Ankarafantsika used to be known as, and still incorporates the Ampijoroa Forest Station. The Ankarafantsika National Park is an incredible park roughly 150 km or a two-hour drive south east of Mahajanga. The main attraction of Ankarafantsika are the numerous hiking trails, mostly in and around the main safari destination of the forestry station of Ampijoroa in the park.
Known as the “realm of birds, land of sacred lakes, fount of life”, Ankarafantsika lies in an area typified by a kaleidoscope of dry forest, humid forests, marshes with raffia and savannas. This beautiful corner of Madagascar is also the place of one of the two last remaining examples of western Malagasy tropical dry deciduous forest.
Night walks where one can view the grey mouse lemur, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur and the Milne-Edwards sportive lemur are just slightly more exciting than day walks, which include the coquerel’s sifaka, various chameleon and the iridescent Green Day Gecko. Bird life abounds with over 129 species, and three endemic species of tortoise are bred in the Ampijoroa forest station.
Boat trips along the Ravelobe Lake, numerous hiking trails and the changing landscapes make Ankarafantsika a popular destination. The park is hot and rainy with two distinct seasons – a dry period between May and October and a wet period with rain that falls between January and April. Plant life is incredible and includes terrestrial orchids. Several rivers and lakes add another element to the park’s landscape.
If you’ve not yet seen the incredible baobabs of Madagascar then the baobab tree trail is a safari holiday highlight. It’s an easy walk that passes raffia forest, crocodile trees and incredible giant baobabs.