Not to be confused with the Réserve Forestière de Kirindy, the deliciously remote 72,200-hectare Parc National de Kirindy-Mitea, which surrounds Belo-sur-Mer, is one of Madagascar’s newest parks and it's well worth the effort to get here. The main draw at Kirindy-Mitea is the birdlife – 58 species in total, 18 of which are endemic to the region – although there are also nine lemur species, as well as reptiles.
Of the lemur species, only three are easily seen by day: Verreaux's sifaka, the red-fronted brown lemur and the ring-tailed lemur. The nocturnal species include Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (the world's smallest primate), fork-marked lemur, grey mouse lemur, Coquerel's dwarf lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur and red-tailed sportive lemur. Also present, if rarely seen, is the fossa.
There are three hiking circuits through the park:
Circuit Agnolignoly (2km, one hour) Easy walk through mangroves and coastal estuaries with an emphasis on waterbirds.
Circuit Ambondro-Sirave (3km, two hours) With sand dunes, spiny forest, baobabs, the beach and plenty of waterbirds, this is our pick if you only have time for one walk.
Circuit Maetsakaloe (4km, two hours) Baobabs, birds, dry forest and lemurs are the highlights on this relatively new walk.
There is also the possibility of doing a pirogue trip (Ar35,000) along the estuary and the mangrove. Park staff can help you arrange it.