There are many wonderful national parks that will just make you breathless and there are others that completely leave you speechless.
This was my first national park after leaving the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, so my expectations were really high as I wanted so much to see lemurs in their habitat, one of the main reasons why I came to Madagascar. After all only lemurs are the only mammals living in this island.
I guess thar when I arrived here, I was schocked by the permanent clouds, warm temperatures and high humidity, In the capital it was mild and kind of sunny /rainy bur this was like stepping into a different country. Soon I realized that Madagascar would be like this – changing micro-climates all the time. And then I saw this huge waterfall – I was into the wild now here in Ranomafana!
Soon I was to have my second shock moment- I was into a tropical jungle climate, but there was a natural thermal pool just across the river, still built by the French, that could only be accessed via some very old bridges. So at 7am, I was enjoying a relaxing bath in a 40 degreesthermal pool overlooking the immense jungle engulfing me!! By the way Ranomafana means “hot water” in the local language, so I guess it made all sense.
After this great “refreshing” start, then it was time to start the tour with a national park guide what I must say is critical wherever you want to spot lemurs and all other animals in Madgascar (basically reptiles), So crossing the old bridge was a great start, with lovely paths overall full of bamboos, It seemed a bad day to see lemurs, until some other guide called my guide… then I had my first encounter with brown lemurs, one of the dozens of species, and it was an unforgettable experience as we saw the Great Bamboo Lemur and the more elusive Golden Bamboo Lemur 🙂
Then it was time to rest before the next stage began. But before that I still went for dinner in a local restaurant with my driver… simply delicious, I was already feeling like a local after just 3 days in the island of Madagascar 🙂
´Hint: Ranomafana National Park is about 60 km north from Fianarantsoa, and 400km south from the capital Tana., I made a stop in Antsirabe as it can really take a log time due to traffic jams and bad road conditions in some parts of the route. For those preferring local transportation there is also a good typical “taxi-brousse” connection until Ranomafana village from Antananarivo, Antsirabe or from Fianarantsoa.
The entry costs Ar 25,000 for one day visit and Ar 37,000 for two days. Then guide fees for the circuits depend on the number of participants and the duration of the trek. Average is 50,000 to 80,000 Ar a day for 1 -5 persons.
My name is Renato Azambujo. I live currently in Hamburg, but was born and raised in sunny capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I also lived in Switzerland for some years, before settling in Germany for the last years.
I am huge passionate about travel, photographer and a global explorer, always looking to the next destination.
I have so far visited over 70 countries across the 5 continents, because I really love knowing about new places, interact with different cultures and get to know myself better after each journey.