Described as a “wonderland of baobabs”, Andranomena National Park, a small reserve of about 6420 hectares, lies north of Morondava in the Menabe region. Getting to Andranomena is an easy day trip from the coastal town, and safari groups tend to include the avenue of baobabs, just north of Morondava, in the journey.
Travel between the little village of Andranomena, which lies next to the Andranomena special reserve, and the coast is problematic during the dry season and impossible during the rainy season, so it’s not only advisable to visit Andranomena in a 4×4, but to holiday here during the dry season.
The people of the region farm rice, irrigated by two rivers, the Andranomena and the Tandila. Any land used in this way for rice farming is inherited and very rarely sold – it is a precious commodity. The thick trees that line the road to and from Andranomena are a deceptive screen, however, and a source of bitterness amongst locals, for they hide widespread deforestation from travelers on the road – something that plagues much of Madagascar. To a lesser degree, the problems of deforestation persist in the Andranomena Special Reserve itself, even though it is illegal to remove anything from the reserve.
Andranomena, in spite of being a special reserve, encourages ecotourism and is a highlight of any holiday in the Menabe region of Madagascar. Vacation visits here include incredible sights of lemurs, lakes and baobabs, walks through the forest and a wonderful bird life. It is close enough to Morondava and Kirindy Reserve to form part of a tailor-made safari trip worth remembering.