This extraordinary 72,000ha National Park (also known as Kirindy Mitea) is located about 100km south of Morondava, where the country's Western and Southern floristic domains merge. With extensive coastline included in the park, there is a healthy mangrove system. Behind the dunes on which Spiny bush (Euphorbia-Didieraceae thicket) thrives, is a sacred lake where seasonally, Flamingos can be observed.
In the deciduous dry forests of Kirindy Mite, visitors can see innumerable, impressive specimens of three Malagasy baobab species - Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia za and Adandonia rubrostipa. The mangroves provide a roosting site for an enormous colony of Madagascar flying foxes (Pteropus rufus).
In the dry deciduous forests, which are Madagascar's most endangered habitat type, your guide will also point out interesting trees such as Nato, used to construct the dhows which are of designs taught to Veso fishing folk by European pirates centuries ago. This tree is also used to make Sakalava coffins. Another is Farafatsy, used to make smaller pirogues. In the sub-arid thorn thickets, you can see Octopus trees (Didieraceae).
Wildlife: key species present in the park include Verreaux's sifakas and Red-fronted brown lemurs. Fossa are present. Birding is rewarding. Among other species, we saw Running and Crested couas, Sicklebilled and Hook-billed vangas and at the sacred lake, Flamingos and Humblot's herons. (October 2019). Reptiles such as Collared iguanid and Oustalet's chameleon are plentiful. Enthusiasts should note that the lemurs are not as approachable as is the case in Menabe Antimena (north of Morondava) - the lemurs have yet to be habituated to human presence so tend to be skittish and fast. (Best chances of seeing sifaka are at Antoatsifaka Research Station, where there is an area the guides refer to as 'Rebecca'. Equidistant from Belo Sur Mer is another forest area, Ambararata, where the baobabs are simply mind-blowing; there are (wild) lemurs and birding and 'herping' are rewarding. Trails are easy over gentle terrain.
To get to the park, it is necessary to stay at Belo Sur Mer, where we recommend a minimum of 4 nights, taking logistics and attractions into account.
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