highlights and main attractions of andasibe national park
Probably one of the best lemur experiences in the world, Andasibe National Park is the best place to spot the Indri, the largest living lemur! The park is separated into two distinct areas, Speciale d’Analamazaotra (usually known as Perinet - the old name of a French nearby town and rail station) to the south, and Park National de Mantidia to the north. Created in 1989, it encompasses the same humid lush forest throughout, covered with moss and trees, peppered with over 100 extraordinary orchid species and dotted with lakes.
Being close to the capital with a good road structure means that this is a popular park, especially as it is open all year round and almost guarantees lemur sightings. The eerie, yet beautiful call of the Indri can be heard over a mile from the park, building up the excitement. Seeing them in the wild is always an exhilarating experience; their strong legs carrying them from branch to branch, feet rarely touching the floor. The Indri will bark when confronted with danger and make kissing sounds when being affectionate, matching its endearing teddy bear-like appearance, similar to a human crossed with a panda. Andasibe is also home to some wonderful reptile and amphibian species, including the enormous Parson’s chameleon and the tiny nose-horned chameleon, as well as the majestic infamous boa manditia and a myriad of frogs. The colourful wildlife is topped off with more than 100 bird species and hundreds of insects, including some amazingly huge, brightly marked butterflies.
There are another 13 lemur species that live here too, including grey bamboo, brown and woolly lemurs as well as diademed sifaka, red mouse lemur and even the elusive, nocturnal Aye-Aye.