The reserve was created in 1956 and is popular for the terrific tsingy, caves, and underground rivers. Schedule a minimum stay of three nights to get an idea of this stunning place.
The Park was declared as UNESCO world heritage site in 2007 with it’s huge endangered endemic biodiversity.
Ranomafana (the Malagasy words for “hot water”) is without a doubt the most spectacular places in Madagascar. Its name is derived from the hot springs which pour out warm water into the valley. Because it is easily accessible and provides immense biodiversity, it became one of the most visited areas on Madagascar. The rainforest stretches over a mountainous terrain of over 410 km² and is Madagaskars 3rd largest park. Besides 12 different lemur species, it is home of the golden bamboo lemur. A species discovered in 1986 and the reason why this park exists. The tarred roads crossing the park made it accessible all year. Only during the rainy season, the travel may take longer than usual.
Weather and Crowds
Madagascar's overall climate is subtropical, with a hot and rainy season between November until end of March, and a cooler and drier season from May to October. Each of the five regions of the island is subject to its climate and precipitation varies widely between the regions. During the wet season and times of high rainfall, travel can become difficult, if not impossible. Based on the different geographical areas huge temperature variations can occur.
The Ranomafana Park is located on a high elevation between 800m and 1200m, and the densely forested hills are covered by primary and secondary forest. The climate is warm and humid often with a relative moisture of 90-97%. The average temperature seldom increases over 25°C and drops not under 14°C. During the night it can cool down significantly. The temperature highs and lows may vary depending on the occurrence of a tropical cyclone.
Best month to visit are from May to November although the dry season usually extends from April to December. Precipitation during the wet season is highest in January with 430 mm and the driest month is August. Because annual rainfall is in the range from ~1,600 to 4,017mm rain can occur every day and it's highly recommended to come with waterproof shoes, rain jacket, and umbrella. More weather details: Ranomafana Weather Statistics
It is essential to spend enough time in the park and hike to the primary forest at higher elevations. If you only plan to hike the short tracks, it can become very crowded during the peak season (July to September).
Amber Mountain has a lush vegetation and offers a rich biodiversity. If possible try to stay there for a night or in Joffreville. It's only 30 km from Diego.
Best time of the year is September to November. Rain can occur from time to time particularly in the night. Avoid December to March; the rainy season with a high risk for cyclones.