Nestled in the heart of a mid-altitude rainforest, the Vohimana nature reserve is a jewel of nature a few hours east of Antananarivo. The site extends over more than 2,000 hectares and is home to a splendid biodiversity.
The Vohimana nature reserve is now managed by the L’homme et l’environnement NGO (Man and the Environment). After several years of slash-and-burn agriculture, this NGO is the only local resource, launched by the population to renew the land and facilitate the cultivation of fruit and vegetable rice. L’homme et l’environnement took action to protect this heritage 15 years ago. By mutual agreement with the local population, they asked the villagers to stop doing this practice, but in return, the NGO offered them work.
Discovering the Reserve
Primary forests, waterfalls, medicinal plants… Several circuits are proposed to discover the reserve according to what you want to see and your level of hiking.
It is an ideal place for naturalists who can walk on the botanical trail. More than 160 medicinal plants are found in the reserve. The local guides will make you know about all the virtues…
The eastern rainforest is famous for its famous Indri, the largest lemur and one of the few primates that sing. There are 6 nocturnal lemur species and 5 diurnal species in the reserve that you can discover. This site is the richest place in the world in terms of endemic frogs, counting more than 70 species.
You can visit several associations aiming at improving the population’s life and diversifying the reserve’s activities.
The essential oil distillery: Every year plants are selected in the Vohimana forest to be distilled and made into certified quality essential oils. The most common are fresh ginger, ravintsara, fine maniguette, turmeric…
The nursery: The zanatany association takes care of different nurseries and reforestation. Thanks to them, nearly 400 hectares of forest have been replanted. If you would like to bring your contribution, you can choose a tree from among many endemic species and plant it in the Vohimana forest.
The women's house: Here, all the crafts of the reserve are gathered. Raffia objects, artisanal jams, essential oils from the distillery are proposed as a nice souvenir and a help to the local population.
The Relais du naturaliste
Ahead of a mountainside, the Relais du naturaliste (the naturalist's staging post) welcomes you for a 100% natural stay. The wooden bungalows and dormitories are rustic but comfortable. Under a large roof, open on a breathtaking view, we will have meals and breakfast. Adventurers will go on a two-day trek in a bivouac in the forest. You will be totally disconnected in this haven of peace, in the heart of lush vegetation!