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Exploring Kirindy Mitea

Exploring Kirindy Mitea: unique climate, biodiversity, and tourist activities on the Red Island

Kirindy Mitea: The Sakalava Kingdom

Exploring Kirindy Mitea: A Brief Overview

The Kirindy Mitea National Park in Madagascar is a diverse refuge for many species of mammals, reptiles, and impressive birds. It is also home to ancient sacred baobab trees. The park’s varied vegetation and landscapes are located 50 km northeast of Morondava. Situated between the Maharivo and Lampaolo rivers, at the end of the Mozambique Channel, it covers an area of 72,200 hectares.

This national park is known for its local endemic species and is part of UNESCO’s network of biosphere reserves due to its rich variety of flora and fauna. The park’s flat relief reaches a highest point of 181 meters. Its unique feature lies in the combination of terrestrial and marine ecosystems specific to different habitats in the western and southeastern parts of the island.

Kirindy Mitea National Park was established on December 18, 1997, with management handed over to the National Association for the Management of Protected Areas (ANGAP) in November 2000. It is one among several national parks in Madagascar which include Tsingy de Bemaraha, Baie de Baly, Isalo, Montagne d’Ambre , Andasibe Mantadia, Lokobe that contribute significantly to preserving Madagascar’s natural heritage.

Climate in the Kirindy Region

Kirindy experiences two main climate seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season spans from November to April, while the dry season covers May to October. Positioned within the semi-arid and tropical dry zone, Kirindy National Park is bordered by the Mozambique Channel and sporadically intersected by the Kirindy River, which swells significantly during the rainy period. Temperatures generally fluctuate between 25°C and 31°C. The wettest months are November to March, with a lengthy seven to eight-month dry spell following. The sea temperature remains pleasant year-round, making Kirindy an appealing destination for visitors throughout most of the year.

The best time to visit Kirindy falls between March and October, particularly in March, April, June, July, August, September, and October when conditions are especially favorable.

High Endemicity Rate: A Unique Feature

If you love nature, Kirindy Mitea is the perfect place for you. It’s known for its exceptional wildlife, with over 80% of species found there being unique to the area. The park is home to a quarter of Madagascar’s total bird species and various types of lemurs. You’ll also find diverse animals such as the “vositse,” a mammal, and the “Fosa,” which is the largest carnivore in Madagascar. This park is a little paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

You’ll have the chance to explore dense dry forests, savannas, mangroves, coastal dunes, lagoons, islands, bays, and beaches at Kirindy Mitea.

The Dry Primary Forest

– The dry primary forest covers 70% of the area.
– It is a transitional zone between the dry climate and the sub-arid climate in the south.

The Importance of Mangroves

The Kirindy Mitea is home to thriving mangroves. These unique ecosystems support eight species of mangrove trees with stilt-like roots, providing habitats for various marine life including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and bats. At dusk, the mangroves become a resting place for white egrets as they settle in for the night.

Ambondro and Sirave Lakes

The Ambondro and Sirave lakes cover 14,481.5 hectares. Birds that live around these lakes are highly respected by the locals as the lakes hold a special significance to them.

Wildlife and vegetation

The Kirindy Mitea National Park is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including numerous bird and reptile species. With 47 types of birds and 23 endemic reptiles, the park offers a rich diversity of fauna. Visitors can encounter the Madagascar bulbul, “fody” birds, and striking white egrets among others. The park also boasts a range of baobab trees and medicinal plants, as well as the prized rosewood used by villagers for crafting various items.

Tourists have the option to explore the national park through different circuits, either by car or on foot. These tours provide opportunities for hikes through the dry forest and savanna to witness the area’s biodiversity. Swimming in the sea is permitted, while rustic cabins and bungalows nestled in the forest offer accommodation options. A portion of Kirindy Mitea’s population resides within the park to tend livestock and cultivate land.

Exploring Kirindy Mitea Park with a Guide

In the heart of the forest, you can see rare animals like the “fosa” and flamingos at Lake Ambondro and Sirave.

Entry Tickets

Tickets for the National Park can be bought at the park’s reception desks or at the Analamanga Regional Tourism Office kiosk in Antaninarenina, Antananarivo. The tickets are available from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 pm.

Entrance fees

Foreign adults pay 45,000 AR for entry, while foreign children pay 25,000 AR. On the other hand, Malagasy adults are charged 2,000 AR and Malagasy children 500 AR.

Essential Equipment

– Hiking shoes
– Water to drink
– Sunscreen.

Hotels and Dining

Experience the Kirindy Lodge: A Unique Accommodation Option in Madagascar’s Forest

Kirindy Lodge offers beautiful bungalows located in a nature reserve. The bungalows are clean and welcoming, with comfortable beds equipped with mosquito nets. Each bungalow has a private bathroom with a hot water solar shower. There are 13 bungalows available, each with its own bathroom. In addition to the accommodation, there is also a tourist guidance service and a training complex with dormitories for up to 60 people as well as a training room. The lodge provides free Wi-Fi access, an on-site restaurant, and private parking facilities.

West Coast Rosewood Resort

Located 48.7 km from Kirindy Mitea National Park, Palissandre Cote Ouest hotel offers 30 bungalows made of granite stone and rosewood with “Mokotry” roofs. Each bungalow features a private terrace with a sea view, as well as a pleasant pool next to the bar and restaurant. The accommodation includes ocean view rooms, non-smoking rooms, family rooms, and smoking rooms.

The hotel provides free parking, complimentary internet access, breakfast options, a restaurant and bar, mosquito nets, dry cleaning services, and laundry facilities.

Trecicogne Hotel in Morondava

The Trecicogne Morondava hotel is located 48.6 km from Kirindy Mitea National Park and has 20 rooms with hot water, mosquito nets, fans, and water filters. The rooms are of different types including non-smoking, family, and smoking rooms.

The restaurant overlooks the canal with a beautiful view of the landscape. It serves delicious seafood such as shrimp, prawns, octopus, and squid. Additionally, Italian dishes like wood-fired pizzas and a wide selection of wines are available.

The hotel offers free parking and activities for children.

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