Reniala Private Reserve is a small protected area of only 60 ha, managed by an environmental association called Reniala (which means baobab in Malagasy) that is trying to develop eco-tourism in the area. The reserve is located less than 1km from the Mozambique Channel near the village of Ifaty-Mangily, about 25 km North of Tulear. It shelters an amazing, bizarre and unique ecosystem which only occurs in the south-eastern part of Madagascar: the spiny forest. The towering spiny bushes are home to more than 2000 plants species (many of them local endemic), some spectacular and very old baobabs (there is a giant baobab of 12,5 m diameter) and a complete endemic plants family, the Didieraceae. Reniala includes a botanical trail and a bird sanctuary.Toliara, Madagascar
This little town 120 km west from Tana is located at the end of the paved RN 1 which turns from this point virtually impassable. Tsiroanomandidy means: “Where only one ruled”. The village is located in a moonlike landscape and its inhabitants are mainly cattle-holders. The place is known for holding one the largest cattle markets of the island which is held every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and which constitutes the only attraction of the place. Near the town there is the airfield of Antonov where sometimes flights to take off. The near Bevato massive is known for hunting wild boar and wild oxen.
Tsiroanomandidy is also the starting point of the descending of the Manambolo River
There are only very basic hotels
(or Analamera) is a hardly known and partly unexplored Special Reserve located 20 km southeast from the Amber Mountain National Park. Created in 1956, the Reserve stretches from the east coast until the Analamerana karstic plateau and comprises a surface of 347 km². The reserve is mainly covered by dense deciduous dry forest mixed with rocky formations up to 700 m in the western part. It is a very important water source for the agriculture in the surrounding areas since several rivers, as the Irondo in the north and the Loky in the south cross the plateau and flow into the rice paddies in the valleys.Antsiranana, Madagascar
Mangerivola Special Reserve
is located on the northeast of Madagascar. It was created in 1958 and covers a surface of 120 km². Although it lies only 50 km west from Tamatave, its difficult access still maintains Mangerivola quite isolated and only a few tough travellers come here. The Reserve includes evergreen humid low and high rain forests, which vary depending on the altitude (the highest point is the Mangerivola peak at 1484 m altitude). The landscape is formed by dense valleys and hills with abundant rivers, lakes and some spectacular waterfalls, which are up to 80 m high.Tamatave, Madagascar
This lake was a typical weekend retreat for French settlers. To get there take the road to the west towards Betafo and turn left after six kilometres onto a narrow track which ends at the lake. The place was once very popular among sailing lovers, though the sailing centre is not rehabilitated yet. You can surround the lake on foot in about 1 hour or even do it on a horseback. Bathing is also possible during the summer months. You will also find some stands selling precious stones but don´t expect them to be true! If you decide to stay overnight there is a hotel just at the lake’s shore, but notice that two “fadys” exist here: no pork meat is allowed in its neighbourhood and no piece of silk fabrics would soak in it neither. There is a legend about the lake too: a prince who could not decide between two young women let them cross the lake swimming. The first to arrive should become his wife. Unfortunately one of them was pregnant and drowned. It is said that whispers of the spirit of the dead beautiful princess can be heard since then every dawn…Ambatolampy, Madagascar
This small, very untouristy town south of Tana lies amid a raw and wild nature. Its major attractions are the Sisaony Falls with its natural pools (access only passable during the dry season) in middle of a thick forest and the tomb of price Andriasolo at the top of the hill. The artificial lake Lac Tsiazompaniry can be accessed by a very difficult track heading 34 km to the village of Haramalaza. The lake has a perimeter of 281.6 kilometres and an area of 32.7 km², more than double Lac Mantasoa. The area around the lake has been identified to have an enormous tourist potential so tourist infrWhatastructure is expected to develop here in the future. The region around Andramasina is also well known for having preserved its traditional culture despite the proximity to the capital. At this point we should mention the “tolotra” ritual, which consist of killing and cooking a zebu and distributing a piece of meat to each member of the community. The “Tolotra” forms part of an ancient tradition, where nobles honoured the peasants that brought them the first rice harvest.Antananarivo, Madagascar
Special Reserve is situated in theprovince of Mahajanga, in the northern part of the island. It was created in 1958 and protects an area of 180 km² of transition forest. This Reserve is located just at the border between the humid rainforest of the east and the dry deciduous forest of the western part of Madagascar. Apart from these two types of forest, which are partly severely degraded, the reserve includes mid-altitude tropical forests, open savannas and marshlands along the rivers. Almost the 85% of the plants and trees species are endemic.Antsiranana, Madagascar
Ambatolampy (70 km south of Tana) is the largest town between the capital and Antsirabe (70 km south of Antananarivo). It is an important centre of auto mechanics where lots of taxi-brousse are usually repaired. But it is mainly known for its forging and foundry industry (unfortunately the traditional forging art has been lost today). This small typical town deserves much better than just stop. The beauty of its natural scenery and its relatively cool climate invites like no other place for outdoor activities. Do not miss craftsmen building aluminium pots (one man can produce about twenty per day). Other workshops are dedicated to the production of "football games" featuring the best international teams. The frame is made of pine, players are made of aluminium and are hand-painted. A payment system is also designed to insert coins.Ambatolampy, Madagascar
Located 46 km from Ambatolampy, bordering southeast of the Imerina, near the eastern forest, Tsinjorivo is a historic site built by Queen Ranavalona 1 in 1884 where she placed a Rova and also a village of app. 100 inhabitants recruited from Betsimisaraka, Anosibe An'Ala and Andramasina. She came here only three times in her life. It is said that the queen let this place been built only to admire the breathtaking beauty of the nearby Onive Falls. In fact, her descendents visited this place often (Ravanalona III in particular) bringing an entourage of hundreds of servants and sometimes stayed even three months. The famous falls, situated at the southwest of Tsinjorivo, are visible from far away and plunge from an altitude of 30 m. A little further away the river flow calms and it is possible to swim or even fish (as Queen Ravanalona III used to do). The access to the falls is quite steep. The Rova built by Ravanalona I, where some objects and photographs are located, can be visited too.
The road to Tsinjorivo is in a bad condition and it takes four by car to get here. It is therefore advisable to bivouac at least one night there to avoid rushing back in the same day.Ambatolampy, Madagascar
Marotandrano Special Reserve was established in 1956 and lies some km of Mandritsara, in the northeastern part ofMadagascar. 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.Antsiranana, Madagascar