A Large Dry Deciduous Forest

Protected since 1927 and officially declared a national park in 2002, Ankarafantsika National Park (130,000 hectares) protects one of the few remaining patches of the western Malagasy deciduous dry forest, as well as the humid forest and the crocodile-filled Ravelobe Lake. The name Ankarafantsika derived from the word Garafantsy which means “hills of spines”.
Just 114 kilometers south of Majunga (approximately 2 hours drive) along the national road RN4, the park is easily accessible. The park office is located in the village of Ampijoroa.
The dry season is from May to October. It can get very hot during the day, especially in the open savannah grassland, which should be visited in the early morning hours to beat the heat.
There are eight species of lemurs here, including the common brown lemur and the cute and cuddly Coquerel’s Sifaka, which come out of the forest and can be easily viewed at the park’s entrance. The endangered golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus Ravelobenis), also known as the Lac Ravelobe mouse lemur, is commonly found here.
Ankarafantsika is also a great place for birdwatchers, as it is home to 126 bird species (66 of which are endemic to Madagascar). Birds are easy to spot and photograph in the deciduous forest. Birds found here include Van Dam’s Vanga, the Sickled-billed Vanga and the Crested Drongo.
The largest carnivorous mammal, the Fossa, is also found here. Half of its diet consists of lemurs. Fossa also feed on tenrecs and other small mammals, lizards, and birds.
In addition, the park hosts a tortoise breeding program for several rare and endemic species, including the ploughshare (Geochelone yniphora), which is endemic to the Bay of Baly.
Lac Ravelobe is an amazing place for birdwatching and is rich in wildlife and history.


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