highlights and main attractions of ankarana national park

Containing a unique geological wonder – an eroded fortress filled with limestone spires or ‘tsingies’ – Ankarana National Park was established in 1956, 90 kilometres south of Antsiranana. The topography of the park is varied and in addition to the limestone tsingies includes tropical jungle, raging rivers, green forest, canyons and the biggest underground network of caves in Africa. 

This variety of landscape makes it a popular choice with hikers, with a diverse range of trails to explore varying from simple to challenging, combined with some excellent wildlife viewing. 

where is ankarana national park?

trails and fauna

Hiking trails and pathways will take you through scenes of rocks and ridges to spectacular viewpoints, which look out to a mighty sea of limestone tsingy tips. The best time for the trails is between April and November, when they are relatively dry. Crossing the long, famous rope bridge is sure to increase the adrenaline flow, or for a little more culture, meet the Antankarana ethnic group, who maintain a traditional life of farming and cattle rearing.

Lemurs

Ankarana is said to enjoy the highest density of lemurs in any of the reserves in Madagascar, thanks to the thick deciduous forests at the more isolated lower section of the park. Crown lemurs specifically are large in population, but dwarf lemurs, Sanford's brown lemur, perrier's black lemur and northern sportive lemur can also be found here. You may also come across fossa - Madagascar's largest carnivore, tenrecs, ring-tailed mongoose and Madagascar stiped civet. 

There are over 100 bird species to appeal to ornithologists, as well as a wide variety of reptiles, bats and frogs of all shapes and sizes.

The main entrance point to the park is in Mahamasina and accommodation options include the simple yet comfortable Relais l’Ankarana. Enviably located just outside the park, Relais l’Ankarana is sat within five hectares of garden land and the excellent guide here can help you explore the rivers, canyons, caves and tropical forests of the region. 

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