Overview – Anja CR

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

The 0.4km²/0.1mi² Anja Community Reserve (Réserve d'Anja) protects a population of about 400 ring-tailed lemurs. This is one of the best places in the country to observe and photograph these charismatic creatures. Mornings and afternoons are best, as this is the time they interact most. A standard visit takes about 1½ hours and is mostly done en route to or from the popular artisan town of Ambalavo. Anja is the most popular community-managed ecotourist site in the country, so don’t expect to have the place to yourself.

Best Time to Go August to January (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (The reserve gets very busy)
Size 0.4km² / 0.1mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent place to see ring-tailed lemurs
  • Great for photography
  • A chance to support a community-managed site
  • Accessible near a popular town
  • Very popular and often crowded
  • Very small reserve
  • Lack of wilderness appeal

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Wildlife

The main attraction is the ring-tailed lemurs. When they are active, they are a delight to watch and with big numbers present, there is never a dull moment. The reserve is also home to many reptiles and you may well spot a chameleon or lizard on your hike. Species present include Madagascar tree boa, Oustalet’s chameleon, jewel chameleon, Madagascar plated lizard and Barbour's day gecko.

Scenery

The reserve consists of a forest and reservoir at the base of an imposing isolated granite dome. Some of the cliffs have caves, which offer refuge to owls and bats. There are two trails in the reserve: the shorter one, for lemur-spotting, takes about 1½ hours, and the longer trail goes up the dome to worthwhile viewpoints and takes up to six hours.

Weather & Climate

Anja Community Reserve is located in the highlands of Madagascar and has a temperate climate. Temperatures are quite uniform throughout the year, but there is a defined Wet season (summer) and Dry season (winter). The Dry season months from April to October offer the best travel conditions overall. The coldest month is July with an average maximum daytime temperature of 17°C/63°F. The warmest months are January and February with temperatures reaching up to 24°C/75°F.

Best Time to Visit

Anja Community Reserve can be visited at any time. The reserve is very small and can be reached on a good tar road not far from Ambalavo town. The habituated ring-tailed lemurs can be found at any time. However, the wettest months, December to February, are not recommended for travel as the rain can interfere with activities.

Getting There

The reserve is located 12km/7mi from Ambalavo town on the National Route 7 (NR7). Ambalavo town is located on a popular tourism route in southern Madagascar, and Anja Community Reserve is a great stopover for anybody traveling this way. There are scheduled flights to Fianarantsoa, which is located 66km/41mi north of Anja and the driving time is about 1½ hours.

Health & Safety

Please read our vaccinations and malaria page for Madagascar, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:

Want to Visit Anja CR?

Anja CR Safari Reviews

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  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
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  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Walking with ring-tailed lemurs
3/5

This popular community-managed reserve is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. Anja protects a population of about 400 ring-tailed lemurs. The standard visit is a guided walk in a forest patch offering pretty-much guaranteed...