Mantadia National Park

The Mantadia National Park is a primary forest gem within Madagascar. It neighbours the popular Andasibe (Perinet) area, but is much larger covering 12,810 hectares. This is the best place to try to see the enigmatic and endangered Black & White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata); and can be very good too for seeing Madagascar's largest lemur: the Indri (Indri indri). Both of these species can be noisy - the Indri when it chooses to mark out its territory, with a delightful song call. Black & White Ruffed Lemurs have a complex social structure which seems to encourage more varied raucous calls as they move about by day feeding. 

Scenically, Mantadia is very pleasant, with a system of trails which often lead to viewpoints over seemingly endless forest covered hills. There are some huge trees within the park, towering up to 40 metres;  and a undergrowth beneath which displays abundant soil fungus (mycorrhizae), which is much diminished in areas of secondary forest in the area.

In addition to Indri and Ruffed Lemurs, our privately guided and small group journeys into the Mantadia National Park will have good opportunities to spot the attractively coloured Diademed Sifaka, Common Brown Lemur, Gray Bamboo Lemurs and possibly an Eastern Woolly Lemur.

A really special sight is a wild Fossa. These are commonly seen in the western dry forest reserve of Kirindy where they are attracted to a lodge; but when we see them in Mantadia, it feels like a truly wild experience. If you click on the Fossa button to the side, you will be able to see a video of a female Fossa filmed in the Mantadia National Park on one of our annual Lemurs, Golden Frogs & New Rainforest Reserve Experiences.

At the fringes of primary forest, we can often see one of Madagascar's rather special endemic insects: the Giraffe-necked Weevil. These derive their name from their long necks, which like their legs are all black, emanating from a rich red coloured abdomen. For females, the longer neck assists in folding a leaf of its host plant (either Dichaetanthera cordifolia or Dichaetanthera arborea), into which it will lay a single egg. The neck of the males is 2 to 3 times longer than that of a female, which they use when fighting other males.

Of birdlife at Mantadia, there are some very attractive lily pond lakes and nearby secondary areas where birdwatching can be productive. Species you might hope to see include the Madagascar Wagtail, Madagascar Swamp-warbler, Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher and Madagascar Blue Vanga.

Madagascar National Park & Reserves Guide


Trip Reviews: Madagascar

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