Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is about 150 km from Antananarivo in the Toamasina Province of Madagascar. The combined parks are perhaps best known as the home of the Indri lemurs, which is the largest surviving lemur species whose singing can be heard for miles each morning and evening.
Chez LucA cheap place to stay in Andasibe with double rooms and small bungalows. The place features free Wifi which is mostly usable in the restaurant.
The park is a 155 km 2 protected area, with Andasibe National Park comprised mostly of rain forest that has been logged, while Mantadia is primarily old-growth forest. Elevations in the two parks range from 800-1260 meters above sea level; Andasibe primarily consists of lower elevation forest while Mantadia is located at higher elevations.
Flora and fauna
The Indri is the most famous park resident as it is the largest surviving lemur species, with a haunting song that carries for up to five kilometers and has been described as a cross between a whale and a crying baby. Other species that are likely to be encountered during the day include brown lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs, diademed sifaka, and grey bamboo lemurs.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is one of the easiest national parks to visit in Madagascar, and can be reached via a 150 km-drive from Antananarivo via the paved RN2 that should take approximately 3 hours in a good vehicle.
You can also hop on any Taxi-Brousse heading to Toamasina and get off near Andasibe at the junction in the road, from there walk 2km to reach the park. You will also pass many accomodations, between the junction and the park, the cheapest are situated halfway from the junction to the park. A Taxi-brousse back to Tana is easy to catch from there.
Andasibe is accessible from paved roads, although the trails into Mantadia are reachable only via muddy roads that will likely require a four wheel drive transport with good clearance. The trails in the park are in good condition, but you should expect to do some climbing due to the hilly terrain, and any lemur sighting will likely lead to hiking off trail through heavy vegetation and over slippery ground.
Mitsinjo ReserveThe Mitsinjo Reserve is located adjacent to Andasibe and is sponsored by an NGO in cooperation with the local villagers. The association works to replant deforested areas, and plants over 25,000 seedlings each year. The same lemur species found in Andasibe can also be found within Mitsinjo, but unlike the national park it is possible to do a night walk on the trails of Mitsinjo, offering the possibility of finding species that are not easily seen during daylight hours.
Andasibe HotelAn upscale option the offers spacious bungalows, wireless internet in the lobby, and an onsite restaurant and bar. Rooms are clean and well-constructed, mosquito nets are provided, everything works, and the staff does its best to ensure a good stay. The location is adjacent to Andasibe village and within a few miles of the Andasibe park headquarters.
Vakona Forest LodgeVakona is the best-known and most popular lodging option in the area, with upscale accommodation, a clean restaurant, and all services that a visitor would expect. The lodge also hosts "lemur island", which is a home for formerly-pet lemurs that offers the chance for the "lemur-on-your-shoulder" experience as the lemurs descend from the trees to fetch bananas carried by the guides.