Ankarafantsika National Park is 120km south-east of the west coast port Mahajanga. Getting there from Mahajanga is easily achieved by means of a 2 hours drive along a good, tarmac road. (Alternatively, the drive from Antananarivo takes about 9 hours).
We and our clients who have been there, unanimously agree that Ankarafantsika offers a superb wildlife experience. Its approximately 10,000 hectares of western dry deciduous forest, protects much the same wildlife as the Anjajavy Forest Reserve does, with the addition of the now Critically Endangered Mongoose lemur; Western woolly lemur and the Golden-brown (Lac Ravelobe) mouse lemur.
This long-established wildlife and birding hotspot is extremely rewarding year-round, so it is included in all comprehensive birding itineraries to the country. The bird list resembles that of Anjajavy, with the addition of the much-sought-after Schlegel's asity, as well as White-breasted mesite and the Endangered, range-restricted Van Dam's Vanga.
The trails traverse gentle terrain and are well maintained.
Visitors have the chance to see the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust's largest Madagascar-based project, 'Projet Angonoka' which is at the centrally-located Ampijoroa campsite near the open-air restaurant. The aim of this project has been to establish captive populations of Madagascar's four endemic tortoises and 1 endemic freshwater turtle, all of which are gravely endangered. Those keen on 'herping' can also look for the likes of Rhinoceros chameleon, Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko and Madagscar hog-nosed snake, among others.
Visitors to Ankarafantsika will need to be aware that lodging is very rustic. There are two small, basic properties that we book for our clients: 4km down the road at the village Andranofasika, is the small and simple Blue Vanga Lodge. Also in the area is the Tia Asity Lodge. Both properties have en-suite rooms with simple facilities. Given the perennial demand for Ankarafantsika by the international birding fraternity, we recommend booking early, especially if travelling from September to November.
- Coquerel's sifakas, Brown and Mongoose lemurs and 5 nocturnal lemur species
- All the forest-dependent endemic birds of Western Madagascar
- Critically endangered Madagascar fish eagles
- Wonderful reptiles, frogs and invertebrates
Looking for inspiration?
You'll find expert travel guides, holiday ideas and insider tips now on the Rainbow blog
Why Choose Us?
Passionate travel experts
- We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
- Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
- We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences
Personal & tailor-made
- You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
- We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
- Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love
Responsible by nature
- We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
- For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
- We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours