Go Lemur spotting at Analamazaotra Nature Reserve
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Analamazaotra Nature Reserve is probably the best place in Madagascar to see lemurs! Nine different species of lemurs live in the park.
The indri lemur is the largest species and most famous resident. Indris are not easy to spot, but you can usually hear them before seeing them. If you're lucky enough to see an indri, it will be a magnificent sight! In addition to Lemur spotting, other activities are available in the forest, like hiking and bird watching.
This guide will help you plan your trip to Analamazaotra to make the most of your time lemur spotting in the park.
What Is the Analamazaotra National Park?
Analamazaotra National Park is located in the Toamasina Province of Madagascar, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the city of Antananarivo. This park is one of the essential lemur conservation sites in the country.
The park was established in 1989 and covers an area of 810 hectares (2001 acres). The Analamazaotra National Park is a treasure trove for animal lovers, especially those passionate about seeing lemurs.
But the park offers much more than just lemurs; with over 100 different bird species, 20 amphibians, 11 species of tenrec, and 7 species of chameleon calling it home, there is something extraordinary for every kind of animal lover.
What Kinds of Lemurs Can You See There?
One of the things that makes Analamazaotra so unique is the variety of lemurs you can find here. In total, there are nine different species of lemur living in this park. They include:
- Indris lemurs
- Woolly lemurs
- Grey bamboo lemurs
- Red-fronted lemurs
- Black-and-white ruffed lemurs
- Diademed sifakas lemurs
- Bamboo lemurs
- Rufous mouse lemurs
- Greater dwarf lemurs
Of these, the most popular and well-known is the indri. The indri is the largest of the lemur species and can weigh up to 6.8 kg (15 lb). These lemurs are easily recognizable with their black and white fur, long legs, and furry tails.
The indri is a very vocal lemur; its howls can be heard up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away!
What Else Can You Do at the Park?
In addition to lemur spotting, you can do many other activities at Analamazaotra. Hiking is a great way to explore the park and see some of its incredible biodiversity. There are four hiking trails, all of which are relatively easy to walk, and the terrain is flat.
Many different birds call the park home, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching. Some popular birds to look out for include the Madagascar blue pigeon, the red-fronted parrot, and the green sunbird.
If you're interested in seeing some other animals in the park, you can go on a guided night walk. This is a great way to spot some of the nocturnal animals that call the park home, such as tenrecs and owls.
The Four Different Hikes
Circuit Indri (2 Hours) - The most accessible and popular trail, the route includes a stop at the central lakes and an observation of a family of indris in their natural habitat. Circuit Indri 2 (3 Hours) -This is a moderate trail that will take you by the scenic lakes and to where two different families of indris live.
Circuit Aventure (4-6 Hours) - This trail is more strenuous as it combines Indri 1 and 2.
Palmier Circuit (1-2 Hours) - This short, 2km hike is perfect for children and winds through palms, orchards, and past two indri families.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
The busiest time to visit the Analamazaotra National Park is in May and October. This is Madagascar's dry season, meaning there is less chance of rain.
However, this also means that the trails can be more crowded, as this is when most people visit. If you want to avoid crowds, the best time to visit is April, May, and November. This is shoulder season, so there will be fewer people but good weather conditions.
Tip: If you're interested in seeing baby lemurs, the best time to visit is between August and September. This is when most lemurs give birth.
How to Get There
You can take a shared taxi, usually an old Renault 4L (Madagascar's most common means of transportation), from the capital to Andasibe. The journey is approximately 145 km (90 miles) and will take around 3 hours to Anatarovia Andasibe.
Alternatively, you can take a private taxi or hire a driver with a car. This is more expensive but will get you there faster (2-3 hours).
What To Expect When You're There
With several different passes available to suit your schedule and budget, there is something for everyone at this incredible park. The entry fee for the park is relatively affordable, with a two-day pass costing just Ar37,000 ($9).
You can expect top-notch service when you visit the Analamazaotra National Park. And if you are bringing along a guide to help you explore all the park offers, be prepared to spend a little bit more. However, rest assured that the guides here are incredibly knowledgeable and well-trained. Tips for Spotting Lemurs Lemurs are notoriously hard to spot in the wild. However, you can do a few things to increase your chances of seeing these incredible animals.
First, try to arrive at the park as early as possible. This will give you the best chance of seeing lemurs, as they are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. Second, make sure to wear neutral-colored clothing. Bright colors can scare lemurs away, so stick to earth tones like green, brown, and grey.
And finally, be patient! Lemurs are wild animals, so there is no guarantee that you will see them even if you do everything right. However, if you're patient and keep your eyes peeled, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of these fantastic creatures.
Places To Stay Around the Park
Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly place to stay or some charming accommodations right next to the park, Mantadia Lodge Andasibe has everything you need.
This quaint hotel is located in the middle of a forest and very close to Analamazaotra, offering easy access to all the natural wonders and wildlife the park has. In addition, the onsite restaurant serves delicious Malagasy and international dishes that are sure to please any palate.
The Analamazaotra National Park is a must-see for any nature lover or lemur enthusiast. The park has something to offer everyone with its convenient location, affordable entry fee, and various activities. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!