Anja Community Reserve - Ring-Tailed Lemurs
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Best time is early morning and late afternoon when the ring-tailed lemurs are most active. Although it is worth to stop by all year round, the dry season in July/August is the best time for a visit. Another reason to start early is the length of the long hike because you should avoid the hot mid-day temperatures.
The Anja Community reserve is one of the most visited community-managed sites in Madagascar. It is famous for the large groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the dry forest is located just beneath three large granite mountains. Like other community manages sites the Anja Community provides a protected area for the natural resources and enables the Malagasy inhabitants to benefit from ecotourism. Besides more than 300 cattas (ring-tailed lemurs), three different lizards (Chameleons), several snake species and many birds. The ring-tailed lemurs had been fed by humans in the past and lost their fear.
Seasons / Weather
The dry period lasts from April to December. However, there is not much precipitation year-round. Day temperatures reach 30°C and more.
In October the lemurs have their babies. That's why our preferred time is from mid-September throughout October.
The village is located 13 km south of Ambalavao close to RN 7. On your way to Andingitra and Isalo, you almost pass the village. Because the Anja community reserve receives no funding it depends on the visitors paying a fee to enter the reserve. With your fee, you help to ensure the sustainability of the community development and preserve the endemic uniqueness of Madagascar. Nowadays more than 2000 people benefit from this project. Schedule some hours and you can do the longer guided hike in a peaceful and tranquil part of the reserve to the huge granite peaks. It is mandatory to book a local guide for the tour.
The diversity of plants is extreme, including several families of Saxicola plants and orchids. In Anja community reserve you will find many plants of the spiny deserts in the south, the central highland mountains, and the western dry forests. One of the orchids has been previously only been found at the top of one of the granite summits. If you are interested in plants you should check the "married to plants" blog.
The wildlife and fauna can be best explored by two hikes:
- A small circuit which may take up to 1-2 hours gives you a great opportunity to explore the sites fauna and observe the ring-tailed lemurs.
- For the larger, 6 h circuit hike which leads you to the top of the mountain with a stunning 360° view, you need to start in the early morning to avoid the heat at mid-day. Than the lemurs begin to rest and it becomes a bit more crowded. The climb to the top is only possible by using some fixed ropes.
Although the ring-tailed lemurs are used to visitors and allow to approach them very close feeding is prohibited. Beside this main attraction, you can spot three species of lizard and two species of planthoppers. If you need to stay overnight at the reserve you can find a campsite close by.
What to bring and wear
- Best are hiking boots or shoes with good sole
- Because the water is not always potable either bring enough bottles or use a purification system (Sawyer Mini and/or SteriPEN)
- Sun protection (head, glasses, sun cream)
- Mosquito repellent, if required any personal medications and a first aid kit
- Don't leave any trash in the reserve, everything you bring needs to be taken out