Overview – Ankarafantsika NP

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.

Ankarafantsika National Park (Parc National d’Ankarafantsika) protects a vast area of dry deciduous forest and its associated wildlife, including some unusual animals, such as the mongoose lemur. The most popular hiking trail takes you to a viewpoint overlooking the impressive Ankarokaroka Canyon. Boat trips on Lake Ravelobe offer good birding opportunities and a chance to see Nile crocodiles.

Best Time to Go May to October (Cooler and less rainfall)
High Season July and August (Some of the trails get busy)
Size 1,350km² / 521mi²
Altitude 21-342m / 69-1,122ft

Pros & Cons

  • Scenic landscape with photogenic canyon
  • Several easy hiking trails
  • Boat trips available
  • Excellent birding opportunities
  • Lots of wildlife
  • Slightly off-the-beaten-track and not very busy
  • It gets very hot, which can be a challenge on longer hikes

Ankarafantsika NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

The park offers good wildlife viewing. Coquerel's sifaka is common and can often be found around the headquarters. The other lemur to look out for in the daytime is the common brown lemur. There are four lemurs active at night and also the sought-after mongoose lemur. The rare endemic western big-footed rat, which resembles a mini-kangaroo, can sometimes be found hopping on the forest floor.

Scenery

The most popular of the hikes on offer is the Circuit Grande Boucle (Big Canyon Trail), which takes you through a lovely stretch of forest and a grassland plateau to finally reach a viewpoint overlooking the photogenic Ankarokaroka Canyon. The red-sandstone canyon is about 80m/260ft deep and keen hikers can descend the cliffs to the bottom of the gorge. Another scenic landmark is the mangrove-fringed Lake Ravelobe.

Weather & Climate

Ankarafantsika has a hot, tropical climate with a Wet and Dry season. Temperatures are quite even through the year but it is a bit cooler with lower humidity in the Dry season months from April to October. Temperatures regularly peak over 40°C/104°F. Rainfall is seasonal and downpours are to be expected from January to March.

Best Time to Visit

Ankarafantsika is worth visiting at any time although November and December are the best months to visit. The terrain is mostly flat, which makes hiking quite easy, even when it rains. Lemurs are present throughout the year, but reptiles and birds are more active in the Wet season, November through March. January to March are the wettest months and it tends to be very hot and humid at that time.

Want to Visit Ankarafantsika NP?

Ankarafantsika NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Anthony Ham  –  
Australia AU

Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.

Madagascar’s last dry deciduous forest
3/5

Ankarafantsika National Park contains the last dry deciduous forest left in Madagascar. The park is good for general wildlife. Its eight lemur species include real gems, such as the mongoose lemur, which you’ll almost certainly not see...

Full Review