Madagascar Tour #1 : Highlands and Andasibe
Difficulty ★ ☆ ☆

Ambohitantely Special Reserve

You will land in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The next morning, after a hundred kilometers of road and then a dozen of track, you will arrive at the Ambohitantely Special Reserve, a little-known forest reserve, located to the northwest of the capital, at anelevation of about 1500 meters. The reserve is remarkable in harbouring one of the last vestiges of forest on the high central plateau of Madagascar.
There you will have the chance to discover one of the most important populations of the mythical Dypsis decipiens, the famous palm of the highlands. In this incredible landscape of grassland as far as the eye can see alternating with forest fragments in valley bottoms, you may also observe the very rare Dypsis oropedionis (CR) as well as a rich flora typical of the highlands including aloes, orchids.
In the evening evening, you will return to Antananarivo to spend the night, before leaving the next day for Andasibe.


About 3 hours drive from the capital, Andasibe is a huge forest area made up of several parks and reserves that are more or less connected. This place is famous for easily observed emblematic species of Malagasy wildlife, including the largest lemur, Indri indri, but also other species of lemurs including Propithecus diadema, the beautiful Diademed Sifaka.
But it is also known to palm lovers as the habitat of an incredible diversity of species including some of the most emblematic. For this stay of 4 days in Andasibe, 3 to 4 reserves will be on the program according to your wishes. You will stay at the very comfortable Vakona Lodge (subject to availability), known for cultivating in its garden the famous Dypsis sp. Black Stem.

Analamazaotra Special Reserve

This small forest reserve, easy to access, can be scheduled from the afternoon of your arrival. With a little luck, you may observe the Indri, and get a first idea of the flora of the area, with many small species of understory palms, but also some more impressive such as Ravenea robustior.

Maromizaha Reserve

Composed of steep hills separated by narrow valleys, this reserve has a wide variation in altitude, from 700 m to over 1200 m altitude, providing a variety of environments and therefore a very important floristic wealth. Managed by the Group of Studies and Research on Primates (GERP), this reserve is poorly known because it has only recently been open to the public. You will find an important diversity of palms between the ridges and valley bottoms and will probably discover some of the last Beccariophoenix madagascariensis and the rare Marojejya insignis. Lemurs should be in evidence again!

Mitsinjo Reserve

The Mitsinjo reserve is a small village community reserve, as interesting in diversity as the previous ones, but is of particular interest in the occurrence of the very rare Ravenea louvelii (CR), as well as probably the mysterious Dypsis pilulifera. The Mitsinjo Reserve is known worldwide for hosting one of the last known populations of the golden frog Mantella aurantiaca and for having developed a conservation program for the species and a breeding center.

Back to Antananarivo where you will spend the last night, according to the flight schedule, you may enjoy the capital and why not its botanical garden Tsimbazaza where you can admire the collections of succulents and some beautiful specimens of palm trees (Dypsis decipiens, Dypsis mananjarensis, Bismarckia nobilis, ...)


Day 1 / Fly La Reunion to Antananarivo.
Overnight in Antananarivo

Day 2 / By road to Ambohitantely
Visit the Ambohitantely Reserve
Typical forest of Highlands, Dypsis decipiens, Dypsis oropedionis, Ravenea madagascariensis, understory Dypsis, …
Back to Antananarivo
Overnight in Antananarivo

Day 3 / By road to Andasibe
Visit the Analamazaotra Special Reserve
Lot of palms : Dypsis spp., Ravenea robustior, understory Dypsis …, Indri indri Lemur
Dypsis Black Stem in Vakona Garden
Overnight in Vakona Lodge

Day 4 / Visit the Maromizaha Reserve
Dypsis spp, D. pilulifera, Beccariophoenix madagascariensis, Marojejya insignis, understory Dypsis …, Diademed sifaka Lemur

Day 5 / Free time in Vakona Lodge (lemur island, crocodile parc,…) or visit another reserve (Vohimana or Mantadia)
Overnight in Vakona Lodge

Day 6 / Visit Mitsinjo Reserve
Dypsis spp., Ravenea louvelii, understory Dypsis
Back by road to Antananarivo

Day 7 : Free time in Antananarivo (Tsimbazaza garden, typical market, …)
Fly Back to La Réunion