Kirindy reserve, Madagascar
Kirindy is a privately managed forest in one of Madagascar's most threatened ecosystems: its dry deciduous forests. It it famous for the giant jumping rat, but is also home to seven species of lemur and a number of endemic reptiles. The flora is equally unusual -- a number of unique species are found at Kirindy.
The accomodations consist of simple open bungalows with mosquito nets and electricity but camping is also possible. Kirindy is a one-day stop for most visitors -- actually many visitors only stop here for a night hike on their way to somewhere else. Having four days here gives me more time to explore some of the outer reaches of the reserve but I'd recommend a shorter stay for most people. This time of year (the cool dry season) much of the wildlife (especially repitles and amphibians) are hibernating. The forest is also very dry whereas during the rainy season much of the area of flooded and bright green leaves cover most of the plants. Kirindy is not accessible from mid-January to late March due to the rain.
Province: Toliary (Tul�ar)
Protected area status: Private reseve
General location: Western
Location and Access: About an hour from Morondava
Climate: Western deciduous forest
Average temperature: 14-33�C*
Description: Kirindy is a place of extreme seasonal changes. A short, hot rainy season between December and February (where temperatures may top 40 C) is followed by nine months with little rain and cool temperatures. During this dry season, Kirindy's forest is brown, many trees are virtually leafless, and much of Kirindy's wildlife is in hibernation. Every rainy season, Kirindy explodes in verdant green vegetation and its many species of reptiles and amphibians become active.
Dominant ethnic group(s): Sakalava
Additional notes: See journal
Photos of Kirindy from Piotr Lukasik and other participants in the 2004 Tropical Biology Association Field Course.
Giant Jumping Rat