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Madagascar National Parks

Terrestrial National Park
Baie de Baly
Kirindy Mitea
Mananara Nord
Mantadia Andasibe
Midongy Befotaka
Montagne d'Ambre
Tsingy de Namoroka
Zombitse Vohibasia

Marine national Park
Mananara Nord

Complete Natural Reserve

Special Reserve
Andasibe Analamazaotra
Anjanaharibe Sud
Beza Mahafaly
Cap Sainte Marie
Montagne et Forêt d’Ambre
Tampoketsa Analamaintso

News of Manombo protected area
News are ongoing...

The Special Reserve of Manombo is located in the South East. It is the only protected area where we can meet the species of batrachian seriously threatened Mantella bernhardi. It shelters the biggest diversity of terrestrial snails of the island. GPS: 22°57’S, 23°08’S and longitude 47°36’E,47°48’E

The Special Reserve of Manombo, 5,320 ha, is located 27 km South of Farafangana, in the Atsimo Atsinanana Region . The total surface of the forest covers 15,000 ha 4,000ha of which is part of the Special Reserve. The Reserve has two parcels, separated one from the other by the National Road N° 12, joining Farafangana-Vangaindrano. The Parcel N�1 is Northwest of the village of Manombo and west of the National Road N�12. The Parcel N°2 is SouthEast the village of Manombo, between the National Road N°12 and the Indian Ocean.

The fauna

90% of the species listed in the Special Reserve of Manombo are endemic to Madagascar. Thus, the Humbertia madagascariensis (Humbertiaceae) is only meet in Manombo and 200 km further south near.Fort Dauphin. One of the two species of the Allantospermum kind is only represented in Manombo, the second is in Bornéo. Manombo is known for its snails : we can find 52 different species, most of which are endemic there. But we can find six species of lemurs, 58 species of birds. The herpetofauna of Manombo is typical of lowland humid forest of the eastern region. The reserve contains at leat 12 species of amphibians such as the endangered posonous frog Mantella bernhardi and 10 reptiles. Among the reptiles species is Phelsuma bergofi which is a green bleueish day geckos only known from restricted area in littoral forest.

The flora

The set of the Special Reserve of Manombo shows an unusually varied flora. On the five determined endemic families, four are currently counted : the Asteropeiaceaes, the Physenaceaes, the Sarcolaenaceaes and the Sphaerosepalaceaes. 65.05% of the identified species are endemic to Madagascar.

Travel shrewd...

For your stay in Manombo, bring a raincoat, good walking shoes, and a pocket-size lamp torch. Don't disregard your antimalaria medecine. The bank and the nearest hospital are in Farafangana. Manombo and its surrounding are covered by Orange, Zain and Telma telephone network.

The history of the Special Reserve

The Special Reserve of Manombo was created in 1962. The forest covers a bit less than 15,000 ha 4,000 ha of which is part of the Special Reserve. Manombo is split in two parcels. Originally, the Parcel N°1, 2,800 ha, was part of a bigger classified Forest of North Efasy that is now the Efasy Reserve Forest. The Parcel N°2 was part of the classified Forest of Lopary North-East which continues southwards, in Vangaindrano. This parcel is limited in the East by a beach of 5 km, dominated by the forest vegetation.

Manombo, last shelter for rare species

The importance of Manombo essentially turns around its representation of typical and unique habitats of the Southeast of Madagascar but also in the presence of rare species. The East of the Parcel N°2 is populated with the Hintsy, or Hintsia bijuga that is an endemic species to Manombo. This oriental coastal forest of hintsy is the only representation in the national network of protected areas managed by Madagascar National Parks. It spreads over 1,055 ha.
The humid forest of low altitude developsed on the plain and on the ironitic soil. This plant formation is in the Parcel N°1 and spreads over about 2,410ha. This forest is decorated with Humbertia madagascariens or Fatsinakoho that are endemic species of Manombo.

The Reserve of Manombo contributes to the conservation of the important population threatened lemurs species Eulemur albocollaris and Varecia variegata editorium. It is also the unique Reserve where the Crytically endangered species of frog Mantella bernhardi has refuge with legal protection. Otherwise, new species of freshwater fish was discovered in the Reserve in 1994. These species don't exist anywhere else; they belong to the rare endemic genera : Pantanodon, Betodia sp and Paratilapia sp. Finally, and especially, Manombo shelters the biggest diversity of terrestrial snails of Madagascar: 52 species have been counted on all forests of low altitude.

A water tank

Manombo consists of coastal plains,  waving hills and alluvial valleys. The concretions or karaoka are very abundant in surface and are characterized by low level in silica and strong contents in iron oxide. Manombo is watered by the Takoandra River that drains the Parcel N°1 southwards and the Menatsimba River witch delimits the Parcel N°2 in its Southern part. These two rivers are feed by small rivers and streams that cross the forest to irrigate 300 ha of rice fields down below and supply Farafangana in drinking water.
The coast is often hit by the cyclones; the dry season doesn't practically exist. The annual average temperature is 23°C with a maximum of 31°C in January, and a minimum of 13°C in July.

Selective cut and surexploitation

The Antesaka, the Antefasy, the Zafisoro, the Antemoro, the Vakinankaratra and the Betsileo live near the Reserve of Manomvo. They live with agriculture, fishing and the basketwork. Some get involved in the small trades and livestock. The villagers are very dependent on the forest resources and their activities have heavy consequences in biodiversity. Bush fires, generally voluntary, hunting and poaching, selective cut of wood that threatens a very specific species, used for the construction or sold in city, are all negative pressure for the survival of Manombo.

The Mahampy (Cyperus) and the stem of Ravinala (Ravenala madagascariensis), the basic material for the basketwork are thus very commercialized and over-exploited.

The microprojects of Manombo
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The Special Reserve of Manombo is easily accessible thanks to the proximity of the National Road N° 12A. Antananarivo - Manombo: two days of road, practicable all the year.


By Road :

Choose a 4 Wheels Drive Car to make the Antananarivo - Manombo journey. 
Take the National Road N°7 toward Fianarantsoa. Join Ambohimahasoa after 355 km of a tarred road. From Ambohimahasoa, join Alakamisy Ambohimaha and Irondro on the 
National Road N° 25,133 km of tarred road. Finally, join the National Road N°12A from Irondro while passing through Ranomafana, Manakara, Vohipeno, Farafangana, Bemelo and Manombo. It is a road of 240 km including 100 km in bad state.

Par Taxi- brousse :

Fianarantsoa - Farafangana; every day
Farafangana - Bemelo: every day (Take the Farafangana - Vangaindrano line). It is possible to rent a taxi to Farafangana, because Bemelo is only 25km.

The Reserve hasn’t got an arranged circuit yet; nevertheless, some natives can make you visit the site.

The Office of the Special Reserve Manombo is in Bemelo. You can pay the entrance fees to the protected area.

The Special Reserve of Manombo doesn't have any infrastructure of welcome; however some sites exist with shelter for the tents, water, shower, and toilets. If you want to camp, we suggest you to bring your own material, tent and sleeping bag. You can also lodge in Farafangana where several ranges of lodging exist, from the simplest at the inhabitant's, to a certain comfort in the hotels of the place.

Contacts :

Madagascar National Parks in Fianarantsoa
BP 1363 Antsorokavo

Tél : + (261 20) 75 512 74
GSM : + (261 32) 02 450 25
           + (261 32) 40 481 75

Email :

Special Reserve of Manombo
Chief of Reserve : RAZAFINDRAPANITRY Olivier
Séc CR p.i GSM : + (261 32) 07 595 26 / +(261 33) 23 050 74

The Reserve hasn’t got an arranged circuit yet, nevertheless, some natives can make you visit the site. Take a dip in the waterfall of Rianambo, on the Manatsimba River. If you wish, you can bivouac at night; enjoy the natural swimming pool, beaches and forests on the coastline and the mouths of rivers to the North and to the South of the parcel. It is possible to picnic and to bathe in brackish water or to row in dugouts on the Takoandra Rivers and Menatsimbes where you could admire the colonies of birds and crocodiles. Watch the landing of the fishers in the beach of Takoandra, one moment of relax and a place of meeting and exchanges.
In October, admire the parade of the whales in the mouth of Tsaratanana and observe, during the night, the punter of the sea turtles on the beach. On the Parcel N°2, admire from June to August the flowering of the orchids and contemplate the biggest endemic tree of the Southeast, the famous Fatsinakoho (Humbertia madagascariensis).
Finally, visit the historic sites: the steles of Dina Menavozo and the Orimbato, former petty king.