of the few places on the island where visitors can spot the elusive fossa, one of Madagascar’s top predators due to the high concentration in the park. Fossa sightings are especially prominent in October/November during the mating season. The forest is also home to the famous giant jumping rat, and 8 species of lemurs.

Perinet (Andasibe-Mantadia) National Park

Known locally as Andasibe-Mantadia, named after a nearby village, this national park is a true paradise for nature lovers boasting a rich selection of flora and fauna species, including vibrant orchids (seasonal) and beautiful fern trees.  The 810 hectare lush rainforest is undoubtably the best place to spot the teddy-bear-like indri-indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, renowned for their melancholic yodelling, and preposterous appearance. Other species inhabiting the park include the red-fronted maki, the woolly avahi, and the lesser bamboo lemur. There are 109 species of birds including the Souimanga sunbird, the Madagascar mesite, and the Cuckoo Roller. The reserve is home to many wonderful species of chameleon, including the 2 foot-long Parson’s chameleon and the tiny nose-horned chameleon.

Ranomafana National Park

Meaning ‘hot water’ in Malagasy, Ranomafana National Park derives its name from the hot springs found in the area. Known as one of the most picturesque national parks in Madagascar, Ranomafana covers a mountainous area of more than 41 000 hectares, with altitudes ranging between 800 and 1 200m in a vast tract comprised mainly of dense rainforest. The climate has an annual rainfall of nearly 2 600mm – the dry season is non-existent, with about 200 days of rain per year (mainly drizzle). The wildlife found here is a reflection of the tropical landscape. There are 43 species of mammals, 96 species of birds, 12 species of chameleons, 10 species of lizards, and over 90 species of butterflies. There are 5 different hiking trails, each providing visitors the opportunity to discover and learn more about the park.

The Tsingy Of Bemaraha Reserve

The Tsingy of Bemaraha Reserve is located in the drier western region of Madagascar and boasts distinctive fauna and flora which make up the dramatic karst landscape. The reserve was classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1990 due to its unique geography, preserved mangrove forests, and wild bird and lemur populations. Spanning over 150 000 hectares, the reserve possesses a unique landscape made of limestone plateaus carved into an array of pinnacles (tsingys) and caves, and deep gorges filled with forest.   The Tsingy of Bemaraha is home to several rare species, including 11 species of lemurs, 6 species of birds, 2 species of endemic amphibians, and 17 species of reptiles which are endemic to the park, including the famous tiny chameleon, Brookesia perarmata. Tsingy of Bemaraha Reserve is inaccessible during the rainy season which is typically from December- May.