Overview – Palmarium Reserve

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 0.5km² / 0.2mi² Palmarium Reserve (Ankanin'ny Nofy) on the Canal des Pangalanes is a popular place to see a large variety of lemurs at close range. About a dozen species of lemur have been introduced here and a two-hour guided tour around the reserve gives you a chance to see most of them. The lemurs are free-ranging and very habituated. Guests can feed them to create photo opportunities and the black-and-white ruffed lemurs regularly visit the lodge at breakfast time.

Best Time to Go August to January (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (The reserve gets very busy)
Size 0.5km² / 0.2mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Easy way to see lemurs
  • Lemur interaction
  • One of the best places to see aye-aye
  • Fantastic photo opportunities
  • Unguided walking allowed
  • Artificial set-up with introduced species
  • Very small reserve
  • Lack of wilderness appeal

Palmarium Reserve Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Although lacking wilderness appeal, the reserve offers a great opportunity to spend time observing lemurs at close range. The most conspicuous species are black-and-white ruffed, black, brown, red-bellied and crowned lemur. A small guided walk around the property gives you a good chance to see the Coquerel's sifaka and the sought-after indri. Overnight visitors can join the highly recommended night-time excursion to a nearby island to see aye-aye.

Scenery

The small reserve, only accessible by boat, is located on the bank of Lake Ampitade on the scenic Canal des Pangalanes. It supports a large variety of flora including orchids, carnivorous plants, ebony, traveler trees and mahogany. Botanists will especially appreciate the large variety of common and rare palm trees after which the reserve was named.

Weather & Climate

Located at sea level, the reserve has a warm and very wet climate, which is typical of the east coast of Madagascar. It rains throughout the year, but the Wet season months from December to April see very high rainfall. In the Wet season, average daytime temperatures reach 30°C/86°F and the humidity is very high. Peak temperatures are a lot higher. The cooler Dry season months from May to November see daytime temperatures of 26°C/79°F and nights around 19°C/66°F.

Best Time to Visit

Palmarium Reserve can be visited at any time. The habituated lemurs are present all year. The reserve is small and walks can be tailored around the rains. However, January to April are the wettest months and this is also monsoon season. Torrential rainstorms are common, so these months are better avoided.

Getting There

The reserve is located on the Canal des Pangalanes. The nearest town is Brickaville and there is a daily scheduled boat transfer from here to the reserve. Brickaville is located 100km/62mi south from Toamasina and the drive takes about 2 hours depending on the condition of the road. It is also possible to take a boat trip between the reserve and Toamasina to see more of the Pangalanes. There are regular flights between Antananarivo and Toamasina.

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 Palmarium Reserve?

Palmarium Reserve Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Lemur paradise on the Pangalanes
4/5

Although I’m usually a bit of a snob when it comes to the authenticity of wilderness places, I couldn’t help but be charmed by the lemur interaction which makes Palmarium such a popular reserve on the Pangalanes Canal of the east coast...

Latest User Review
Max  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jul 4, 2019
Amazing Up-Close-And-Personal Experience with Habituated Lemurs
4/5

The Palmarium Reserve was a truly amazing experience! Surrounded by lemurs - and I mean surrounded! - there were ample photographic opportunities! The Black and White Ruffed lemurs, the Crowned Lemurs, the Hybrid Lemurs and the Black...

Full Review