Analamerana Special Reserve
The Analamerana Special Reserve is located in the northern part of Madagascar, halfway between the western region of Diana and the eastern region of Sava. The 34,700 hectares reserve is located in a rather unexplored forest southeast of Montagne d'Ambre, between the Irodo river in the North and the Loky river in the South.
To visit Analamerana Special Reserve it is best to start in Diego Suarez (Antsiranana), from where the paved road RN6 leads 60 kilometres south to Sadjoavato. From there it is another 25 kilometres along a very bad road to the municipality of Ankarongana. This road is only accessible during the dry season from May to November. From Ankarongana one has to continue by motorcycle, bike or foot to Analamerana Special Reserve.
Analamerana was classified Special Reserve in 1956 and is the only protected area that gives refuge to the endangered Perrier's sifaka lemur species. Three of the seven known Baobab species grow in the reserve.
The area is dominated by a limestone massif with numerous rocky outcrops - the tsingy (sharp limestone karst pinnacles). From east to west, this karst plateau comprises the massif of Analamerana, the massif of Antsohy and part of the Andrafiamena chain. In addition to the river Irodo, eight small streams flow through the reserve. The following ethnic groups live in and around the reserve: Sakalava, Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Anjoaty, Antemoro, Antankarana, Antandry, Merina and Betsileo. Unfortunately the protected area is subject to human pressures such as slash and burn to gain new farm land as well as illegal wood cutting.
The predominant climate is hot and humid with an average annual rainfall of 1,250mm. Most of the rain falls during the months of November through April. The dry season is clearly defined from June to August. The average temperature is 25°C, varying between 20°C and 30°C.
- 1 Fauna
- 2 The best fauna most visible to tourists
- 3 Flora
- 4 The best flora most visible to tourists
- 5 Guides and entrance fees
- 6 Circuits (tours)
- 7 Fady - What not to do in the park
- 8 Accommodation in/outside the reserve
- 9 Tourist attractions in the region
- 10 Cultural events in the region
Reptiles / Amphibians
The climate and stingy landscape in some parts of the reserve do not encourage the abundance of reptiles and amphibians. However, the following species are quite common:
- Furcifer petteri - Petter's chameleon
- Boa manditra - Madagascar tree boa
- Boa madagascariensis - Madagascar tree boa
Many bird species live in Analamerana, of which seven are endemic. One of the eight rarest birds in the world can be found in the reserve, the Xenopirostris damii (Van Dam's vanga). The following species can be observed in the reserve:
- Xenopirostris damii - Van Dam's vanga (endemic)
- Ardeola idae - Madagascar pond-heron
- Mesitornis variegata - White-breasted mesite
- Lophotibis cristata - Madagascar crested ibis
- Accipiter henstii - Henst's goshawk
- Accipiter madagascariensis - Madagascar sparrowhawk
- Haliaeetus vociferoides - Madagascar fish eagle
- Coua coquereli - Coquerel's coua
- Falculea palliata - Sickle-billed vanga
- Ploceus sakalava - Sakalava weaver
- Tyto soumagnei - Madagascar red owl (endemic)
- Centropus toulou - Madagascar coucal
- Alcedo vintsioides - Madagascar kingfisher
- Corythornis madagascariensis - Madagascar pygmy kingfisher
The most commonly observed lemur species are:
- Propithecus perrieri - Perrier's sifaka
- Eulemur coronatus - Crowned lemur
- Eulemur fulvus sanfordi - Brown lemur, sub-species Sanford's lemur
- Lepilemur septentrionalis - Northern sportive lemur
- Phaner furcifer - Fork-marked lemur
- Daubentonia madagascariensis - Aye-aye
- Hapalemur griseus occidentalis - Bamboo lemur
Carnivores living in Analamerana are:
The best fauna most visible to tourists
|Scientific name||English name||Description||Where to find||When to find|
|Propithecus perrieri||Perrier's sifaka||Lemur||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Eulemur fulvus sanfordi||Brown lemur||Lemur||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Eulemur coronatus||Crowned lemur||Lemur||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Lepilemur septentrionalis||Northern sportive lemur||Lemur||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Galidia elegans dambrensis||Ring-tailed maongoose||Mammal||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Cryptoprocta ferox||Fossa||Carnivorous||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Lophotibis cristata||Madagascar crested ibis||Bird||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
|Mesitornis variegata||White-breasted mesite||Bird||Ankavanana, Antombiratsy, Analabe, Andrafiamena||All year round.|
Typical species of the ecoregions of the west, east and centre of Madagascar grow in the Analamerana Special Reserve. Six palm species are identified and three of the seven known baobabs growing in Madagascar can be found in the reserve:
- Adansonia perrieri - Perrier's Baobab (endemic)
- Adansonia madagascariensis (endemic)
- Adansonia suarezensis - Suarez Baobab (endemic)
The best flora most visible to tourists
|Scientific name||English name||Where to find|
|Adansonia perrieri||Perrier's Baobab||Antaignaombihely, Analabe, Ankarana|
|Coffea saharenanensis||Analabe, Ankavanana, Antombiratsy|
|Eugenia analameranensis||Analabe, Ankavanana, Antombiratsy|
Guides and entrance fees
The office of the Analamerana Special Reserve is located north of Anivorano Nord where one can obtain permits to the protected area. Although it is best to organise a visit to the reserve in Diego Suarez, guides and porters can alternatively be found in Menagisy, a village next to the reserve.
The admission fee for visiting the park for foreign tourists is 45,000 Ariary per day, children pay 25,000 Ariary per day (prices 2015).
While there are various hiking trails leading through the reserve, no special circuits have been set up yet.
Fady - What not to do in the park
The locals of Madagascar believe in fady's, which are not strictly taboos, rather they signalise when something is "dangerous" related to an action, food, locations etc. In the Analamerana Special Reserve it is fady to work on Tuesday - "Fady miasa Talata".
Accommodation in/outside the reserve
There are no accommodation facilities within the reserve. It is possible to camp in the reserve, but visitors must bring all equipment and essentials needed for their stay. A quite basic hotel is located near the reserve. Alternatively, it is the possible to stay overnight in the house of a local by enquiring in the village. This type of accommodation is the most authentic, at the same time the most modest.
Tourist attractions in the region
- Red Tsingy - 15 kilometres along the RN6, accessible by 4x4.
- Lac Antagnavo - a sacred lake located 4 kilometres along the RN6, accessible by 4x4.
- Tsingy of Ankarana - a national park located 4 kilometres along the RN6, accessible by 4x4.
Cultural events in the region
Several festivals are celebrated throughout the year:
- Kabiry Festival in Ambilobe - a cultural and artistic event which aims to showcase the culture of the Antankarana people. Their traditional musical instrument is the kabiry. The festival takes place over four days in July and August, usually attracting about 3,500 visitors.