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A three hour drive and around 140 kilometres to the east of the capital is the reserve of the Analamazaotra Forest. Often referred to as Perinet, this area combines the parks of Andasibe and Mantadia, and is one of the most popular areas for visitors in the whole of the country due to its accessibility, expert guides and abundant wildlife.
Andasibe National Park is home to 11 species of lemur and also a wide variety of frogs, spiders, boas and chameleons. However, the main attraction for most visitors is the Indri – the largest all lemurs – and well known for its 'singing' voice – an eerie, wailing call that can carry several kilometres. The nearby Mitsinjo forest reserve is run by a local NGO that leads a reforestation programme and is helping to establish corridors to connect areas of forest. Night walks with the guides there are well worth doing.
Mantadia National Park lies 20 kilometres to the north of Andasibe and the terrain is harder with fewer trails, however, a visit here is hugely rewarding as the forest is virtually untouched and offers many different species. The park is 20 times the size of Andasibe and, for those who have time, is well worth a full day here.