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ANKARANA NATIONAL PARKS


Situation: 12° 50’ - 13° 01’ South latitude and 49° 01’ - 49° 14’ East longitude

The Ankarana National Park is in the North part of Madagascar, in Diana's region. Extending over 18 225 hectares, Ankarana is the western extension of a calcareous massif which rises from a basalt plain situated 50 meters above sea level. The plateau, which is a karstic formation is constituted by Tsingy. Scientifically, tsingy are erosions called lapiaz, which have resulted from rock metamorphosis caused by atmospheric pressure and variations in the earth's temperature. The tsingy, sacred lake, path botany, canyons and sinkholes, caves of stalactites and stalagmites, bats and crocodiles of Andohalambo, make it unique. It constitutes the biggest underground network in Africa and thus is a wild and mystic park full of possibilities for great adventure .

THE FAUNA


There are 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, 96 species of birds, 50 species of mollusks and a large number of tsingy dwelling snails. In addition, there are 14 species of bats - half of the bats endemic to Madagascar live in the caves of Ankarana and two of them, Mégachiroptères and Microchiroptères, are respectively the smallest and the biggest bats of the world. Eleven species of lemur live in Ankarana and it is in this park in 1995 and 1996 that famous Perrier's sifaka or Propithecus perrieri was seen for last time. The pygmy mouse lemur microcebus myoxinus is possibly extinct but was also last seen in this park .

THE BEST OF THE FAUNA OF ANKARANA

  • The crowned lemur (eulemur coronatus)
  • Sanford’s brown lemur (eulemur sanfordi)
  • Pearpoint leaf-tail gecko (Uroplatus ebenaui))
  • The Nile crockodile (crocodylus niloticus)
  • Madagascar crested ibis (lophotibus cristata)

THE FLORA


At least 330 botanical species are known to Ankarana. Most of the trees carry void leaves and many bloom from September till November. Several endemic species that you can find there are: pachypodium baronia, also known as bontaka, a flowering plant in the Dogbane family; adansonia perrieri, perhaps the most endangered species of baobab; Delonyx velutina, a species of legume in the Fabaceae family; and hildegardia erythosyphon. Several vegetable types have adapted themselves to the aridity of the park. The forests, which formed in gorges, are the richest in species variety. The most typical are the Ficuses of the family of Morcacées, Andansonia of the family of Bombacacées and Pandanus, the family of Pandanacées. This is the kind of forest known in the West of Madagascar and the forest canopy peaks at 20 meters.

THE BEST OF THE FAUNA OF ANKARANA

  • The baobab adansonia madagascarensis
  • the euphorbia ankaranensis, which is a tsingy species, a grass with red flowers, and a very rough and thorny trunk. It isendemic to the reserve and can be seen on Tsingy, growing between rocks .
  • The Adenia lapiazicola, a liana in the shape of demijohn, which serves as reserve of water may be seen on Tsingy, between the rocks.
  • The aromatic Commiphora

TOURS


GMT+3's TOURS WHICH PASS BY IN ANKARANA





CLIMATE


ANKARANA N.P'S CLIMATE

There are several climatic areas in the northern part of the island. In the north-western coast around Mahajanga there are two clear opposite seasons, a dry and warm period from May to November (20°C average) and a rainy and sometimes much hotter season from December to April, when temperatures reach more than 35°C. North from Mahajanga along the West coast, the Tsaratanana massif is responsible for a micro-climate named after the main river in this area, Sambirano. Thus, this region and the islands around Nosy Be have the two seasons mentioned above as well, but rainfall is more evenly spread throughout the whole year. That means that it does not rain as much during the rainy season but it does often rain during the dry period. Temperatures are warm all year around, with an average temperature of 25°C. Northeast, on the opposite coast, the stable dry climate that dominates North Madagascar during the austral winter, abruptly changes. In Vohemara, the increasing level of humidity marks transition points to different scenery. Here we can no longer talk about a dry and a wet season. Although the period between May and November is in fact drier than the rest of the year, it can rain at any time. The months with the heaviest rainfalls are January, February and March. Rain can be torrential and as this is the cyclone season as well, we do not recommend coming here during this period.

WHAT TO BRING ?


BE PREPARED

Don’t forget your raincoat; wear some hiking shoes (not slippery) and take a powerful lamp and some batteries for nocturnal walk.