The Andohahela National Park is located a few kilometers away from Fort Dauphin and it covers over 76000 hectares. It is a home to very many rare species like birds which are recorded at a number of 150 species, 13 different species of lemurs and various plant species which give botanists a field trip. The Park is considered as a UNESCO heritage site and has been reserved to keep the animals and the various plant species found in the area safe.
The Andohahela National Park was declared in 1998 although it had been a reservation area for a lot of years. It has a very unique dense forest that can only be found here in the whole of Madagascar due to the preservation measures that are taken by the management of the Park. Part of the entrance fees that are paid before you can gain access to the Park are used to implement more conservation measures so that deforestation is reduced in the country.
The activities that can be carried out in Andohahela National Park include the following:
Birding and game drives in the Andohahela
The park has several bird species that are found in the Park and most of these bird species are endemic to Madagascar. They might not be many but their uniqueness is what you should not miss out when you visit the Park.
The park has quite a unique selection of animals that are found there and most of them just like the birds are endemic. Some of the animals that you will enjoy during your game drive include the Aye-aye, the different lemur species, the Nile crocodiles, rare lizard, snakes and many more others. And just like in other national Parks in Madagascar, you will not find all the big five and other predatory animals that are found in Africa.
Hiking in the Andohahela
The Andohahela has one of the best hikes you can experience when it comes hiking and the beauty about Andohahela is that you can use different hike routes into the park which all offer a good view of the park.
The trek within the Andohahela National Park can be done in two days or one depending on what you want but you will need a tour guide who will take you through the best trails in the park. They are extremely safe but you will need guidance from someone who is extremely familiar with the Park. These hiking routes act as a division of the Park into three parts and they include:
- The route at Tsimelahy
The Tsimelahy route can be hiked for two to three hours and it offers an interesting trek route for all those walking through it. The route is filled with various tree species and these include triangle palm and the Baobabs that come in different species. The trees make it extremely good for hiking since it offers a bit of shade to the trekkers and you can easily take photos along the way. The trees are a treasure because they are rare species and are good especially for botanists but it will be hard for you to see the Lemur along this route.
- The Ihazofosty- Mangatsiaka
There is another route that is extremely famous and popular among the tourists because of its strategic location. It is liked most because it offers a short distance when it comes to trekking and it is strategically located along the river banks where one can easily get refreshments like water and rest a bit.
The route is almost flat out and simple to use and it only becomes difficult for a short while before you go back to the easy trek. Along this route, you will be able to see the various vegetation types that are found in the park, the waterfalls, the River and thorny bushes that are found along the Path. You will also be able to see the various wild life like lizards, lemur, snakes and other animals.
- The circuit of Malio
This route can only be used but mostly during day and it leads to the Malio forest where you will be able to see the different rare wild life in the area like the different species of lemurs, the Aye-aye, lizards and many more others.
The climate experienced in the Andohahela
The climate experienced in Andohahela Park experiences three types of climate and all these are experienced in the different parts of the Park. The different parts of the Park have a unique vegetation pattern due to the climate in the area. Below is a pattern of how the different parts of the Park receive climate:
- The central part of the Park experiences both the two rainy climates that is the warm and dry and the warm and wet climate.
- The Eastern part of the Park experiences the warm and wet kind of climate. It receives a considerable amount of rainfall which has led to the presence of the rain forest that is found on that side of the Park.
- The western side of the Park also experiences the warm and dry kind of climate. It receives relatively less rainfall as compared to the other parts of the Park and is covered with the unique triangular palm that can withstand such climatic conditions.
All these climates greatly affect the Andohahela Park and they determine which kind of wild life habitate in which part of the Park.
How to get to the park
The best route that can be used to get to the Park is from Fort Dauphin where you can get a van that goes through the Tsimelahy village but this is only possible if you are using private means. You will need to use a 4 by 4 van to get you through the bad roads that are found in Madagascar. You can also public means which will drop you off at the a road 8 kilometers away from Fort Dauphin and then you will have to walk from Ranomainty or dive the five kilometers that will get you to the Park.
When to visit the Park
The best time to visit the Park is between the months of April and October although you should put the different climatic conditions that the Park gets. This will give you a better insight as to when to visit and when to avoid the Park at all costs. The Park is accessible throughout the year and the activities that you want to carry out will determine when you will be able to visit the Park. The park fees also depend on the time that you are going to spend in the park for example if you are going to spend just one day you will pay 10,000 AR and if you are spending two days, you will have to pay 15,000 AR.
There are various accommodation facilities that you can use when you visit the Andohahela national Park and some of these include the following:
- Hotel Lavasoa
The Hotel Lavasoa offers self-contained rooms with a mosquito net and they offer you your much needed privacy. The rooms have a wooden floor, free WIFI and a spacious balcony where you get a clear view of the sea which is located at the Fort Dauphin. They have different rooms that can accommodate all kinds of people from single rooms, duplex rooms and family rooms.
- The Le port Hotel
The hotel is located in Fort Dauphin and offers an amazing view of the surroundings including the sea from your private balconies. They have different types of rooms that is the Quad bungalow, standard rooms, double rooms and standard twin bungalows. All these have an en-suite bathroom and toilet and the beds are draped with a mosquito net due to the many mosquitos that are found in the area. From the vicinity of your room, you get a clear view of the gardens and there is also free WIFI in the hotel.
- The Azura hotel and spa
The Azura hotel and spa has one of the best accommodation facilities and it is located in Fort Dauphin. The hotel has beautifully decorated rooms that are self-contained, they also have a private balcony where you can view all the activities that are carried out on the beach that is close by and each bed has a mosquito net. They also have good local food and some international dishes and provide free WIFI for all the guests.
The Andohahela has a lot to offer and not all has been written down in this article but when you visit the Park, you will be able to see the various jewels that are hidden within the Park in just one or two days.
A trip to the Andohahela National Park can easily be arranged by us and all you need to do is get in touch with us and we will give you the different offers and you chose what is best for you at an extremely affordable cost.