The National Park of Ranomafana, (lit. “warm water” in Malagasy) has become one of the most visited places of the island. Large of 415 km², this National Park is totally covered by dense humid primary and secondary forest area at altitudes between 800m and 1.200m.
The park contains twelve lemur species with huge variety of bamboo lemurs. The golden and the greater bamboo lemurs are threatened with extinction - They are classified as an endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). A non-exhaustive list of mammals is made of 7 species of tenrecs, 8 bats and 6 carnivorous. More than 115 species of birds are catalogued of which the Henst's goshawk, Rufous-headed ground-roller, velvet asity, mesites or the threatened crested ibis. Above all, 62 species of reptiles, 98 frogs, 90 butterflies, 350 spiders and several fishes can be seen. A night walk along the road of Ranomafana nearby the limit of the park is rewarding to see reptile especially chameleons and microcebus.
The majority of the plants that grow in this park are used by local inhabitants to cure disease. There are precious wood, palm trees, many orchids and carnivorous plants. Note that the precious wood is illegally overexploited since 2009.
The climate is warm and humid all the year. The temperature may appear cold for those who are not used to. Don’t forget your waterproof jacket since green ecosystems needs rain.
Ranomafana National Park is very easy to access. It lies about 60 km north from Fianarantsoa. It is generally proposed with the classic tour on RN7 between Antananrivo to Tulear. The visit of the Ranomafana park helps to arrange with the legendary train schedule.