Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in Madagascar is characterised by protected rainforest and is made up of two significant national parks, Analamazaotra National Park and Mantadia National Park. Of the two, the rainforested region of Analamazaotra is the most visited because of its dense populations of the loud and vocal indri lemur. The Mantadia region encompasses stretches of old-primary rainforest, alive with amphibians, birdlife and lemurs. Birders will delight in knowing that the rare blue coua bird is found within these damp montane forests.
There is an exquisite waterfall, as well as a lake within the park, providing the perfect habitat for a wealth of birdlife and wild orchids to thrive. The varied terrain spans 155 square kilometres and is best explored on foot. There is a network of well-marked hiking trails with short routes lasting an hour, to longer treks lasting up to six hours. Birders, hikers, and nature enthusiasts will love this national park, which is geared toward tourism.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is only 135 kilometres from the capital city of Antananarivo, which is roughly three hours by road. The closest airport is Ivato International Airport, which serves the capital.
There are a few common residents in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, most of which include a variety of lemur species. The Indri lemur is the park’s most famous resident, as it’s the largest surviving species and is as loud as it is fluffy. Although renowned for the Indri species, there are nine other species of lemur within the park. The greater dwarf, rufous mouse, and eastern woolly lemurs are the nocturnal species that can be spotted on night walks.
Madagascar is a major drawcard for observing and tracking lemurs, but it’s also a world-renown birding destination. There are over 100 species of birds fluttering about in the forests, including the Madagascar green sunbird, Madagascar falcon, Madagascar wagtail and the extremely-rare blue coua bird. Visitors are encouraged to look closely on the ground for the spiny and adorable lowland streaked tenrec. In addition to the ground dwellers and lemurs, there are 39 reptile species and 36 species of frog.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is a year-round destination. The beautiful Indri lemur can be spotted throughout the year, but the drier months from June to September tend to have fewer recorded sightings of other lemur species. From January to March is the wet season, and the hiking paths and trails can become quite muddy and slippery. Overall, the best time to visit is Apr/May and Oct/Nov.
The gnarled branches and vines of the verdant rainforests are best explored on foot. There is a visitor centre where hikers are briefed about the fauna and flora of the area and introduced to the various types of lemurs to watch out for while exploring the forests. Hikes and walks are all guided and range from one to six hours in length.
The Mantadia section of the park offers more challenging, steeper routes and there is greater scope for spotting wildlife. It’s here where visitors can spot several species of lemur, and enjoy night trails to track the nocturnal lemurs. Most of the park’s trails meander through dense forest terrain, the famous waterfall, past lakes and the primary and secondary rainforest areas.
This reserve offers abundant birding opportunities, particularly around the lakes. Visitors are encouraged to look out for a variety of astonishing species such as cuckoo rollers, rare couas, and a range of endemic birdlife.
There are a few standard and luxurious hotels in the area and one true eco-lodge. A number of the hotels and lodges are well-established and offer the typical amenities of a city hotel. These include large swimming pools with a view of the rainforests, patios and private decks, and restaurants serving a mix of local and international fare. Most accommodation options are built to take advantage of the spectacular views of the surrounding rainforests and occur within the Analamazaotra region. The eco-lodge offers homegrown produce and is environmentally friendly.