Montagne de Français is a nature reserve about 50 km² in the far north of Madagascar. Montagne de Français means mountain of the French, or even French mountains. The landscape is a limestone massif with Tsingy-like rock formation. The region is extremely difficult to access. In the 1800s until the early 1900s, French foreign legionnare built a path through the rock massif. Even today, it is the only transport link in this nature reserve officially designated as such by the Malagasy government in 2007.
The nearest town is Diego Suarez, also known under the current name Antsiranana. With almost 100,000 inhabitants, it is the capital of the Diana region. Since the name changed in the mid-1970s Antsiranana is often called Diego. The name Origin was the Portuguese navigator and explorer Diego Suarez. The city is a popular tourist destination on the almost 590,000 km² island of Madagascar, and a starting point for excursions to the nearby nature reserve.
Another, nearby excursion destination are “Le trois Baies”, or the three bays. The Baie de Sakalava is a first stop for a three-bay excursion. From here hikes to some of the offshore islands on the east coast. Even a beach walk along the bay has its charm. In the middle of the three bays lies the Baie de Pigeon. The third bay is the Baie de Dunes. In contrast to the nature reserve on the mainland, the area around the three bays is well developed touristically. Antsiranana is easily accessible by plane. The hotel and infrastructure offers guests from all over the world comfortable accommodations as well as international food and drink.
In the nature reserve, the visitor will find on his one or multiple day excursion many of the typical endemic plants and animals. They include several lemur species, geckos or chameleons. Here, the rocky, inaccessible nature at an altitude of up to 500 meters, there in Diego as the country’s third largest port, pure tourism with visitors from all over the world came on their cruise along the Malagasy coast. They use the stop for a trip into the interior – and not a few of them into the Montagne de Français.
– Emerald sea and sandy beach
– Holy Island (Sugar Loaf)
– Variety of native animals
– Trekking shoes or solid sports shoes
– enough liquid
– Swimming suits
Day Tour (3-4 hours)