Parc National Andohahela

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This 760-sq-km park protects some of the last remnants of rainforest in southern Madagascar, as well as spiny forest and a remarkable 12 species of lemurs. It also boasts 129 recorded species of birds, and a variety of amphibians and reptiles, including crocodiles. In short, this is one of Madagascar's most diverse parks when it comes to both landscapes and wildlife. Questionable security in surrounding areas is our only explanation for why the park remains so little known.

The park's boundaries encompass the Trafonomby, Andohahela and Vohidagoro mountains, the last of which is the source of numerous rivers.

The rainforest section of the park offers the best lemur-viewing possibilities. Daytime species include the collared brown lemur, southern lesser bamboo lemur and possibly even the Milne-Edwards' sifaka. Among the occasionally seen nocturnal lemurs, there's the Fleurete's sportive lemur, and rumours persist that the park has a population of aye-ayes…see one and you've hit the jackpot.

The park currently maintains three main hiking circuits for visitors and, with an early start, it is possible to visit on a day trip, but it is advisable to camp overnight. If you are interested in longer treks across the rainforest mountains, visit the MNP office in Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro).