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Madagascar National Parks

Terrestrial National Park
Baie de Baly
Kirindy Mitea
Mananara Nord
Midongy Befotaka
Montagne d'Ambre
Tsingy de Namoroka
Zombitse Vohibasia

Marine national Park
Mananara Nord

Complete Natural Reserve

Special Reserve
Anjanaharibe Sud
Beza Mahafaly
Cap Sainte Marie
Montagne et Forêt d’Ambre
Tampoketsa Analamaintso

News of Ambohitantely protected area
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The Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is in the Region of Analamanga. This Reserve shelters the last traces of forest of the central Plateau. It is the bridge between the dense and damp forests with persistant leavesand of high altitude and the sclerophyl forests of average altitude of Madagascar. It is also the kingdom of lemur Eulemur fulvus and the predilection sky of birds.GPS 47° 12’ and 47° 20’ of East longitude and 18° 04’ and 18° 14’ of South latitude.

The Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is located at 140 km Northwest of Antananarivo, in the District of Ankazobe. It covers the South East - ledge of Ankazobe’s Tampoketsa. Ambohitantely is also an area covered with natural forest on 1,800 ha and covered of grassy savanna on 3,800 ha. The Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is the unique protected area in the Region of Analamanga.

The fauna

The lemur Eulemur fulvus and some endemic birds are the rare species of Ambohitantely. On the 12 recorded mammal species, three are Lemurs. These are Microcebus rufus and Avahi laniger, both nocturnals, and Eulemur fulvus, diurnal. The Reserve contains also rodents and species of the genus Microgale.

Among the birds, 48 species are reckoned. Most of them are endemic to Madagascar but none is endemic to Ambohitantely. Two threatened species are observed such as the Madagascar harrier Circus macroscles (VU), the Henst’s Goshawk Accipiter henstii and the Madagascar crested ibis Lophotibis cristata. Ambohitantely special reserve is the only proteced areas which inhabit Circus macrosceles. 17 species of amphibian and as many reptiles as rodents complete the list of Ambohitantely’s fauna.

The flora

Half of the Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is occupied by the natural forest, 35% of grassy savannas and 15% of exotic plantations. In the heart of the reserve, there is a ripicole forest in the low-lying grounds: the trunks of trees have a big diameter. The canopy is 16m, on the forest of the upper slope. In the forest of plateau, trees form a canopy of 6 to 8m height. Finally, the stems are fine in the crest forests.

The Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is known for its astonishing population of palms, like Dypsis decipiens, endemic species of the center of Madagascar, located between Ankazobe and Fianarantsoa. It is a palm that especially grows in the borders and on the slopes; such a species is not adapted in the heart of the forest. 35 plant families are found in the Special Reserve of Ambohitantely.


Travel shrewd...

From May to October, it is cold in Ambohitantely so wear warm clothing. From November to March, don't forget your windcheater and raincoats, rain will be torrential. There is no market there, you have to supply food to Ankazobe, which also has a health center, in case of emergency. Ambohitantely is not covered by any telephone network.

The history of a Special Reserve

The forest of Ambohitantely becomes a « Special Botanic Reserve » in 1982, particular status that protect it against all form of exploitation. In 1996, Madagascar National Park started managing the Special Reserve of Ambohitantely and established a structure for conservation and drew up a development and management plan of the Reserve.

The Merina, the Betsimisaraka and Betsileo live in this region. Ambohitantely and its neighborhoods count 4,800 people who live from breeding and agriculture. The region is reputed for the art of basket-making which the population master quite well.

Traces of natural forests

The Special Reserve of Ambohitantely plays a strategic role for the conservation. Its forests are the last fragments of natural forests within the high plateau of Madagascar. The study of the fragmentation effects of these highland forests is essential to run biodiversity rationally. These saved forests are also a haven for fauna and flora, endemic for most of them. Ambohitantely also has an ecological function. It is the water-tower of the affluents of Betsiboka and Ikopa rivers that enclose Ankazobe’s Tampoketsa.

Protecting the Palm-trees

Conservation of the biodiversity of Ambohitantely has been organized around the protection of this natural forest. Among vegetal species that having a prior right to conservation, we can find the palm Dypsis decipiens which only covers about ten hectares in the whole reserve. Collect of its seeds turned into a real surexploitation and bushfires have weakened this species. Among the animals, the protection of the lemurs Eulemur fulvus is privileged.

The polulation implies itself

Even though they have regressed extensively, the bushfire don't spare Ambohitantely. Madagascar National Parks joins with the riparian inhabitants of the Reserve for the maintenance of firewalls. As sure partners, the villagers launch out, with the support of Madagascar National Parks, in the creation of nursery, the preparation of soils, planting and maintenance.

A tropical climate of altitude

The climate is cold and dry from May to September with a thin fog that reduces  aridity. The heat and rain come back to Ambohitantely land its neighborhood from October to April. Mercury is quite low, oscillating between 13°C and 18°C in the year. It is a tropical climate of altitude.


The microprojects of Ambohitantely


By Road :

Take the National Road N° 4 connecting Antananarivo with Mahajanga. Branch off at Firarazana at kilometer Point 125 (30 km from Ankazobe). Then, drive over 15 km on a secondary road. It is all accessible year round but a little hard during the rainy season, from December to March. The whole journey lasts 3 hours on a distance of 140 km.

By Taxi brousse :

Antananarivo - Ankazobe
Stationnement: Antaminena – Vassacos. everyday. It is a distance of 95 km and need 2h.

From Ankazobe, join Firarazana by a road of approximately 30 km in 45 min. The last branching to the Special Reserve of Ambohitantely is Firarazana. It is a roadway of 15 km to go on foot for 2 hours unless you have a car.


Six ecotouristic circuits enable to tour the Special Reserve of Ambohitantely. The guides are paid according to the duration of the visit is 3.000 Ar for less 2h and 5.000 Ar for more than 2h.

Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of the botanical garden Duration : 4h
Distance : trekking of 4km

if you are lucky you will admire the palms and the orchids of the forest of Ambohitantely as well as the lemurs, the birds and the reptiles. Camera slung over shoulder, come and explore!
Guidance : Ar 3,000 for less than 2 hours
Guidance : Ar 5,000 for more than 2 hours


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of the botanical trail Duration : 4h
Distance : 3.2 km

This circuit will lead you toward the waterfalls of 50 m of height and the underground cave of bats. The trail has been arranged in the heart of the epiphyte prairies of orchids, in addition endemic birds will be seen spreading their wings in the sky. Check out, to make sure that your swimsuit, your camera and your binoculars are in your bag.
Guidance : Ar 3,000 for less than 2 hours
Guidance : Ar 5,000 for more than 2 hours


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The botanical path circuit toward the Doany of Ampasandoaka Duration : 4h
Distance : 5 360 Km for a trek

The botanical path crosses the territory of the mascot lemur of Ambohitantely and take you toward the doany of Ampasandoaka, sacred place of rituals. The circuit is an acsencion of 1 662 m at the end a panoramic view of the Reserve of Ambohitantely.
Guidance : Ar 3,000 for less than 2 hours
Guidance : Ar 5,000 for more than 2 hours


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of Vatobe Antsolatra Duration : 2h
Distance : one ride or on foot over 2 600 km

The itinerary will drive you toward the archaeological museum and Orchidarium. Eight species of litophyte orchids and terrestrial grow in this greenhouse; you will enjoy admiring their beautiful flowering. The circuit ends at the archaeological site of Vatobe Antsolatra that contains a trace of dwelling dating up to the reign of Andrianampoinimerina. History tells us that the remparts are served as protection to the kings'secondary residence at that time. But, according to other version, the occupants of these places were…bull-kepers!
Guidance : 3.000 Ars for less than 2 hours
Guidance : 5.000 Ars for more than 2 hours


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The Dypsis circuit Duration : 2h on foot or by car
Distance : 4 km

This circuit is one of the royal palm, the Dypsis decipiens. You will make excellent photos there.
Guidance : Ar 3.000 for less than 2 hours
Guidance : Ar 5.000 for more than 2 hours


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
  Duration : 4 to 5h on an abrupt slope
Distance : 6 360 km for a trek

It connects the circuits of the botanical Path and the Doany Ampasandoaka.
Guidance : Ar 3.000 for less than 2 hours
Guidance : Ar 5.000 for more than 2 hours

An office welcome is waiting for you at the Reserve, where you can have all informations about your plan of stay and the circuits. Five guides work at Ambohitantely, but some clear and easy indications will allow you guide yourselves in the Reserve. 
The reserve of Ambohitantely also has three sites of camping. Every area of camping has three Water-closets, three showers and two fountain boundary-marks.


- Two areas of camping with each 4 tents for 2 pers : Ar 2,000/night/tent
- An area of camping with 7 tents for 2 pers : Ar 2,000/night/tent

It is possible to rent camping equipments.


Tents for two pers: Ar 2,000 / day / tent
Tents to a place: Ar 2,000 / day / tent

A lodging of stage is found at the bifurcation of Firarazana. It is managed by the fokontany, but the comfort is quite precarious. A hotel without comfort is established in Ankazobe.


Madagascar National Parks
Ambatobe - BP 1424
101 Antananarivo
Tél. : + (261 20) 22 415 38
         + (261 20) 22 418 83
Email :

Réserve Spéciale Ambohitantely
Tél. Standard : 033 01 958 04 (vacation : 12h – 14h et 17h – 18h)

Chief of Reserve :
GSM : +(261 32) 45 457 10


Trekking enthusiasts, lovers of birds, wildlife enthusiasts, you are at home to Ambohitantely. But the reserve has more than one trick up one’s sleeve.

At 79 km from Antananarivo, in Ambohidambina, you will find the tomb of the famous Ikotofetsy and Imahakà. Mythical characters of the Malagasy tales, Ikotofetsy and Imahaka are two young artful and always loving adventures ones. At 94 km of Antananarivo visit the Fitososona dam of Ankazobe. The cultural sites of Ankazosoary is established at 118 km. The stele that commemorates the historic meeting of Andrianamampoinimerina, respected king in the Merina kingdom (1787-1810) and the Sakalavas sovereign is erected at those places.

A little further, 121 km away, you will visit the forest station of Manankazo. It is bordered very close by a river where you will have convivial picnics.

Finally, 10 km from there, on the kilometer point 131, have a jump to the Natural Reserve of Sohisika. It is a site managed by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) that protects the Sohisika species.

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