Top 5 Andasibe Experiences

1) Meet the Indri

Madagascar’s largest lemur, the Indri (Indri indri) is the reason Analamazaotra forest of Andasibe was originally set aside as a reserve more than 40 years ago. Their big black and white furry forms are easily viewed in both Andasibe National Park and Mitsinjo’s Analamazaotra Forest Station.

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In our forest we have two groups habituated to humans, and on lucky mornings it’s possible to get within a meter of wild Indri. It’s a truly intimate experience not to be missed.

2) Take a Dip in the Lac Sacré

A 60 minute drive north of Andasibe is Mantadia National Park. While there are a number of popular “piscine naturelle” in the protected areas around Madagascar, the cascade and pool in Mantadia is just what will want after having hiked the rugged terrain of this less visited and more adventurous part of the Andasibe-Mantadia complex.

A visit to the cascade in Mantadia National Park, a 60 minute drive north of Andasibe.

A visit to the cascade in Mantadia National Park, a 60 minute drive north of Andasibe.

3) Night Hike in Rainforest

While almost all visitors to Andasibe make a morning trek through the forest, many miss out on the numerous nocturnal creatures that are hidden during the day and only emerge after dark.

Mitsinjo offers night hikes through rainforest for nocturnal wildlife viewing. With luck, you’ll have a chance to observe the locally-endemic Goodman’s Mouse Lemur (Microcebus lehilahytsara). Common encounters also include the Greater Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleus major), Leaf-tailed Geckos (Uroplatus sikorae and U. phantasticus), and an impressive sample of Andasibe’s amphibian diversity such as the common tree frogs Boophis viridis and Boophis pyrrhus.

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4) Tour the Village

Don’t miss out on an afternoon stroll through Andasibe village. The town has a population of around 5,000 people, with around 12,000 living in the surrounding Commune. Market is centrally located and busiest on Saturdays. There is even an internet café with WiFi and four computers should you get the urge to send photos to some of your friends back home!

A walk through Andasibe village will introduce you to the people and culture not experienced in the forest.

A walk through Andasibe village will introduce you to the people and culture not experienced in the forest.

5) Plant a Tree

It’s not just about taking the experience away but also giving back. Association Mitsinjo offers a chance for visitors to contribute to conservation in Andasibe by going on our “Reforestation Circuit” which lasts a few hours and tours not only Analamazaotra Forest Station, but also our tree nurseries and recently reforested habitat.

At the end of the circuit, you can also plant your own tree if you like. We hope you can come back and visit when it has grown.

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Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar

For the first time, the amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd) has been found in wild Madagascar amphibian population. This recently published research paper summarizes the results of a tremendous collaborative effort in chytrid research in Madagascar. Association Mitsinjo is proud to have been a part of this study. Mitsinjo members were present during the first discovery of chytrid in Madagascar in the Massif du Makay and subsequently led the regular sampling of amphibians for chytrid in the Andasibe region.

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As alarming as the detection of chytrid in Madagascar is, no mass mortality of amphibians appears to have been associated with it so far.

In a best case scenario this might indicate a previously undetected endemic type of Bd and/or hint at a natural resistance of Malagasy amphibians against chytrid.

In a worst case scenario, this might only be the early stages of a devastating epidemic with the potential to wipe out many of Madagascar’s unique frogs.

Stay tuned…

Links and more information:

http://phys.org/…/2015-02-amphibian-chytrid-fungus-madagasc…
http://www.amphibians.org/ne…/bd-madagascar-franco-andreone/
http://www.amphibians.org/news/bd-in-madagascar-reid-harris/
http://www.amphibians.org/news/bd-madagascar-molly-bletz/
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31645122

Meet a Guide – Roger RAZAFITSIRESY

Roger with a group of tourists in Andasibe National Park

Roger with a group of tourists in Andasibe National Park

Born in Andasibe in 1983, Roger has been a Mitsinjo member since 2004. Before then he was a student, but grew up in Andasibe and has always been familiar with the local flora and fauna. He began working as a guide with our Association in 2006.

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Since working with Mitsinjo he has participated in a number of our projects, including assisting visiting researchers in studies as diverse as:

  • Behavioral monitoring of the Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur (Allocebus tricotus)
  • Forest mapping with Project Manondroala
  • An ecological survey of the Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema) in Andasibe National Park
Roger on the road to Andasibe eyeing a mixed flock of vangas

Roger on the road to Andasibe eyeing a mixed flock of vangas

One of Roger’s specialties is the birds of Andasibe. He is skilled in finding even the most difficult-to-see species, such as the Helmut Vanga, Pygmy Kingfisher, Scopes Owl, Crested Ibis, Madagascar Wood and White-throated Rail, and even the Pitta-like Ground Roller. He worked with a German ornithologist in 2012 to lead and participate in a training course for guides regarding the birds of Andasibe and their natural history.

The Helmet Vanga is one of Andasibe's most iconic birds but difficult to find without a trained guide. This photo was taken by Roger near Eulophiella Lodge.

The Helmet Vanga is one of Andasibe’s most iconic birds but difficult to find without a trained guide. This photo was taken by Roger near Eulophiella Lodge.

Before your visit, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mitsinjo to work with Roger. He can also be reached directly at rogerandasibe (at) gmail (dot) com or by telephone at +261 33 02 568 44 and +261 34 06 566 86

The Story of Mitsinjo and the Greater Bamboo Lemur

By Rainer Dolch

The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) is the largest of Madagascar’s bamboo-eating lemurs and one of the most threatened lemurs in Madagascar. For more than a century, it was believed to be extinct in almost all Madagascar, except for a remnant population in the south-east of the island.

The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus), one of the most endangered primates in the world, is one of our target species that we have monitored at Torotorofotsy

The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus), one of the most endangered primates in the world, is one of Mitsinjo’s focal species.

In 2004, thanks to the intrepid Jean Rafalimandimby, Mitsinjo excitingly discovered a new population of the Greater Bamboo Lemur in Torotorofotsy, reconfirming that this critically endangered bamboo specialist species still holds on in areas where it had gone unnoticed for so long.

Mitsinjo members Rafaly and Tiana Radio-tracking the Greater Bamboo Lemur at Torotorofotsy.

Mitsinjo members Rafaly and Tiana Radio-tracking the Greater Bamboo Lemur at Torotorofotsy.

Together with our partner organizations (The Aspinall FoundationConservation International, GERP), Mitsinjo designed and conducted methodical surveys into the Ankeniheny-Zahamena forest corridor (that lies to the north of Torotorofotsy) and into the Marolambo-Nosivolo area. With the invaluable help of local people in these areas, results have since yielded evidence for several further populations of this critically endangered lemur scattered throughout these forests.


Prolemur simus research and conservation actions undertaken by Mitsinjo 

– Rediscovered population at Torotorofotsy when the species was thought to have since been extinct outside southeast Madagascar.

– Conducted surveys for Prolemur simus in forest corridor further east and north of Torotorofotsy.

– Potential investigation further away in Makira and Tsinjoarivo (with Sadabe).

– Monitored population at Torotorofotsy for two years using radio-telemetry.

– Contributed to the formation of the Prolemur simus Working Group


We have also looked into the possible occurrence of the species in places as far away as Tsinjoarivo (with Sadabe) and Makira (with Simpona).

At the same time as we searched for new populations, Mitsinjo (in collaboration with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership) radio-collared several animals in Torotorofotsy and, during two years of monitoring, gathered a wealth of data on their behaviour, and ecology that will help design an adequate conservation action plan Prolemur simus. Further research by our para-ecologist team focuses on collecting fecal samples for genetic analyses and on bamboo density necessary for the survival of the species.

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The classic traces of the greater bamboo lemur: large piles of broken bamboo.

The species apparently requires very large home ranges. As a consequence, the Torotorofotsy population of Prolemur simus is not restricted to the Ramsar site of the same name but ventures out into areas being encroached by mining. Mitsinjo coordinates with both the Ambatovy nickel mine and the Izouard/Louys graphite mine in order to minimize possible impacts from their respective activities.

Greater Bamboo Lemur

Mitsinjo’s committment to saving the Greater Bamboo Lemur has since contributed to the formation of the Prolemur simus Working Group, kindly initiated by the Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group.