The Zahamena Complex Protected Areas spread on 64,370 ha. The Park is equivalent to 42,300 ha and the Complete Natural Reserve over 22,100 ha. The Complete Natural Reserve is the central hard core of the complex of protected areas. Particularly, it has a vocation of conservation; therefore the tourists cannot reach there.
112 species of birds, 29 species of fish, 62 species of amphibian, 46 species of reptiles are listed in Zahamena. On the 48 species of mammals counted, 13 are lemurs. Many appear in the red list of the International union for the Conservation of the Nature (IUCN) because of their rarity or their vulnerability.
The best fauna of Zahamena
1 - Indri indri or Babakoto. It is a black Lemur which back is teinted white. Diurnal, this lemur feeds on leaves and carries his baby on its back. We can see it in the South of Zahamena in November and December.
2 - Madagascar Red Owl, Tyto soumagnei of its vernacular name Vorondolomena.
It is a reddish yellow bird, of 30cm long. Its head is long. Nocturnal, the Madagascar Red Owl lives in degraded and intact forest.
3 - Katsatsaka or Paroedura masobe. It is a gecko of small size, hardly 10 to 15 cm. It has a tail in teeth-of-saw and its body is brown gray. This gecko is nocturnal and lone.
4 - Madagascar serpent-eagle, Eutriorchis astur, known as Fandrasalambo. It is classified by IUCN in 2008 as threatened species (EN).
5- Red-tailed Newtonia Newtonia fanovanae, a threatened species is very common at Zahamena.
151 species of Ptéridophytes, 60 species of orchids, 22 species of Palms, 10 species of Pandanus, 511 woody plant species are known in Zahamena. The inventory of the woody plants done since 1995 indicates an average of 1.450 trees per hectare with a canopy of 20m of height.
The best of the flora of Zahamena
1. Marattia boivinii or Kobila. Endemic plant it is a fern of large size. It carries to its basis two big excrescences in a stipuled shape
2. Blotella coursii or Fanjana malemy. This fern is endemic to the park of Zahamena.
For your visit, don’t forget your raincoat (from november till april). Wear warm clothes and good walking shoes. Do not forget your camping equipments.
Supply yourselves in mineral water and food in Antananarivo or Ambatondrazaka. The nearest banks are in Ambatondrazaka. At Antanandava and Ambatondrazaka there are health centers. All circuits and the surrounding of the park of Zahamena are covered by Orange and Zain telephone networks.
The History of the Park
The Complete Natural Reserve of Zahamena (RNI n°III) was created in 1927. Initially, the Reserve had an area of 73,160 hectares and was created foreseeing the conservation of flora and the representative fauna of the humid tropical forest of the Eastern part of Madagascar. In August 1997, the limits of the Reserve was modified: and 42,300 hectares was downgraded to become National Park, while 22,100 hectares are maintained as a Complete Natural Reserve. The isolation of the Park encouraged its natural protection, but currently its conservation is more delicate. Sihanaka and Betsimisaraka’s live in this region. The protected area of Zahamena is the tank water of the Alaotra Region. It feeds the hydrographic networks that drain the big valleys of the Alaotra and the surrounding plains of Analanjirofo.
The microprojects of Zahamena
The Complex of Zahamena is located in the Eastern part of Madagascar, on horseback between the regions of Mangoro Alaotra, Analanjirofo and Atsinanana. It is 20 Km birds' flight over the Lake Alaotra and from 50 Km birds' flight of the Indian Ocean.
On Road :
Antananarivo - Zahamena: 378 km of road, including 187 Km on the minor road. About 7 to 8 hours of journey. The National Road N°44 is punctuated by rain barriers for trucks.
- Take the National Road N°2, to Toamasina. Make shift at Moramanga to the National Road N°44. This road joins Moramanga -Ambatondrazaka - Antanandava.
Ambatondrazaka-Antanandava. A journey of 70 km on either side 2 h.
- Antanandava-Ankôsy (entry of the Park): the track is maintained, it is 8Km long for 2hours walk. The carriage track is accessible by 4x4 cars and by motorcycle during the months of July to November.
By Taxi brousse :
Antananarivo - Zahamena.
Stage 1: Antananarivo-Ambatondrazaka: It is a journey of 270Km, 115 Km of which on a secondary road. A journey of 7hours.
Bus Station: Antohomadinika to Ambatondrazaka, every day
Stage 2: Ambatondrazaka-Antanandava. A journey of 70 km on a secondary road that's 2 hours.
Stage 3: Antanandava-Ankôsy (entry of the Park): the track is maintained, it is 8Km long for 2hours walk. The carriage track is accessible by 4x4 cars and by motorcycle during the months of July to November.
Two circuits cross the park of Zahamena. The tariffs are of Ar 8,000 /guide and Ar 5,000 / Carrier for all circuits. A big tour can also be organised from Antananarivo.
|The circuit of Ankosy-Bemoara
|Duration : 3h
Distance : 5,5 km
It borders the forest to come to the meeting of the lemurs of Zahamena. It leads to the natural pool of Bemoara and gives a panoramic view of the Alaotra Lake.
|- Area of camping in Bemoara, in the forest. 7 tents for 14 people
- Tariffs: Ar 2,000 / tent / night
|The circuit of Bemoara-Cascade
|Duration : 3h
Distance : 5,6 km
The circuit borders the forest, to meet the lemurs of Zahamena. End of circuit on the falls of Andranomitsangana that sits on its top of 80m.
|- Area of camping close to the cascade, in the forest. 7 tents for 14 people
- Tariffs: Ar 2,000 / tent / night
The Great tour Antananarivo – National Parc of Zahamena – Antananarivo. Six days of adventures!
Day 1: On road: Antananarivo-Ambatondrazaka. Night in Ambatondrazaka
Day 2: Morning in Ambatondrazaka After noon: from Ambatondrazaka to Antanandava. Night in Antanandava
Day 3: Preparation of departure Antanandava-Circuit Ankôsy-Bemoara: 13,5km. For the night: camping in Bemoara, in the forest
Day 4: Circuit Bemoara - Cascade and Falls of Andranomitsangana: 5,5km. For the night: camping at the falls
Day 5: Cascade - Antendroranano-Antanandava: track of 16km kept. Night in Antanandava
Day 6: Antanandava-Ambatondrazaka-Antananarivo: according to your choice
The Office Park welcomes you at Antanandava. You can have all the information for your stay. The park entrance is located 8 km from the reception desk; you can get there by 4x4 cars. Three guides English and French spoken works in Zahamena Park.
By dugout, visit the Alaotra Lake, that is classified RAMSAR site .You will find in the surrounding the only lemur species that lives in wetlands Hapalemur alaotrensis or Bandro, and many duck species. The lake is 15 Km from Zahamena, accessible by car. Attend the famous fair of the Aloatra. It takes place every year, in the month of August during five days and gather the five districts of the Mangoro Alaotra. It is an event that highlights the Sihanaka and Betsimisaraka's cultures. It meets approximately 3,000 people.