ANKARAFANTSIKA NATURE RESERVE & AMPIJOROA FOREST STATION (with Lake Aboromalandy & Lac Ravelobe & Bombetoka Bay)


BOENY (Ampombolava, Majunga), (S)

16o13´S/46o55´E N 130,026ha 165m to 350m, Western tropical dry deciduous forest and savannahs with lakes 

August to December ()

Birding Site Guide

Ankarafantsika is a dry deciduous forest located in the NW. Its size is often misquoted as ridiculously large. To get here it is best to fly from Antananarivo to Mahajunga (8hrs) on the W coast, it is then several hours drive to Ampijoroa Forest Station National Route 7. National Route 4 actually goes off here S through the park. The park is a 2-hour drive from Mahajanga. The Park Office is located in Ampijoroa and there are places to stay including camping. English speaking guides offer a range of tours.

Easy species include Blue, Sickle-billed, Chabert’s, Rufous, Hook-billed, and White-headed Vangas and both Greater and Lesser Vasa Parrots, White-breasted Mesite, Coquerel's and Red-capped Couas and Van Dam's Vanga and Madagascar Green Pigeon. Schlegel's Asity is present but harder to find. Birds of prey include Madagascar Fish Eagle, Madagascar Harrier Hawk, Madagascar Buzzard, Madagascar Sparrowhawk and Frances's Sparrowhawk. In all 129 species of birds have been recorded.

Lake Aboromalandy and Lac Ravelobe and other wetlands may turn up Madagascar Fish Eagle, Humblot’s Heron and the shy Allen’s Gallinule is a good place African Pygmy Goose, Madagascar Jacana Madagascar Crested Ibis, White-throated Rail, Humblot's Heron, Madagascar White Ibis, Madagascar Pratincole and Madagascar (Bernier's) Teal, Banded Kestrel, Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher and Purple Heron, Red capped Coua, White-breasted Mesite, Schlegel’s Asity.

The delta of Bombetoka Bay in the Mahajanga/Boanamary area is not too far away and is good for two scarce species the Bernier’s Teal and Madagascar Ibis. Other more widespread species are found here such as Humblot’s Heron, Crab Plover, Lesser Flamingo and Terek Sandpipers.

On Lake Ravelobe views may be had of Madagascar Fish Eagle and White-throated Rail.

An excellent report and tour operator to try is Rockjumper Tours



Mammals: Coquerel’s Sifaka Propithecus coquereli Milne-Edwards' Sifaka Propithecus diadema edwardsi, Mongoose Lemur Eulemur mongoz, Western Woolly Lemur Avahi occidentalis, Grey Mouse Lemur Microcebus murinus, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus medius and Golden-brown Mouse Lemur Microcebus ravelobensis.


Reptiles: 44 species have been recorded including: Madagascar Ground Boa Acrantophis madagascariensis and Sanzinia madagascariensis, both Threatened, snake Liophidium therezieni, Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, Horned Chameleon Furcifer rhinoceratus, Dwarf ChameleonBrookesia decaryi, critically endangered Madagascar Big Headed Turtle Erymnochelys madagascariensis and Acrantophis madagascariensis.

Amphibians: 10 species have been recorded.

Flora: A total of 823 plant species have been recorded, endemic rate is ranging from 82% for herbaceous plants to 92% for woody plants. Species include: Baudouinia fluggeiformis,Cedrelopsis greveiPoupartia silvatica and Hymenodictyon occidental. For a list of species see here. MADACAMP.

For lists of all the endemics look here. MADAGASCAR LIVING NATIONAL TREASURES

Author: BSG