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The private reserve of Berenty is a fine example of the unique spiny forest of this area. There are wide, flat trails through the forest where you can see a wealth of lemurs, reptiles and birds, many of them endemic.

Species you may see here include: ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux’s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur, verrucosus chameleon, Madagascan fruit bat, sportive lemur and Madagascan boa constrictor; while bird species include the giant coaua, sickle-billed vanga, knob-billed duck, and many other endemics. 

The plant life of the spiny forest is fascinating, with an incredible 92% of the population being endemic, making this one of the most biologically distinct and unusual ecosystems on earth. The night hikes in Berenty are rewarding – you can see and hear grey mouse, and white-footed sportive lemurs, plus assorted insects, sleeping birds and reptiles. September and October are the best months to see amazingly cute baby lemurs.

Berenty is located in the Tamarind gallery forest, found along the Mandrare River, just over an hour’s flight from Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin, followed by a two-hour road transfer. You will see a dramatic change of scenery as you head from the humid east coast, passing over hills into the dry hotter climate of southern Madagascar. Upon entering the spiny forest region, there are impressive views of the tall spiky trunk of the alluadia, a family found only here in south Madagascar. Virtually every plant in this ecosystem is coated in thorns and is well adapted to retaining moisture in this arid region.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: brown lemur, Madagascar flying fox, ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux’s sifaka, grey mouse lemur
  • Where: Atsimo-Andrefana Region, Madagascar
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Berenty Lodge

This lodge offers comfortable accommodation in charming, spacious wooden chalets in the heart of the private Berenty Reserve. The abundant wildlife is well habituated – many of the ring-tailed lemurs are totally at home around the lodge premises – and activities include nightwalks to see nocturnal species.