Overview – Ankarana SR

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.

Ankarana Special Reserve (Réserve Spéciale Ankarana) is a 150-million-year-old plateau composed of limestone, which has eroded to form the tsingy. It is known for a large network of underground rivers more than 100km/62mi long and considered the largest in Africa, as well as for its canyons and caves.

Best Time to Go May to November (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (The park is busy)
Size 253km² / 98mi²
Altitude 21-451m / 69-1,480ft

Pros & Cons

  • Unique dramatic landscape
  • Mysterious bat caves
  • Boardwalks over the tsingy
  • Several hiking circuits, from easy to difficult
  • Good accommodation options near the entrance gate
  • Very hot, which can be challenging on longer hikes
  • No accommodation inside the park, only camping

Ankarana SR Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

The park has a large variety of lemurs including Sanford's brown lemur and crowned lemur. Lucky visitors might spot a ring-tailed mongoose, and Ankarana is one of the few parks where the sought-after fossa is regularly seen. Reptiles are well represented as well. Some species to look out for are the panther chameleon, giant day gecko, the well-camouflaged leaf-tailed gecko and the Madagascar ground boa.

Scenery

The park protects the Ankarana Massif, a limestone plateau formed millions of years ago. The formation of limestone pinnacle karst is a unique phenomenon, and has been made very accessible with boardwalks and bridges crossing the plateau. Viewing platforms offer a bird’s eye perspective over this natural wonder.

Weather & Climate

Ankarana is located at low altitude and has a hot, tropical climate. Temperatures are quite even through the year and easily peak over 30°C/86°F. Rainfall however is very seasonal and torrential downpours can be expected from December to March.

Best Time to Visit

Ankarana can be visited throughout the year, but as the park is primarily a hiking destination, the months from May to November offer the best conditions. These months are also slightly less hot. In October and November many lemurs have babies.

Want to Visit Ankarana SR?

Ankarana SR Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
The ancient tsingy of Ankarana
4/5

Ankarana Special Reserve is known for its strangely beautiful limestone tsingy formations. The virtual forest of stone needles is the result of a unique process of vertical and horizontal erosion, which might have started more than 200...