The ancient Ankarana nature reserve on the island of Madagascar is now a national park. The approximately 180 km² Ankarana nature reserve was founded in 1956 and officially opened at the same time. The National Park is located in the northern part of the island, close to the Montagne d’Ambre National Park. The nearest large port town is Antsiranana about a hundred kilometers north. In the south of the park is the distance to Ambilobe, the capital of the same district about 30 kilometers. Between these two cities is the Ankarana National Park, named after the population of Antankarana living there. Translated into english, that means “people from the rocks”. This refers to the Red Tsingy. It is a geological feature on the island. Tsingy means “walking on tiptoe”. This is an allusion to the almost bizarre, sharp rock formations. They grow up to 20 meters high and run increasingly thinner towards the tip, comparable to a pencil. This Tsingy is widespread over the park area, limestone area with an underground cave system as the home for bats. Several trails lead through this unusual landscape, up to the highest point in the park as a marked vantage point. The wide panoramic view of the Indian Ocean is like a reward for the several hours hike through the National Park.
The Tsingys on the one hand and the caves of Ankarana on the other hand are considered as special features with a unique selling point in Madagascar. Here, animals such as lemurs, rare bat species and fossa have their own habitat. Fossa, also known as wild sneaking cat, is considered the largest predator on the island. The fossa in Madagascar are under protection. Several dozen reptile species, including the leaf-tail geckos or the panther cameleons, as well as snakes such as the golden hooknose snake, are native to the National Park here. And around a dozen lemur species live in the dry landscape between the Tsingys. Baobabs, the well-known monkey trees are as common as the plant genus Adenia from the family of passion flower plants. Hiking and trekking through the Ankarana National Park is an extraordinary experience for the nature lover in the foreign and wide of the almost 590,000 km² large island Madagascar.
The infrastructure in the park itself is literally thrifty without water and electricity. There are only two designated places for campsites. Otherwise, it is recommended to start on day trips from the village of Mahamasina, to spend the night there and to provide enough with packed lunches.
– Red Tsingy
– Baobabs and other extraordinary plants
– Madagascar’s largest predator, the fossa
– different chameleons and snakes
– Hiking shoes or trekking shoes
– enough liquid
Day Tour (3-4 hours)
Multi-day tour (2-3 days)