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Marotandrano Special Reserve

Map Marotandrano Marotandrano Special Reserve was established in 1956 and lies some km of Mandritsara, in the northeastern part of Madagascar. It has a total surface of 422 km² and consists mainly of mid-altitude evergreen forest, which grows on slopes and has a canopy of 20-25m, with some trees reaching more than 30m height. The landscape is formed by steep-sided valleys, grassy savannas, rivers and marshes. There are some small areas of degraded forest and agricultural land as well. The extraordinary rich wildlife is the main reason why most visitors come to Marotandrano. Unfortunately some lemur species, such indris and ruffed lemurs, are still hunted by local people.

There are several communal projects starting up in order to develop the rural communities of Tsimihety living next to Marotandrano so that they are no so dependant on the forest resources and to avoid illegal tree falling, bush fires and poaching. The villages of Marontandrano, Ampatakamaroreny and Ambodiadabo participate in this initiative: new schools, irrigation dams and hives are being currently built.

Marontandrano shelters a wide number of animal species. There are 25 mammals (all endemic to Madagascar except from the European rat), among them 11 lemus species: indri, black and white ruffed lemur, diademed sifaka, small-toothed sportive lemur, brown mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, greater dwarf lemur, white-fronted lemur, collared brown lemur, Eastern lesser bamboo lemur.
16 reptiles, 19 amphibians and 140 bird species (56 endemic) complete the biodiversity of Marotandrano, among them the very rare Madagascar serpent-eagle, brown mesite, short-legged ground-roller, Madagascar pratincole, Humbolt's heron or Bernier's Vanga.
diademed sifaka
  Diademed sifaka  © Gail Johnson 
The Reserve is accessible by road during the most part of the year. During the rainy from December to March some parts are impracticable because of the rain. Almost every trip to Marotandrano starts at the city of Mandritsara. If you come from Tana you can take the road RN4 till Ambondromamy and then the RN6 until Antsohihy. Here take the R32 until Mandritsara. Once here, take a really bad road until the village of Marotandrano, where the entrance is. There is a shorter option, but the road is much worse: from Tana drive along the road until Andilamena and then take a bad track until the Reserve.

There is a taxi-brousse connection from Tana to Mandritsara and here several times a week another one to Marontandrano village.

The climate is dry tropical, with two clear seasons. The warm, humid  and rainy season starts in November and finishes in March, and the cool and dry one goes from April to October. Temperatures are warm all year around, with an average of 22°C.

Humbolt heron
  Humbolt´s heron on a river shore
  © Danielguip

There are currently a couple of circuits through the Reserve in order to spot lemurs, birds or to climb the peak of Ambiniviny to enjoy the views over the forest. These treks are quite long (8 to 15 km) and take 3 to 6 hours, depending on your physical condition.

There is a camping place inside the Reserve with some basic facilities. Price per day and tent is 5.000 Ar. It is also possible to stay with the local people and get a real experience of rural Malagasy daily life.

At Mandritsara there are some simple hotels and restaurants.

There are some other interesting places to visit not far from Marotandrano: the cliffs of Ambiviny and the waterfall of Ambodisatrana lie just a few km from the Reserve.
In the Sofia region around Marotandrano there are some rewarding cultural events, like the traditional Malagasy bullfighting and boxing, and an important art fair where artists of the whole region present their products.

The Reserve Office is situated in Mandritsara. You can organise your whole trip to Marotandrano and arrange all necessary to enjoy your stay.

Réserve Spéciale Marotandrano (Mandritsara)
Phone: + (261 33) 12 314 45 / (261 32) 42 985 39 / 33 02 131 50 
Email: boulevin6@yahoo.fr