Tsaratanana Integral Reserve

Map Tsaratanana Tsaratanana Integral Reserve lies about 60km north of the village of Bealanana and 80 south-east of Ambanja. It covers a surface of 486 km² of intact tropical forest surrounding the impressive Tsaratanana massif with its deep slopes and sharp crests. This spectacular mountainous region has been protected since the times of the French administration, and became a Reserve in 1966. The highest mountain of Madagascar, the Maromokotra (2.876m) lies within the reserve. It is possible to organise a trekking with porters to explore this impressive volcanic granite massif. It takes a week or even more to reach the peak. So far tourists are not allowed within the Reserve, which is only open to scientists.

Tsaratanana has an important biological role due to its location since Northern tropical forests coexist with a high mountain ecosystem. This confers the Reserve a great biodiversity with a high rate of endemism and threatened species.

The reserve is a very important source of water for the whole area, since numerous rivers spring inside the Reserve, like the Bemarivo, the Sambirano, the Ramena or the Mahavavy River. A couple of beautiful waterfalls and thermal baths are found here as well. 

There are 20 mammal species among them 11 lemurs, including the endangered black lemur, Eastern fork-marked lemur and aye-aye. Among the 95 bird species we find Madagascar serpent-eagle, Madagascar red owl, yellow-bellied sunbird and helmet asity, crested ibis, red-fronted coua or pita-like ground-roller. Reptiles and amphibians are also wide spread.

There are different types of forest depending on the altitude, but almost all of them are primary and virgin. The zone up to 2,000 m is covered by a dense humid forest with abundant palm trees, lianas and precious woods like palisander and ebony. Between 2,000 and 2,500 m we find bamboo and montane forest, and from this altitude bushes and grassy savanna.
white browed owl
White browed owl © Gail Johnso

There are three entrances to the Reserve. The North entry is the shortest one and is reached with the bad road starting in Ambanja until the town of Ambobaka. The South-West entrance goes from Ambanja to Marotolona and from here a secondary path until Beangona Ambevy.

The South entrance is the hardest one: in Antsohihy take the road to Bealanana and once here continue northwards along a terrible road until Mangindrano, and from here another 40 km to reach Maromokotra, where the entrance is.

These roads are only practicable during the dry season between June and November.

Since visitors are not allowed yet, there are no infrastructures available.

You can get more information about Tsaratanana Massif and reserve in Antsiranana or in Ambanja.

 Direction de Madagascar National Parks à Antsiranana
Route de l’Aéroport BP 475, 201 Antsiranana
Phone : (261 20) 82 213 20
Email :
angapdie@yahoo.fr  angapdie@gmail.com

Réserves de Tsaratanana  – Manongarivo 
BP 164 – 203 Ambanja
Phone: (261) 32 02 83 530