Nahampoana Private Reserve – exotic tropical park
The old botanical garden of Reserve de Nahampoana can be found seven kilometres east of Fort Dauphin. This well-maintained garden, formerly named Garden of Acclimatisation, covers an area of 50 hectares. Good hiking trails wind through the vegetation typical of the east and south of Madagascar.
The Reserve is home to many endemic species of the South of the island such as 3 kinds of bamboo trees, the insectivore plant called nepenthes or pitcher plant, fruit trees including lychees, carambolas, tangerines. Amongst the many exotic plants which can be found in the park are the Ravenala Palm, Pachypodium, Madagascar Pitcher Plant, Oil Palm, Canela Cinnamon, Lemon Eucalyptus, young Baobab Trees and the conifer Arokaria, as well as the Triangle Palm Tree which exists in Madagascar only around the area of Fort Dauphin.
Nahampoana Reserve serves as an alternative to the overpriced Berenty, when it comes to a close encounter with Sifaka's, which are the stars of the park. Their small, white, fuzzy head, with a black face and snout balances graciously when they move over the ground in their famous “dance".
Every lemur species native to the south of Madagascar lives in this park. During the early morning hours various groups of lemurs, such as Verreaux's Sifaka, Ring-tailed Lemur or Brown Lemur, usually play in the trees and on the ground near the old colonial style building. Lovers of nature prepare to discover in this oasis of greenery 6 species of lemurs including 2 nocturnes (including the famous microceb, tiny lemur 10 to 13 centimeters high, which can be observed during a nocturnal visit if you stay sleeping), turtles, crocodiles, chameleons, birds and other animals that contribute to the magic of the place.
This forest reserve deserves much greater recognition. Its exotic tropical setting, with mountains for a backdrop, is prettier than Berenty. You can take a boat trip on the river bordering the reserve, discover a forest of bamboos and explore many other enchanting spots. In the forest there are waterfalls and natural swimming pools that offer quiet and secluded picnic sites. There is a restaurant (reservation required) and 8 lodges equipped (private bathrooms) 100% solar, the rooms are of great comfort. You will also find for sale essential oils produced in the reserve (Camphre, Niaouli), litchis and mangoes. This reserve is not fenced, the people of the neighboring village use it, in the framework of respect for the place and its vocation.
Created around 1900, this garden located at the foot of the Pic Saint-Louis, has also kept an old colonial house as a guest house for those who wish to travel back in time… but who also want to breathe more fresh air and be closer to nature.
Watch more photos about Nahampoana Private Reserve here.