The center of the Big Island is perhaps not very well known for its nature, yet it shelters quite exceptional green sites like the special reserve of Ambohitantely, the only protected area of the Analamanga region. This shows, once again, that the richness and beauty of Malagasy biodiversity can be found everywhere on the island.
The remains of the forests of the central plateau
140 km northwest of Tananarive, the capital, the Ambohitantely reserve covers more than 5,000 ha, including 3,800 ha of savannah and 1,800 ha of forest. This special reserve is unique in that it consists essentially of the last vestiges of the highland forests. By obtaining the status of "Special Botanical Reserve" in 1982, it became the only protected area of Analamanga. Its riches are thus preserved from any exploitation and continue to fascinate the lovers of the nature. In addition, residents are actively involved in the protection and maintenance of the site. If you are passing through the center of the island, a little visit is required. Nevertheless, the most favorable period for the discovery of the reserve extends from May to September.
A showcase of Malagasy biodiversity
As bush fires have weakened Ambohitantely's ecosystem, conservation of its biodiversity has become paramount. Today, this fascinating reserve perfectly reflects the richness of Malagasy fauna and flora. It is famous for sheltering the Dypsis decipiens, an endemic palm from the center of the Big Island. In addition to this species, the site contains 35 plant families, most of which mix with its natural forest. The latter occupies half the area of the reserve and offers quite impressive green landscapes. Here, theEulemur fulvus is a star. There are also two other species of nocturnal lemurs, namely the Microcebus rufus and theAvahi laniger. Birdwatchers will also be spoiled with the 48 species of birds in the reserve. Definitely, Ambohitantely contains many surprises!