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The Andasibe- Mantadia National Park
The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is located in Alaotra Mangoro in the eastern part of the country and it is only four hours away from the capital city of Madagascar. Part of Madagascar and it is a combination of two reserves that is the Mantadia forest and the Analamazoatra reserve. The Park was formerly known as the Analamazoatra and it has just been changed of recent so do not be alarmed when some people still refer to it using the old name. The word Andasibe is in Malagasy and it can loosely be translated as the ‘Big camp’ due to its vast nature.
As we earlier on discussed, the park is made up of two reserves and the Mantadia covers the larger Part of the park with over 120 kilometers squared and it will take you almost an hour to get to Mantadia. The Andasibe side also offers nature walks throughout the Park and these can take two to three hours.
The park has many wildlife animals that can be seen and most of the time it is always the first time for someone to see these animals, birds and insects. The park is also has a waterfall where you can relax after a long day trekking and you can also view the Ranomafana hot springs which are nearby.
The wildlife in Andasibe-Mantadia
The Parks is a good place where tourists can go for birding. It has a recorded number of bird species that amount to over 100 and all these can be viewed throughout the Park. Most of the bird species that are found in the park are endemic and these include the wagtail, Madagascar Falcon, long eared owl, the Madagascar green sunbird and many more others. A visit to the park gives birders a chance to see these rare birds and they also get to take some photos while birding.
The Andasibe Park is also filled with a lot of animals that can be viewed by tourists once they visit the park. You will be able to see the Indri-Indri, various reptiles like chameleons, snakes, lizard, geckos and many more and these can easily be seen during the rainy season and at night since this is the only time that they are extremely active. The Andasibe is also famously known for its large number of frogs that are can be found in the various parts of the Park.
The Indri-Indri is one of the many species of Lemur that is found in the Andasibe national Park. Everyone who visits the Park is guaranteed to see at least one or two in the trees. The Indri-indri looks like a baby panda due to the black and white markings that they have on their bodies although they are a lot thinner than the Pandas. The noise that they make cannot be forgotten that easily and the noise that sounds like a wail carriers over 30 kilometers through the Park.t
How to get to Andasibe National Park
There are several taxis that can get you to the Park and there is a passenger train that will get you to the Park more easily as compared to the road transportation. The train station is located just two meters away from the entrance of the Park and it seems the much better option although it might be crowded.
You can also get a personal car which will take you to the Park especially if you want your privacy. The park fees are paid at the entrance of the park and you are given a permit that will help you access the different parts of the Park. The Park has several places that you can visit and you will need an experienced tour guide to help you traverse the park.
When to visit the Park
The best time to visit the Park is during the month of October but it is open to tourists throughout the year. It has the highest number of visitors who trek through the forest to see the various animals that are in the park including the popular Indri-Indri and other wildlife in the area. The park is highly visited and therefore if you want to get the best services you need to book early so that you do not get disappointed.
Accommodation facilities in Andasibe
There are different levels of accommodation facilities that are found near the Park and these cater for all visitors irrelevant of your budget. The accommodation facilities come into different categories that is high end hotels, budget range accommodations and the middle range accommodations
Budget/ low range accommodation
There is only one low range accommodation facility near the Andasibe and it is the Hotel Orchidees. The Hotel Orchidees offers you with various simple rooms which are not self-contained. You have to share a bathroom that have warm running water with the rest of the guests. They also offer good food at their restaurant which is at a low cost although you need to book in advance before you travel.
The middle range accommodations
The middle range accommodations around the Andasibe include the following:
The hotel Feon’NyAla
This is located near the National Park and it is surrounded by a small lake which makes it a calm place for relaxing for all those that had a long day. The rooms are extremely spacious and self-contained and within the vicinity of your room you can hear the different birds chirping away in the morning. They also provide chalets that can house over seven people and the choice is yours to choose whatever you want as your accommodation room.
The Grace lodge Andasibe
This is located one kilometer away from the National Park. The lodge offers bungalow rooms which are self-contained and provide privacy to all the guests. They have hot water in the bathrooms and offer goo local cuisines and have a swimming pool where you can relax especially after a long day at the Park.
The Mikalo Hotel
The Mikalo Hotel is located just as you enter the town and it offers good facilities to the tourists. They have spacious self-contained bungalows and the beauty about using these accommodation facilities is that they allow camping if that is what you want to do. They also provide breakfast and lunch to the tourists that consists of both local and international cuisines.
The high end accommodation
There is only one accommodation that falls under the high end and this is Vekona Forest Lodge and is located only six kilometers away from the Park. It is one of the best accommodation facilities around the Park. They have standard rooms that include double rooms, single rooms and triple rooms and all these are self-contained.
They offer free WIFI, have a tennis table and a swimming pool for relaxations and a very good trek route through the forest and you get a chance to also enjoy the good food that is prepared at the hotel.
The climate experienced in Andasibe
The Park normally experiences cloudy conditions and this makes the Park have a cool temperature almost throughout the day and you should also be ready for a rain pour which can happen throughout the whole day.
The weather in the area is mostly due to the presence of the rain forests in the area. Although if you are into trekking, you will have to do it on days that are sunny to avoid the slippery routes within the park.
The Park can also be visited at night and this gives you ample time to see the nocturnal life in the Park. A night walk through the forest reserve will avail to you the different nocturnal life that is located in the Park for example you will be able to see the chameleons that normally come out at night, the furry eared dwarf lemur, the Eastern woolly lemur and the Goodman’s mouse lemur. All you need is to pack a heavy touch that will help you see the animals clearly and heavy clothes to reduce on the coldness that is always experienced in the Park during the night hours.
When you are visiting the Park, remember to pack appropriately especially when it comes to clothes. You will need to carry some heavy clothes that will protect you from the rain or you can carry water proof clothes to avoid getting wet.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park can be explored separately that is you can first visit the first part of the Park which is the Mantadia where you will be able to see the golden lemurs lounging in the trees and trek through the Park and note that the trails that are found in the Mantadia side are extremely steep. The other Part which is the Andasibe can also be explored on the same day and the good thing about the trails is that they are not as steep as the ones in Mantadia. All this can be experienced as long as you book early enough to enjoy the Park.