Andasibe-Mantadia National Park includes two distinct areas in terms of terrain and activities available, covering a total of 155 km² (60 miles²) east of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo. The Special Reserve of Analamazoatra (also known as Andasibe National Park) was established in an effort to preserve the Indri lemur species and was later extended into what came to be Mantadia National Park. Because both reserves occupy the same forest, they are commonly referred to as Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
The northern area of the park (Mantadia) is considered to be more exclusive and receives fewer tourists. It contains varied trails that tend to be more rugged, which may be attractive to the adventurous and experienced hiker. Altitudes range from 900 to 1250 m (2953 to 4101 ft). Mantadia tends to have a very humid climate. The park is made up of dense rainforest, housing a variety of wildlife species, including over 80 amphibians, 15 mammals including the Indri (the largest species of lemur), 50 reptile species including chameleons and leaf-tailed geckos and over 100 bird species including the Madagascar wagtail and the Madagascar serpent-eagle.
Visitors to Andasibe-Mantadia should be prepared for very damp conditions. In addition to rain jackets, high rubber boots (wellies) are also recommended as leaches are common here and like to attach to exposed skin. The true highight of this area is the ability to see the largest lemur, the Indri. Its haunting cries echo above the drenched canopies and add an element of mystery to any trek. Be prepared to have a sore neck, as these guys tend to stay near the tops of the trees and make the visitors work for their viewings.
Mantadia National Park is home to various plant species, most notably the orchid and the poinsettia, which grows to enormous heights in this damp, temperate climate. The park also contains the Sacred Waterfall as well as natural pools, giving hikers an opportunity to refresh and cool down.
The park is easily accessible from Antananarivo by car. The trip takes approximately three to four hours, depending on road conditions. Part of the journey is on dirt roads.
Tap water. Madagascar's water is not safe to drink from the taps anywhere in the country – including the most expensive hotels. Bottled water (Ar1800 to Ar4000) is available throughout the country. If you can get clear water from a tap or well, water-purifying tablets are a good option.