Akanin’ny nofy (Palmarium)
Akanin’ny nofy (Palmarium), known as the ‘nest of dreams’, this peaceful and relaxing haven is home to white sand beaches, forests, scattered orchids, strings of lakes and mangroves, all factors that have made the reserve to one of the most popular visits in the Canal des Pangalanes. Located on a peninsula of about 35 ha. on the shores of Lake Ampitabe (which is separated from the Indian Ocean by a mere line of very thin coastal dunes, that sometimes are a few meters width only), this protected area is home to nearly 100 000 palm trees specific to Madagascar. The gardens showcase native Malagasy plants like Ravenala, the Madagascar or Traveler’s Palm, local crops like vanilla and pineapple, and a few radiata tortoise.
Plant lovers will find big amounts of carnivorous pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.) nearby the beach and a carefully cultivated stock of orchids, which shows most of its amazing blossoms in November.
For years, Akanin’ny nofy (Palmarium) has been famous for its many very tame lemurs. Ten species of lemurs live in freedom in the reserve, as well as reptiles, amphibians and crocodiles. Visitors can watch Indris, black and white ruffed lemurs, crowned lemurs and black lemurs count among the curious inhabitants of the reserve. This is even a place to watch the rare bizarre Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) with a portion of luck.
To visit this reserve you will need our guide that will accompany you during walk. You may book guided nocturnal walks, and find the small mouse lemur and maybe some of the seldom seen wooly lemurs.
But not only Madagascar’s most famous mammals live inside this reserve, there are also many small frogs (Heterixalus, Mantella ssp.), harmless snakes (Langaha madagascariensis, Sanzinia madagascariensis, Domicodryas bernieri) and colourful chameleons (Furcifer pardalis, Calumma parsonii parsonii) next to fascinating geckos (Phelsuma kely, Phelsuma madagascariensis) and even iguanas (Oplurus ssp.).
Besides the nature reserve at lake Ampitabe, there is well equipped bungalows and a very nice restaurant with a bar in the middle of a botanical garden. More bungalows, furnished with kingsize beds and luxury bathrooms, and a restaurant with lake view can be found few kilometers away. In this reserve, you can really leave all your cares behind! Soon you forget all your daily life sorrows trying tasty Malagasy food and self-made rum. You can take a sunbath on the beach, let your feet dangle from the boat stage or enjoy swimming in the warm water of lake Ampitabe. Together with our guide, you can also explore the lowland rainforest via simple paths. All paths inside the reserve are quite flat and easy to walk. From the viewpoint you have a great view over the reserve, the belonging crocodile lake and lake Ampitabe. Since 2015, there’s an reforestation project to green a formerly clear cut corridor in the middle of the reserve. The project only uses native plants coming from a nearby NGO tree nursery.
Nature offers plenty of plants and animals here, which are just waiting for your visit!
Watch more photos about Akanin’ny nofy (Palmarium) here.