Ankarana Special Reserve
The dry season from April to October is the best time to travel to the north. Usually, it's very hot at midday. Avoid the rainy season from December to March. Tropical storms can occur and it is even hotter.
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. Ankarana is huge and offers different hikes through the park. Due to the midday heat, we always hiked early morning and again in the afternoon.
- One walk leads to the popular hanging bridge over the tsingy, the limestone karst pinnacles. The razor-sharp rock formations are a geological speciality which was once a coral reef millions of years ago.
- Another leads to a sinkhole "Perte de Rivieres" in the middle of a dry riverbed. During the rainy season, this becomes a mysterious river sucking hole and the water disappears in it. This underground river appears again in the Mozambique Channel.
- A less known walk of 6 km leads to the panoramic view at Ambohimalaza. Only very few people do this hike which lasts about 3 hours.
- The return hike to "Lac Vert" the green lake is 20 km long.
The park has huge dry forests with the "vazaha tree" or white man tree, baobabs, different chameleon species, 96 species of birds, 14 species of bats, snakes, 11 species of lemurs like Sanford's brown lemurs and crowned lemurs. A guide is required for each walk. Several accommodations are close to the park.
Booking for trips to the north included accommodations and three meals.