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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 Tsaratanana protected area
News are ongoing...

The Complete Natural Reserve of Tsaratanana is located in the North. It is on this volcanic massif that rises the roof of Madagascar, the Maromokotra that culminates up to 2,876 m. Tsaratanana belongs to the category I of the International Classification of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is managed for conservation and scientific research. GPS: 13°51 -14°07 of South latitude and the 48°45 and 48°59 of East longitude.

Tsaratanana spreads on 48,622 ha.It is 57 Km North of Bealanana. Tsaratanana massif consists of a wide range volcanic dismantled by erosion. The slopes are relatively steep in low altitude parts and then ending with a complex system of ridges culminating in a vast plateau whose highest peak, the Maromokotra rises to 2 876 m.

The fauna

Closed to the public and located in altitude, Tsaratanana is a heaven for its nature witch endemicity is one of highest of Madagascar. There, 20 species of mammals are listed of which more than a half are lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco, Ankomba ; Phaner furcifer parienti or Valovy, Daubentonia Madagascariensis or Aye-Aye). The Reserve also shelters 94 species of birds like Madagascar Red-Owl, Tyto soumagnei and Madagascar serpent-eagle, Eutriorchis astur which are the mascots of the Reserve. The yellow-bellied sunbird Asity, the high altitudinal species Neodrepanis hypoxantha is very common at the site.

The flora

The humid dense forest of Tsaratanana is a habitat for the endemic species as Platypelis tsaratananiensis or Chamaeleo guibei. Nature has not finished surprising us, new species have been discovered lately: Pandanus tazoanii and Pandanus maromokotraensis. The forest is however a threatened wealth because precious woods and hard woods such as the palm Dypsis ampasindavae or Kindro, wood of ebony or mapingo, palissanders or Magnary are generally cut for use in constructions


Travel shrewd...

The protected area of Betampona belonging to category I of the International Classification of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), so a Complete Natural Reserve is managed primarily for protection of wilderness or scientific study. It is forbidden to enter, to travel and camping.

The story of a reserve

From the 1900s, the massif of Tsaratanana has attracted the attention of the colonial administration. In 1927, it became an Complete Natural Reserve. In 1966, the Malagasy government improved the protection of Tsaratanana. Since 1998, the reserve was been managed by Madagascar National Parks.

This protected area is classified today in the category I of the International Classification by the International Union for the Conservation of the Nature (IUCN). While being a Complete Natural Reserve, it is managed mainly to the ends of scientific research and conservation. Tourists don't have access there. The Sakalava and the Tsimihety who live in the region of Tsaratanana helped extensively to keep the natural heritage of the reserve due to their rituals and traditions.

Tsaratanana is a vast volcanic dismantled by the erosion. The slopes are abrupt in the low parts that turn into crests the highest summit of which is the Maromokotra. Six rivers take source from the heart of Tsaratanana: the Sambirano, the Mahavavy, the Ifasy, the Maevarano and the Bemarivo.

Tsaratanana’s Complete Natural Reserve strategic role

Tsaratanana Reserve plays a strategic role in particular, representation because it represents the high spot of Malagasy flora thanks to the uniqueness of its geographic position on horseback of two major phytogeographical regions, namely the highland ecoregion of the North and the ecoregion of high mountains.

It shelters a wealth endemic species, justifying its classification among the 9 gems of biodiversity of Madagascar, and it is a genetic pool by the proximity of the Manongarivo Special Reserve and Anjanaharibe South and promoting the existence of two (2) corridors Tsaratanana / Manongarivo- Tsaratanana / Anjanaharibe South, both of great value for the continuity of habitat and species' viability.

The Complete Natural Reserve of Tsaratanana shelters the sources of the most important rivers of the region, supplying the need in drinking water for people in the area and irrigating around 300 000 hectares of crop fields of the 3 largest producing areas : the Sambirano the Mahavavy and the Sofia.


The microprojects of Tsaratanana
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Antananarivo - Tsaratanana is a journey of about three days by road. 
Antananarivo-Ambanja by the National Road No. 06 is a trip for a day and a half.

North entry

By Road :

Ambanja - Ambobaka. It is a journey of 14 km on a secondary track in a bad state. It is only practicable from March to December.
South West Entry

By Road :

Ambanja - Marotolana - Beangona Ambevy
Ambanja - Marotolona, a journey of 72 km, on a secondary track in bad state.
Marololona - Beangona Ambevy, a track of 15 km, practicable from June to December.
South entry

By Road :

Antsohihy - Bealanana - Ambatoriha - Mangindrano - Maromokotra: 4 days on road!
Antsohihy - Ankazobetsihay, on the National Road N°6 is a journey of 22 km on tarred road, in good state. From Ankazobetsihay, make a shift toward Bealanana - Ambatoriha while taking the National Road N°31. It is a road of 151 km, tarred but in a bad state. Gates of rain stop the access to the road in February and March. From Ambatoriha, join Mangindrano 25 km on a secondary track in a very bad state that is only practicable from July to November. From Mangindrano, join Maromokotra 48 km. The track is practicable from July to November.


As Tsaratanana is classified Complete Natural Reserve, it has no tourist infrastructure like track, welcome, center of interpretation.

As Tsaratanana is classified Complete Natural Reserve, it has no tourist infrastructure like track, welcome, center of interpretation. The Reserve welcome is in Ambanja.

Contacts :

Direction Inter-Régionale de Madagascar National Parks à Antsiranana
Route de l’Aéroport BP 475

Tél. /fax : (261 20) 82 213 20

Email :

Réserves : Tsaratanana (RNI) – Manongarivo (RS)
BP 164 – 203 Ambanja

Tél. : +(261 32) 02 835 30

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