This 17,240ha forest straddles the popular RN7 road about an hour inland from Isalo (so, three hours drive from Tulear). On both sides of the roads there are simple trails graded as easy to moderate, over gentle terrain. It is of salutary significance to biologists as this is the last remaining stand of transition forest, where the western and southern floristic domains merge. So its floral composition is interesting, containing species of endemic Baobab, Orchids and Bamboo. (The baobabs in this area and around nearby Sakaraha are of the large southern species, Adansonia za).
Zombitse is rewarding year round and at any time of day for wildlife enthusiasts. Most visitors encounter groups of 'dancing' Verreaux's sifaka (albeit up in the trees here), Red-fronted brown lemur and even the locally endemic Hubbard's sportive lemur, found nowhere else. The forest appears on all birding itineraries and usually delivers 'specials' such as Madagascar white-browed owl, Giant and Crested couas, White-headed and Chabert's vangas and the locally endemic Appert's greenbul, one of the park's flagship species endemic to this forest.
The forest is home to a varied reptile fauna, including the Oustalet's chameleon (one of the world's two largest chameleons); Collared iguanid and the locally endemic Standing's day gecko. Zombitse is also highly praised for its butterfly fauna.
Zombitse is one of many wonderful Malagasy parks which is poorly patrolled and as a result of human activity, continues to shrink in size annually. Your visit provides employment for resident forest guides. Fire-breaks are set up by the MNP park rangers to protect the forest from being battered by grass fires in the stark surrounding area. Environmental education is being conducted at the school in the nearby town Sakaraha, with a view to educating residents about the importance of protecting Zombitse's remarkable flora and fauna.
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