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Local Reserves in SAVA: Visiting Desiré Rabary’s Antanetiambo Reserve

In October 2018, I visited the SAVA region of northeast Madagascar for two weeks. My goals: 1) hike in Marojejy, 2) see the rare silky sifakas, 3) learn about local reserves in the area, and 4) learn about the Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF)’s work in this region. More blog posts in this series:

After hiking in Marojejy National Park to see silky sifakas in the beautiful mountain rainforest, we spent a couple of days relaxing near the beach in Sambava. Then, we head out of the city for the second multi-day hike of the trip: four days in Anjanaharibe Sud Special Reserve (ASSR) with Jackson as my guide.

But first, I wanted to see the locally managed Antanetiambo Reserve on the way. We stayed in the town of Andapa that night in order to get an early start on the long walk into ASSR. Andapa is a good entranceway to Antanetiambo. The Lemur Conservation Foundation has held large community events for the World Lemur Festival in Andapa, so it’s great to see the town first hand. After we check into the hotel, we hop back in the SUV for the short drive to Antanetiambo Reserve.

About Antanetiambo Reserve

In northeast Madagascar between Marojejy National Park and Anjanaharibe Sud Special Reserve, you find the Antanetiambo Reserve. This locally owned reserve contains 35 acres of secondary forest, surrounded on all sides by farmlands and villages.

The reserve contains a dense bamboo forest, which provides a home for bamboo lemurs, chameleons, insects, and birds. It offers guided tours for visitors and the local community, and contains a reforestation tree nursery and fish farming pond.

Desire Rabary accepts the 2010 Seacology prize. Photo: Jeff Gibbs.

Meet Local Conservationist Desiré Rabary

With support from the Lemur Conservation Foundation and the Duke Lemur Center, the reserve is run by local conservationist Desiré Rabary.

Upon arriving at Antanetiambo, we are greeted by Desiré Rabary. In the park’s office, Rabary proudly shows me photos of the park, of him visiting the United States, and of well known international conservationists like Dr. Russell Mittermeier visiting Antanetiambo.

Rabary won the 2010 Seacology prize for his work in Antanetiambo, resulting in a $10,000 cash award which he reinvested in the reserve. He traveled to Berkeley, California to accept the prize.

Learn more about Desire Rabary’s work at Antanetiambo Reserve in Madagascar that earned him the 2010 Seacology Prize

Visiting the Bamboo Forests of Antanetiambo

Tiny chameleon on the forest floor of Antanetiambo. Photo: Lynne Venart.

We walked with Desire Rabary through his forest as his guides ran ahead to locate the bamboo lemurs. Once they found some lemurs, they called out to us through the dense bamboo as we followed their voices.

On the way, we ran into this cute little chameleon on the forest floor!

Visiting Madagascar never ceases to amaze me. Having good guides like Desire Rabary is so key. They find the creatures that I would have definitely missed without them!

Getting good photos of these bamboo lemurs proves tricky, but I did manage to shoot an iPhone video, below.

Watch Video of Bamboo Lemurs Leaping in Antanetiambo Reserve

Learn More about Antanetiambo Reserve

Visit or Support the Reserve

To visit the reserve, contact Julien or Desire at the email address or phone numbers below. To financially support the reserve, contact the Lemur Conservation Foundation, as they provide all funding for reforestation at this site.