Berenty Private Reserve
Reserve lies 90 km western from
Fort Dauphin and is a small private reserve set in the semi-arid spiny
the middle of what used to be spiny forest, but is now largely a sea of
fields. The reserve was created 70 years ago by the de Heaulme family
private park to protect 250 hectares encompassing spiny forest and dry
gallery woodland along the Mandrare river. The reserve is home to six
species of lemur and
the south’s largest colony of
The arboretum near the Berenty restaurant contains a collection of the extraordinary flora of the spiny forest. In the area you will also find an ethnological interesting museum, which depicts the life of the local tribe, the Antandroy, as well as a re-built Antandroy village.
|Verreaux sifakas move jumping from one branch to another © Gail Johnson|
Berenty can be visited all year round. It has cold, dry winters and hot summers (November to February), when temperatures can exceed 40°C and heavy thunderstorms can occur. Ringtails generally give birth in September/October, at the end of the dry season, enabling them to wean their young in February/March, the season of abundance. Be aware that around 8000 people visit Berenty each year, so if you are planning to come here, plan your visit well in advance.
The large amounts of
visitors and the very much habituated lemurs have unfortunately added
naturalness to the “wild” setting of the reserve
and imprinted it with a “zoo”
walking on your own through the network of broad, well-maintained paths
even despite the high admission prices, still a rewarding wildlife
By day, you will see the stars of the reserve, its numerous ring-tailed
Verreaux sifakas, as well as some red fronted brown lemurs, which were
to Berenty. At night, look for white-footed sportive lemur, Grey mouse
the newly recognised red-and-grey mouse lemur.
Walking through the reserve will also grant you the opportunity of seeing some of the 103 bird species, 56 of whom breed here, and observe many prolific reptiles (various chameleons species, lizards, the endangered radiated and spider tortoises and the Madagascar boa).
|Ring-tailed lemur by daily sunbathing © Gail Johnson|
If you stay overnight, there is
no other choice
than the Heaulme family’s company (SHTM) owned Berenty Lodge.