In October 2018, I visited the SAVA region of northeast Madagascar for two weeks to learn about the Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF)’s work in this region. Afterwards, I spent three days at Saha Forest Camp in the Anjozorobe Protected Area, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Antananarivo. More blog posts in this series:
If you have a few extra days near Antananarivo, consider visiting the Anjozorobe Protected Area, just 2 1/2 hours away by car. The Anjozorobe forest is home to 82 species of birds and 11 species of lemur. The lemur species here are similar to those found in Andasibe-Mantadia, but the indri is darker in coloring. And, the trails are much less crowded than those at Andasibe!
About Saha Forest Camp
In October 2019, I spent three days and two nights at Saha Forest Camp after my two weeks in the northeastern SAVA region. This was a relaxing and comfortable way to end my trip. At Saha Forest Camp, there are ten comfortable bungalows with balconies overlooking rice paddies and the forest. The lodge serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food in their restaurant with views of the forest. The setting is very nice and relaxing, and the food is decent.
About NGO Fanamby and Friendly Camp Madagascar
In Anjozorobe, the Saha Forest Camp is a lovely lodge run by the Malagasy NGO Fanamby and their lodge system Friendly Camp Madagascar. Fanamby and Friendly Camp also run the Black Lemur Camp in the protected area of Andrafiamena Andavakoera, Camp Amoureux in the Menabe Antimena protected area, and Camp Tattersalli near the village of Daraina, where you can see the very rare golden crowned sifaka.
Taking the Van from Antananarivo to Saha Forest Camp
You don’t need to hire a driver or a guide in order to visit the Anjozorobe Forest, so this is a very convenient way to see more of Madagascar without the hassle. Saha Forest Camp has their own guides, which you hire for each forest walk.
I took Friendly Camp’s van to Anjozorobe from Tana. It was extremely convenient and very comfortable. They picked me up at my hotel in Tana, and then dropped me off at a different hotel in Tana on the way back. Using their van is a hassle-free way to get to the forest and back, and I completely recommend it. Inquire with Friendly Camp Madagascar to learn more.
How long should you stay at Saha Forest Camp?
Two nights is a good amount of time to spend here. Most people I saw at the lodge stayed only one night, and therefore didn’t see a lot of animals. The animals are best viewed on a morning hike, so you need to leave enough days in your itinerary so that you have time to explore in the mornings and find lemurs. Stay longer than two nights if you want a relaxing vacation with pretty views and light forest walks.
If you only stay one night and leave first thing in the morning, it is likely that you won’t see many animals. Stay two nights for the best viewing possibilities and a more relaxing visit!
Hiking in Anjozorobe Forest to See Lemurs
I went on several hikes in the Anjozorobe Forest. I saw indris, diademed sifakas, brown lemurs, and bamboo lemurs during the day. On a night walk, I saw lots of chameleons, mouse lemurs, and even dwarf lemurs!
On one day hike, I saw a pair of indris, who were sitting above us in the trees and grooming each other. Like in Anjanaharibe Sud Special Reserve, the indris here in Anjozorobe are also darker. You can see in this photo, the indris have darker faces and bodies, with much less white than indris found elsewhere.
In just a few hour hike one morning in the forest near the camp, we saw four species of lemurs. On a night walk, we saw dwarf lemurs and mouse lemurs in the trees! While it was too dark to tell the exact species of either, it was my first dwarf lemur spotting in my three trips to Madagascar! We also saw frogs, huge snails, several beautiful bird species, and chameleons.
I’ve been to over a dozen lodges in Madagascar, and the Saha Forest Camp ranks among my favorites. It was a very relaxing stay, with comfortable accomodations and a lovely balcony and lodge area. It also affords relatively easy lemur viewing in a few hours of forest hikes, without the crowds of Andasibe. Especially with the ease of accessibility via Friendly Camp’s van, I would go back again in a heartbeat! It was the perfect way to end my third trip to Madagascar.