"Enjoy the 'free range' lemurs at the Lemur Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Antananarivo Things to Do Tip by CatherineReichardt
Antananarivo Things to Do: 52 reviews and 111 photos
The Lemur Park just outside Tana is an easy half day trip, and provides a good introduction to lemurs even if you're then travelling on to the forest reserves. It is also a great place to bring kids or people with more limited mobility (who wouldn't be up to handling the trails in the forest reserves) so that they can see lemurs roaming free.
The park is small at only 4 hectares (that's 8 soccer fields for the non-metrically minded), and is bordered on one side by a river. The lemurs roam freely and are able to get over the fences and walls that border the property, but as they get fed in the park, they have little interest in straying!
There are several species of sifaka as well as ring-tailed, brown and mongoose lemurs (the few nocturnal lemurs that were previously in enclosures have been freed into the park since our last visit in 2008). The animals are habituated to humans, so you can get very close and observe them at very close quarters - something that is usually not possible in the reserves unless you are extremely fortunate. We were extremely lucky to get within 5m of a mother sifaka whose tiny baby was clinging to her fur and peering out at the world with that characteristic unfocused gaze of the newborn - see photo.
The park is all about lemurs, but there are also a few tortoises in an enclosure, as well as chameleons, geckoes and other lizards roaming free within the park.
The guides (who must accompany you as you walk around the park) are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and speak good English.
One of the most encouraging aspects of the park is the major effort that is being made to plant indigenous 'lemur-friendly' plants such as aloes, baobabs and euphorbias, which will ultimately create a more natural habitat. Many of the species being introduced are from the spiny forest of the south, so if you're not going to that part of the country, it will give you a taste of a very different floral assemblage (note that there is also a botanical garden within the Tana Zoo complex where you can also see plant species from other parts of Madagascar).
There is a restaurant, and a gift shop with a limited but interesting range of T shirts and other tourist goodies. I particularly liked the locally manufactured lemur cuddly toys which are very well made (for example, the eyes are hand stitched to the head, rather than being glued on) - after the disappointment of not being able to see the aye aye at the zoo, my daughter was at least able to console herself with a cuddly aye aye!
Directions: 22km west of Tana off the RN1
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