Parc National Mantadia

Top choice in Eastern Madagascar

Part of the Parc National Andasibe Mantadia, this park is about 17km north of Andasibe. Created primarily to protect the indri, Mantadia also hosts the black-and-white ruffed lemur. A quiet, beautiful area with numerous waterfalls and wonderful landscapes, it is undeveloped and seldom visited compared to its popular neighbour to the south, so if you’re here in high season it’s well worth the detour to escape the crowds.

Established circuits include the easy 1km Circuit Rianasoa to see indris, orchids and a natural pool where you can swim (Ar40,000, one hour). This can be combined with the Sacred Waterfall for a 2km, two-hour moderate walk with some steep slopes (Ar80,000). There's also the moderately hard Circuit Tsakoka (Ar70,000, three hours), which is especially good for seeing frogs, birds and plants, and the Trekking Circuit (Ar100,000, 10 hours), a difficult trail of 15km, offering diverse altitudes and superb landscapes. If the weather has been wet (which it often is), watch out for leeches on the trails.

Permits and guides can be obtained at the MNP office in Parc National Analamazaotra. You’ll need all your own camping equipment if you’re planning to stay the night; the MNP campsite (tent sites free), just outside the park, has no facilities. To get to Mantadia from the MNP office, you will most likely need your own vehicle (Ar150,000 from Andasibe) or bicycle.