The Mitsinjo Reserve
The Mitsinjo Reserve
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles98 reviews
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Janine P
Red Deer, Canada3,196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We hired a guide to take us through the reserve. We set out around 8 am, it was a bit drizzly out and our guide told us we may be limited by what we would see. Ended up seeing several frogs, Parsons chameleon, Indri Lemurs, so it was a wonderful experience. Not as busy as other parks in the area.
Written April 27, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bai
Beijing, China34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
we stayed 5 days in andasibe, and went to 4 parks, this was my best day in here , the park is good , we saw a lemur very near , we took a 4 hours trekking in day , and same day took a night safari , because our guide is wonderful , he can speak English very good , and he is always the first one to find the animals in night safari , the most amazing thing is :he found a tiny frog in the wild at least 5 meter from us when we walking on the main road in the whole dark.thank you for the park have wonderful guide here, we enjoyed.
our guide: Divana
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

malonetravels2
Austin, TX426 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
SECRET MADAGASCAR

Want to know a 'secret'? Interested in a way to have a more personalized nature experience, see lemurs, huge tree ferns, rainforest chameleons, and avoid the larger groups of tourists visiting the Andasibe National Park?

Stop first at Mitsinjo Forest Reserve, run by one of the most sustainable forest community conservation organizations in Madagascar. Visit the colorful Mitsinjo office/art crafts shop. Depending on the time you have in the Andisabe area you can take their guided hikes of various time lengths . After talking to numerous travelers from a varietry of countries who had similar experiences, we are convinced going on Mitsinjo hikes and having them arrange visits to other area attractions can make your Madagascar experience most memorable!

Better yet, adventure camp there in their beautiful shelters and 'live with the lemurs ', even help preserve and grow more habitat for them ! After marveling at all the deforestation along the highway from Tana we were delighted to confirm that Mitsinjo, with Finnish and other funding ,are working to plant trees and conserve wildlife . We were very glad we had decided to camp there!

The friendly Mitsinjo forest guides are local community organization members with varying foreign language abilities, so suggest asking for one who speaks some of your language to make for a richer experience.

IF you, like we do, thrive on looking at wildlife guidebooks, we have a suggestion. The guides are quite knowledgeable of the unique local flora and fauna including scientific names but recalling some guided wildlife experiences we have had in Zambia, Namibia, and South Africa we wished we had had bird/animal guidebooks to help us better understand what we were seeing and other details, etc. In hindsight we would like to suggest that travelers would do as one UK visitor did: bring your own wildlife reference book with you and donate it as they are mostly not easily available at Mitsinjo.

CAMPING: We camped for a week under their very nice traveler palm-thatched shelters with white sand floor base, had brown lemurs and various birds outside the tent from time to time ! At the end of our stay we donated our large tent used on our most recent Kruger National Park self-guided safari.

TENTS IN SHELTERS RENTAL
Mitsinjo also apparently already have other tents to rent as well if you did not bring your own. Mitsinjo suggest a small donation to use the rough frame constructed cabin staff/event kitchen with charcoal fire and river water sink.

WATER
Ask at reception when the water runs short from time to time (as it also does in the toilet/showers as well) and they will gladly put more shuttled in river water in the tanks. Suggest you do as locals and draw up some in empties for use in case of emergency, and of course follow staff suggestion of purifying it as you see fit.

COOKING:
We learned from a group of University Professors/researchers camping for 4 nights at Mitsinjo that one can hire a staff person to cook/shop for what seemed a very reasonable rate. We brought a butane cookstove we had purchased in Tana and cooked with that until we ran out of fuel. Not knowing what to expect in Andasibe area , we had brought some comfort food and wine with us from Tana supermarkets. We were able to supplement that by walking into Andasibe village.

ANDISABE (aka Perinet) VILLAGE
This is a smaller older Malagasy village with hints of a colonial history. Today the area is showing a great deal of character, with red brick crumbling train station and neighboring hote/ticket office, many clapboard wooden storefronts among scattered stone stucco ones. There are several basic guest houses in town, and more upscale hotels and lodges out from the center. The area economy has been based in part on mining, forestry, research and tourism.

The road into Andasibe is mostly smooth narrow blacktop in from the N2 Highway , and after crossing the one way river bridges it has forks to Mantadia NP , a mine/Vakona Lodge and others.

After the main river bridge a we took a right turn into the village where the street gradually varies from narrow alternatively cobblestone and depending on the weather sometimes muddy gravel. We explored directly on down as far as the soccer field . We later learned that there is also a pedestrian bridge path where one can walk across the train tracks and get back to the main road.

Andasibe has two very visible stone churches, a mosque and some schools. Mini buses park in the center. There we used our almost non existent french, hand signals, pen/paper to get friendly shop keepers to write prices, and easily bought veggies, baguettes and Laughing Cow cheese in and around the market building. delighted to find a number of familiar fruits and vegetables, including bananas, cabbage, squash, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, dried beans, bulk rice, and local greens were available, but lettuce was in short supply. Pasta and a few tin types of can goods in the shops of fish, corn . Also bought eggs, rice, cookies, garlic, ginger and other foods at some the one and two story wooden stalls/homes that line the street.

We observed that for those so inclined meat, fish, and poultry , and was conveniently hung un-refrigerated in shop window openings for customers to inspect and purchase.

Snack food and meals were also available from various vendors. While in the village we found two pharmacies and also spoke English with 'Mamiy' at the internet shop , where you can get your sim recharged, get copies made, or use the internet /get electronics cables bits and pieces as well.

On the way back to Mitsinjo we found we were able to change USD or Euro at the Poste Office exchange counter.. We inquired at the train station even though the antique Michelin train car we were interested in has apparently been wrecked and no longer available-- weer told tickets can still be purchased to go regular 8 hour train to Toamisino and other destinations.

Back at Mitsinjo, reception had a chart with prices which included hikes and other activities including tree planting. There is also a endangered amphibian breeding center.

Over a period of several weeks in the area we took numerous day nature hikes of varying lengths and were happy to see Indrie Indrie, Brown Lemur, Eastern Wooly Lemur, Mouse Lemur, Dwarf Lemur, and, tadaa, the Eastern Grey Bamboo lemur.
MANTADIA NATIONAL PARK AND WATERFALL
We also took a couple of great night hikes guided on the forest trails (can't do those in the National Park?). One day after having made arrangements ahead of time we two were by another person and paid Mitsinjo to hire a 4x4 vehicle/guide to take us to see the Diadem Sifaka and the beautiful waterfall/swimming area with picnic table at the remote Mantadia National Park. ( Pack your lunch and take plenty of water. ) The track in September was quite rough and muddy/covered with water in spots and took an hour or so one way.

LEMUR iSLAND
We passed Vakona Lodge en route to Mantadia. We had read on Tripadvisor that travelers also visit the zoo/not zoo at the oldest lodge in the area, the upscale Vakona Lodge, with it's 'lemur island' rescue operation where the lemur apparently sometimes jump on you for food.

Mitsinjo can also arrange transport for a visit to Vakona Lodge. We gave that a pass but others we talked to were quite enthusiastic about the experience.

MITSINJO TRANSPORT SERVICES
Mitsinjo also have a transport price list for numerous trips in the area and even transfers too and from Antananrivo. They can even pick you up from the airport in Tana.

As always while traveling, tolerance for some misunderstandings and having time flexibility are good to have!

MORAMANGA SHOPPING AND ATM
We also got help from the Marie Cafe english speaking wait staff down the road one day and they helped us get the taxi bruce driver to drop us at the BOA ATM in Moramanga. We took the crowded [thrillseeker] hourly local Taxi 'Bruce' into Moramanga one morning around 9 and were back by noon.

The Taxi Brousse stops if flagged in front of Mitsinjo and elsewhere along the road from Andasibe to the crossroads with N2, and on into Moramanga.

Moramanga was the closest place for ATMs to Andasibe that we found. After leaving the BOA bank we carried on same side of the street toward the market area, noting another bank across the street, until we happened upon a store that had turkish olive oil, powdered milk, peanut butter, electric water heater. We also noted that this shop had English speaking clerks and had many other goods for sale that foreign visitors might find familiar and useful.

We then crossed the street to the market street and found the Taxi Brousse ticket office for hourly trips to Andasibe, noting also the next window was for Tana/Toamasina but not sure how frequently.

While we waited we replaced our lost sun screen at a stall just across the street from the ticket office. The round trip along the winding hilly N2 road (with the drivers taking the wet curves a little too fast for comfort) took a little over an hour each way. Note that what we came to call the Moramanga 'Taxi Bruce' goes to and fro hourly all the way into Andasibe Village and will stop at Feon'ny Ala/Marie, Mitsinjo, Andasibe National Park Entrance, and other stops along the way if asked.

It is about 3k walk from the N2 cross turnoff to the Andasibe market. There is a tiny shop across from Feon'ny Ala Lodge that has LC cheese, wine/beer/liquor, baguettes, tomatos, pasta. There are also a couple of food vendor stalls across from the National Park entrance a 100 meters from Mitsinjo.

We had good hot meals in 15 minute walking distance from Mitsinjo at Feon'ny Ala, Marie Restaurant, in one direction, an at Mikalo Lodge the other direction along that busy somewhat-dangerous-for-pedestrians Andasibe Village road.

While camping at Mitsinjo is not a deep wilderness experience, it is located in the edge of the rain forest so one should be on the lookout for the odd spider, scorpion or snake. During the day you may hear voices and laughter through the trees and bushes that separate the camping area from the kitchen cabin and the front offices During the day you may likely delight in the frequent peals of Malagasy laughter heard from the guides and staff when there is no conference going on, no meeting in progress, or no visitors around.

After dark there is very little traffic sound on the road and exotic night calls can be heard from the lighted commons area . The trip to the nice toilet/shower building makes for an interesting walk from the camping area along a sand path through the very useful well lighted classroom/meeting room building then along a stone path on to the toilet block buildingt. We hung out in the evenings in the commons building charging electronics, using internet through our personal dongle 'mi'fi'. The paths are lighted. Hot water? Yes and no. They said yes in reception, no via email. There is a hot water heater in the shower area, but no one we talked to knew quite how to get it function since the water pressure is so low. We did get hot water to dribble out of the shower head a couple of times after experimenting with the red on/off valve until it filled, then had it dribble out enough to wash our hair. Most nights though we used our own butane stove enough to clean up in the shower area. It was unseasonably cold for September according to the staff, so we did not used the cold water in the shower but it was available for cold water shower loversl! Some water issues will be solved when planned water lines are installed in future. We have camped all over the world, so we adjusted just fine, following the suggestion of a previous Tripadvisor reviewer who heated some water in the kitchen then took it to the shower along the stone path. SECURITY: At the time we camped at Mitsinjo there was one french speaking night watchman alternating with one malagasy-only speaking night security person. According to an email inquiry we had made, valuables apparently could be locked in the office day or night. The camping shelters on the site toward the rear of the 'camping terre' were further away from the office area and were probably quieter during the day, but we chose A-1 with the thought that a night trip to toilet would be shorter. Suggest using a personal light to supplement the lighted pathways. Have a great time like we did, enjoy the exotic calls of the Indrie Indrie from the tent, learn some Malagasy language from the staff-- it will pay off on transport and in the village! Mitsinjo rocks! Happy camping!
Written September 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa W
Bradford, UK46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
William our guide was fantastic. We got great views of Indri and Brown Lemurs. He also found us a leaf tailed gecko .... superbly camouflaged in the daytime. A small stall at the entrance to the forest sells handicrafts made by some of the local villagers and is well worth a look.
Written August 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex R
Victoria Park, Australia23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
At Mitsinjo you have the best chance in Mada of a close encounter wth an Indri - the largest lemur. The group has been studying the Indri behaviour for many years and guides can give you a great description of their nature and habits.

Mitsinjo is a community run organisation responsible for the management of Andasibe forests that are not part of official National Parks within the region. Visiting Mitsinjo is a worthwhile experience and you will gain an appreciation of what is required when undertaking reforestation activities in the humid eastern forests of Madagascar. They current complete reforestation in deteriorated parts of the forest. Removing all exotic plants from the reserve is also a large undertaking. You can visit the native seedling nursery if you have a chance. Youssouf, Jean-Noel and the team do an amazing job. There is also a research center for the conservation of amphibians.

Fantastic place to visit an support a worthwhile community organisation in Mada!!!
Written February 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tabbie Kat
Inverness, UK341 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Couples
Most of the guides know where to look. It usually involves a walk off track. But it will be worth it :-)
Written September 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

anneka_bunt
Victoria Park, Australia55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
This group is doing wonderful work with the community and for environmental conservation. I highly recommend visiting Mitsinjo, if you only have time for one park in Andasibe, this should be it. They work with the community to restore degraded land and they have an excellent plant nursery. It is cheaper than Andasibe as you don't have to pay NP fees, and you can do a variety of trails/walks. There is a good chance you will see groups of Indri's up close. Highly recommend both for the forest walks and the community perspective.
Written January 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vidar S
Oslo, Norway49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited this park after spending some time in Andasibe national park, and thought this place was equally rewarding, if not better. The nocturnal walk was absolutely fabulous, and we saw a lot of wildlife. The same went for the day tour. As this park has less visitors then Andasibe, you won't be walking in huge groups of tourists, which for us was a big plus. We also godt very close to the indri indri. This park also has an explicit focus on concervation, which i think is great. You can participate in tree planting there as well, which is sorely needed considering the major devastation of the vegetation in Madagascar. It was also a lot of fun. The guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. All in all, this park was probably my favourite in all of Madagascar. Highly reccomended!
Written November 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WJV
United Kingdom162 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
We saw a number of lemurs and also saw a fossa resting in a tree. Later on a couple of fossa were mating in the tree tops!

Quieter than the national park - mainly couples or small groups of 4 or 6.
Written November 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeevz271
Christchurch, New Zealand8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
Camped at Mitsinjo for 2 nights. I would highly recommend staying here - the camping shelters are great, located amongst the trees, feeling like you are in the forest. The toilet/shower facilities are clean and tidy with hot water showers available.

We didn't do any day walks here - deciding to do them at Andasibe and the VOIMMA park instead. But the night walk at Mitsinjo was spectacular - we saw 2 leaf tailed geckos, multiple parsons, bignosed and shorthorned chameleons, mouse lemurs and tree frogs.
Written June 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Mitsinjo Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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