Farafangana: Discover the Treasures of the Manombo Reserve

So much Malagasy diversity! In the Manombo reserve, a site located 2km from the city of Farafangana, you can watch endemic lemurs such as the "Eulemur Albocallaris" or the "Varicia Variegata" or even 32 species of ants, snails and birds.
This very peaceful environment, with its rich vegetation, provides a habitat for all these animals.
In this reserve, the eye is immediately attracted by the "Humbertia Madagascariens", a tree more than a hundred years old. The wonders of Manombo Park are also reflected in the beautiful orchids, blooming from June to August. An extraordinary panorama awaits nature lovers, which extends to the beach on the horizon.
With a total area of 5320 ha, the particularity of this Special Reserve is based mainly in its rate of endemicity of 90% for plant species to name only the Hintsy or Intsia bijuga. Also called "iron tree", it can reach 10 to 20 meters high. Easily recognizable by its whitish bark, this species has remarkable durability. Its bark and leaves are used in traditional medicine, against rheumatism and diarrhea.
Manombo is also the only known habitat of a very endangered amphibian species: Mantella Bernhardi. It is a tiny, multicolored atrachian with a greyish brown back, black flanks and the inner side of the orange limbs.
To which must be added the whales that pass offshore, a spectacle that is always exceptional. Rivers flow through the park for the discovery of crocodiles and freshwater fish by pirogue. In Farafangana, three ethnic groups live, the Antefasy, Zafizoro and Rabakara. The mixture of their cultures is what characterizes this city, 400km from the capital.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine November 2018

Useful Information


When to go

The annual temperature is of 23°C.The best time is from June to October. This is the season when rare plant species bloom and the best time to observe whales and sea turtles.


How to get there

The fastest way is to catch a flight from Antananarivo to Fort-Dauphin. Afterwards, continue by private car or bush taxi to the Manombo reserve.


Where to stay

There is no shortage of hotels in Farafangana. You can go to the "Austral Hotel" or to the "Coconut Trees" which offers a full pension service.


Where to eat

The restaurant "Le Cucbre Masqué" has never disappointed its guests (delicious zebu steak speciality). Typical Malagasy cuisine is available in several venues.


What to see

The Manombo Special Reserve is well-stocked. It contains 8 species of lemurs (5 nocturnal and 3 diurnal), 34 species of ferns and trees with medical properties. The sight from the beach is exceptional when sea turtles and whales can be spotted.

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