'Perinet' is the French name for the railway station at the town of Andasibe and for the Analamazaotra Special Reserve. It forms part of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. With its well-maintained, broad and gentle trails, 'Perinet's' location only 145km east of the capital, Antananarivo, makes this the most visited protected rainforest site in Madagascar. Primary rainforest can be seen in nearby Mantadia National Park, where slopes are steeper and trails can be narrower than in 'Perinet'/Andasibe. Across the road from the national park is a rainforest concession managed by the inspiring initiative Association Mitsinjo, where visitors can experience the central-eastern rainforest at night.
Analamazaotra (Périnet) is a 810-hectare fragment of mid-altitude (900 - 1250m) rainforest. Mantadia is a further 37km north by dirt road and Vohimana is a short drive past Maromizaha rainforest. Madagascar's rainforests are among the densest in the world but with a lower canopy than those elsewhere.
The protected areas in this rainforest block are renowned for their habituated groups of the endangered Indri, the largest surviving lemur – almost everybody sees them. The Indri is about a metre in height and has powerful legs allowing it to leap up to 10m from tree to tree. The animals’ whale-like calls emanating from the rainforest, as the mist lifts off the canopy in the early mornings, is even more compelling than watching the Indri themselves. Indri are monogamous and live in small family groups of up to 6, comprising an adult pair and their dependent young. The female Indri gives birth to a single young every two or three years, usually in June.
Birders come to 'Perinet' and Mantadia to seek the island's rainforest-dependent endemics. It is a particularly good location for - among others - Madagascar blue pigeon, Blue and Red-fronted couas, Common Sunbird-asity and the Coral-billed nuthatch vanga and, at night, Madagascar long-eared owl and Collared nightjar. All 4 rainforest dependent ground-rollers may be seen in Mantadia, along with a select band of other rarities.
When to visit
This is a rainforest: average annual rainfall is 1700mm, falling on over 210 days per year. Though wildlife viewing is most productive from mid-September to April, the fauna is used to inclement weather and the area can be visited year-round. The wettest months are January to March; the driest, September to mid-November. The mean annual temperature is 18°C, with temperatures around 10°C in July and August rising to 26° or 27° November – January.
In the austral winter and autumn (May to August), we recommend a two night stay here, while in spring and summer (September to March), three nights is suitable. Note that in winter, nights can be very cold.
For visitors interested in the conservation issues in this area, the NGO Association Mitsinjo can deliver a 45-minute talk in the field (minimum of 4 guests) and tree planting (donation is €15 per person). Please let us know long in advance if you would like us to arrange this for you.
145km east of Antananarivo by good tarmac road (drive time approximately 5 hours)
The reforestatation programme of Manatsara (2019 - 2022) is being conducted about 6km from Mantadia National Park, supported by the Swiss NGO S.OS. (Save Our Species) and the VOI initiative at Andasibe. Under the VOI initiative resident people launch a reforestation programme where indigenous trees are planted over a 10ha area. Accompanying the reforestation is environmental education including sustainable activities like beekeeping. (VOI is short for VOIMA, a community structure at village level set up in order to ensure involvement of resident communities in plans for biodiversity conservation and for the promotion of natural resources in the area).
Far better known is Association Mitsinjo, formed in 1999 by residents of Andasibe In 2003, the Association took over management of Station Forestier d'Analamazaotra, which now is known as Mitsinjo Parc. It also works in association with Asity (the Malagasy 'arm' of BirdLife International, at the nearby Ramsar site of Torotorofotsy Marsh. As an organisation run by resident people, the team understands better than most how environmental issues are tied to the well-being of the community. All of Mitsinjo's projects are community-based and implemented entirely bt the Association's members and other residents. They focus on reforestation (establishing forest corridors so that wildlife is able to move freely between isolated forest tracts); rainforest restoration; environmental education; community-based protection and sustainable agriculture; family planning and health; frog conservation and lemur monitoring,
- Aye ayes and Ruffed lemurs at Le Palmarium
- Indri, Diademed Sifaka and various nocturnal Lemurs in Andasibe-Mantadia
- Fosa, Fork-marked lemurs and Baobabs at Kirindy
- Leaftailed geckoes and chameleons at Montagne d'Ambre
- Exquisite, wildlife-rich rainforest at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - see Lemurs, Chameleons and rare birds
- Sample Malagasy culture in Antananarivo
- Sublime, sunny Baobab Beach
- Rare Sambirano Domain wildlife - lemurs, chameleons and more
- Malagasy culture in vibrant Antananarivo
- Indri, Parson's chameleon and other rainforest denizens of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
- Endangered endemic birds in Black River Gorges NP (Mauritius)
- Exploring colourful underwater life and enjoying rest & relaxation time in Mauritius
- Indris, Verreaux's sifakas, Ringtails and other Lemurs galore!
- Colourful chameleons, geckos and a plethora of tree frogs
- Woolly, Dwarf and Mouse lemurs during night walks
- Mesites, Couas, Ground-rollers, Asities, Vangas and other endemic birds
- Indri, Parson's chameleon, Blue coua and other flagship species of the east Malagasy rainforests at Andasibe-Mantadia
- Critically Endangered Coquerel's sifakas, Madagascar fish eagles marvellous Baobabs at Anjajavy
- Superb accommodation and exceptional hospitality at remote Anjajavy
- Rest and relaxing time at Anjajavy's sunny beaches
- Highlands culture: the Merina and Betsileo people
- Rainforest wildlife in Ranomafana and Andasibe-Mantadia National Parks
- The ringtailed lemurs of Anja
- Hiking in spectacular surrounds at Isalo National Park
- Kirindy Forest's famed Baobabs and rare wildlife
- Awe inspiring rock formations in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
- Remote, coastal Belo Sur Mer for beach and Kirindy Mitea National Park
- Snorkelling at Nosy Andravoho
Vakona Forest Lodge is family run and has been a popular choice for many years, due to its proximity to the National Parks of Andasibe and Mantadia. It is one of four comfortable but no-frills lodges that we recommend servicing this 'must see' rainforest area. Accommodation The lodge has 28 bungalows, spread around a garden overlooking a small lake. Rooms can be set up as a double, twin, triple...
Sure to become the most sought- after accommodation servicing Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, this lodge, under the same ownership as Couleur Café in Antsirabe, was opened in early 2018. The lodge is located on a slope overlooking (at least some) rainforest. Accommodation is in the form of 25, tastefully designed, ultra-modern rooms: 10 are twin and 1 is also a family suite. All of the roo...
A 4-star property, Manjarano Lodge & Spa is located in a 180 ha property in close proximity to Andasibe, Analamzaotra and Mantadia National Park. Accommodation is in the form of 10 en-suite chalets, of which 6 are lakeside and a further four on the hillside. Of modern design, each chalet has a large private balcony from where panoramic lake views and lovely sunsets can be enjoyed. The rooms are ...
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