The Parc National Ranomafana is a steamy hothouse of jungle bio-diversity where the hum of insects of is ever present and the wail and squeal of a dozen lemur species entices wildlife-watching tourists.
One of the six sites that make up the Unesco-listed Rainforests of Atsinanana World Heritage site, the 41,600-hectare park was created in 1991 largely to protect two rare species of lemur (the golden bamboo lemur and the greater bamboo lemur, the former discovered only in 1986). For good reason, it has fast become a staple on almost every Madagascar itinerary.
The park is known for its diverse wildlife (there are 29 mammal species present), although some of it is quite elusive. The forest abounds with reptiles and amphibians, and the birdlife is exceptional (though the thick vegetation makes many of the birds hard to see). Although famous for its animals, the park's plant life is just as impressive, with orchids, tree ferns, palms, mosses and stands of giant bamboo.
The gateway town for the park is Ranomafana, which is 6km east of the park entrance on the RN25.