Diego Suarez I Antsiranana - Joffre ville
When you dock from the cruise ship in the morning, we meet you at the cruise port of Diego Suarez.
Pick up to Joffre Ville and the National Park of Amber Mountain. The vegetation changes and weather gets cooler.
Joffre Ville, or Ambohitra in malagasy, is a small town of 5,000 inhabitants located some 30 km south of Diego Suarez / Antsiranana. A former stronghold of the colonial army, the town was built in 1903 by Colonel Joseph Joffre, in the foothills of the Montagne d'Ambre. His mission was to help General Gallieni defend the Port of Diego Suarez against Malagasy resistance. This was the location of the Foreign Legion's military training center until 1973, when it was moved to French Guiana.
The site was of great strategic importance, as the Amber Mountain (1,475 m above sea level) was the highest point on the island: ships entering the Bay of Diego could be seen from afar, preparing for possible attacks.
Joffre Ville still preserves the vestiges of its colonial and Creole mansions, most of which are now abandoned, lending the town a phantasmagorical atmosphere.
Joffre ville - Amber Mountain
Once we get in in Amber Moutain National Park, we will be spending about 2 to 3 hours visiting the Amber Mountain National Park.
This volcanic Quaternary structure is 300 000 ha wide. The diversity of its fauna and flora makes it one of the most visited natural parks in the Northern part of Madagascar.
Accompanied by a local guide, we will discover this very interesting botanical site, by the Thousand Trees Way, going from lichen to orchids, from various species of palm trees to "strangling" ficus, and passing by the ramy, an endemic tree whose sap has a strong turpentine smell.
Animals are not left aside, with 11 species of lemurs living inside the park : among them the crowned lemur, the Sanford Lemur, and also one of the smallest chameleons in the world, Brookesia tuberculata (barely 3 cm long, including the tail). We will need the trained eye of our local guide to spot this one.
We might also spot the uroplatus, a flat gecko whose nickname is the King of Camouflage, because he covers up perfectly with the trees' bark on which he sits.
A light meal is provided.
Amber Mountain - Diego Suarez I Antsiranana
Depending on our rythm while visiting the park, we should be returning to Diego Suarez in the middle of afternoon.
Our services take to end when you board your cruise ship again.
Misaotra (thank you) and see you soon !
We wish you a great discovery ahead!
Olive and all your Détours Madagascar team.