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Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Ranomafana

One of Madagascar’s most beautiful parks, with densely forested hills and numerous small streams which plummet down to the Namorona River.

Taking its name from the nearby hot springs (Ranomafana means “hot water”) the park was only created in 1991 after the discovery of the golden bamboo lemur, and is now one of the country’s most important and visited wildlife reserves. We also consider it to be one of Madagascar’s most beautiful parks, with densely forested hills and numerous small streams which plummet down to the Namorona River – an area filled with wildlife.

The enticing mix of long and short trails, as well as some challenging hikes take you into the wilder areas of the park making Ranomafana a really fun place to explore. It is also the best reserve in terms of the number and diversity of lemurs, with over 12 species found here, many of which can easily be seen. Birding is also well represented, with over 30 endemics species, but it is the dazzling Parsons chameleon and painted mantilla (a frog!) that catch the eye.

Stream, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Ranomafana, Madagascar

Why visit Ranomafana

  • Huge diversity of wildlife, with over 12 species of lemurs and 100+ birds
  • Good network of intriguing steeper trails in more remote areas
  • One of Madagascar’s most beautiful parks with dramatic rivers and waterfall
  • Excellent night walks at the Belle Vue lookout for some great photography.

Experiences

Ranomafana National Park

Explore one of Madagascar’s most beautiful parks with dramatic rivers and waterfall.

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Belle Vue Night Walk

Experience a night walk at the Belle Vue lookout for some great photographic opportunities.

Ranomafana Night Walk

See chameleons change colour by torchlight on a night walk in Ranomafana.

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Wildlife in Ranomafana

Explore the area’s huge diversity of wildlife, with over 12 species of lemurs and 100+ bird species.

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Trek Ranomafana

Explore the good network of intriguing steeper trails in more remote areas.

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Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Thermal Hotel £££££

  • Madagascar

The Thermal Hotel is the newest lodge in Ranomafana, having been completely refurbished. It benefits from its location in the centre of town – perfect for those who like to explore. The 21 rooms are split into three large blocks, and whilst the size of the buildings makes the interiors seem a little empty, the rooms are very clean and comfortable, with pine panels lending the place a decidedly wood-cabin feel. The restaurant is excellent and many people come here from outside the hotel to eat. What it lacks in atmosphere, it more than makes up for in service, food and efficiency.

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Setam Lodge £££££

  • Madagascar
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Setam Lodge is at the entrance of Ranomafana National Park and makes the most of its location, with each of the spotless, but simple chalets, taking advantage of the fantastic views over the forested river valley over which it looks. Given the lodge’s fairly remote location, the food is surprisingly good and the restaurant is large enough to create a great atmosphere but small enough so that you quickly befriend the brilliant staff. Walks from the lodge into the park offer a chance to spot rare lemur species, including the golden bamboo lemur. The great setting and lovely views make this one of the best options in the region.

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Centrest £££££

  • Madagascar
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Like most lodges in Ranomafana, simplicity rules and the small number of rooms here are hidden amongst the lodges beautiful verdant gardens, with the more recent rooms built up on the hill making the most of the location, on the edge of the park itself. The rooms are cooled by fans and mosquito nets keep you safe. The restaurant serves surprisingly good local Malagasy food and a handful of European dishes if you’ve had enough of rice. This place can’t be beaten for location, and its the closest to the village, meaning you can head out and explore the area at leisure.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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  • 01285 601 784

Chris Johnston

Having trekked through rainforests, searched for ancient tombs and been mistaken for a priest, Chris continues to travel the length and breadth of this beautiful, baffling country. Whilst many people consider Madagascar a wildlife destination, he finds the culture and landscapes just as captivating.
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  • 01285 601 784

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

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