Overview – Mitsinjo Forest

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.

Mitsinjo Forest (Parc Mitsinjo) borders Analamazaotra National Park and is run as a community project by a local guides association. The forest patch is more degraded than Analamazaotra, but part of the project’s objective is rehabilitation through the planting of indigenous trees. As in the national park, the main activity is tracking Madagascar’s flagship lemur, the indri. Night walks are a big draw as they are not permitted inside Analamazaotra.

Best Time to Go August to November (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (The park is busy)
Size 7km² / 3mi²
Altitude 900m / 2,953ft

Pros & Cons

  • Very accessible
  • Less busy than the national park
  • A chance to support a local NGO
  • Home to the indri, Madagascar's largest lemur
  • Night walks inside the forest available
  • Tree climbing and canopy tours offered
  • Good accommodation options in nearby Analamazaotra
  • High-altitude rainforest is often cold and wet
  • More degraded than the adjacent national park

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Wildlife

The relatively small tract of forest is home to seven indri families, and sightings are pretty much guaranteed. Common brown lemur and eastern woolly lemur are often spotted as well. Wildlife to look out for during night walks include the nocturnal Goodman's mouse lemur, chameleons such as Parson's and stump-tailed chameleon, leaf-tailed geckos and a variety of frogs.

Scenery

Mitsinjo Forest is made up of degraded mid-altitude rainforest. Many of the big trees have been logged and what’s left is mainly secondary forest with a lot of undergrowth. Part of the forest is an abandoned plantation and this area is being reforested with new indigenous trees. Visitors can contribute financially or take a tour and plant a tree.

Weather & Climate

Due to the altitude of the rainforest, the park has a cool, wet climate. It rains throughout the year, but the Wet season months from November to April see very high rainfall. The rains peak from January to March and this is often referred to as the cyclone season. In the Wet season, temperatures reach up to 27°C/81°F. The cold Dry season months from May to October see daytime temperatures of 21°C/70°F.

Best Time to Visit

Mitsinjo Forest can be visited throughout the year. The shoulder months of October, November, April and May are very nice as the weather is mild and there isn’t too much rain. In October and November many lemurs have babies. The wettest months from January to March are best avoided. Some animals, reptiles and amphibians especially, are less easy to spot in the Dry season months.

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  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding