Nahampoana Reserve

The Botanic Garden of Reserve de Nahampoana, which was constructed in 1901, can be found at the foot of St. Louis peak, seven kilometres east of Fort Dauphin.

The road from Fort Dauphin leads through small villages, passing the beach of Dauphin's bay and Lake Lanirano. The well maintained garden, formerly named Garden of Acclimatisation, encompasses an area of 50 hectares. Good hiking trails wind through vegetation typical of the east and south of Madagascar. Amongst the many exotic plants that 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 can be found only in Fort Dauphin and nowhere else in Madagascar.

A short pirogue ride along a fairytale like river, tunneling 800 metres through thick vegetation with Giant Elephant Ear plants both on the riverbanks and in the water is a rewarding experience. Innumerable frogs give their best performance for visitors with their frog concerts during this 30 minutes excursion. A natural swimming pool and a small waterfall are additional highlights of the park.

Nahampoana Reserve is ideal for lemur spotting. 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 house. Other animals which can be observed include chameleons, tortoises, crocodiles and a wide variety of birds.

To give visitors an insight into the unique flora and fauna of this part of Madagascar, guided day as well as night walks are available and can be arranged directly at the park. The entrance fee including an expert guide is EUR 8,- per person.

Visitors planning to stay overnight in the park can choose from two accommodations. In the old colonial house there are 3 double rooms. This house, which was constructed in 1912, is full of charm and has direct access to the restaurant. Additionally, there are 5 newly built double rooms located in the garden about 100 metres from the colonial house. All rooms are modern in design and have shower/WC, mosquito net and terrace.

The park restaurant serves local cuisine on the terrace of the colonial house, including organic vegetables farmed in the gardens. The management plans to sell essential oils produced at the reserve, as well as lychees and mangoes. The park is not fenced and people in the nearby village use some of its renewable resources.

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