Ranomafana National Park is located close to RN7 in Fianarantsoa Province of Madagascar. It is holds 41,600 hectares (161 square miles) of rain forest that is home to several lemur species, is accessible by paved road, and contains a variety of lodging options, making it a popular destination for visitors to Madagascar. It’s one of the six national parks that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rainforests of the Atsinanana.
The only way to get to Ranomafana National Park is by road. The entrance is right next to the national road RN25, it is impossible to miss it. It is possible to take a taxi-brousse directly from Antananarivo (gare routière de Fasan’karana), from Fianarantsoa (2 hours) or from Manakara. From the intersection with RN7, RN25 is in a very good state as of November 2017 and a normal passenger vehicle is sufficient.
There is no transportation between the National Park entrance and the village where most accommodation is located. You have to rely on empty seats in taxi-brousse passing by; the distance between National Park and village is a bit too long to be walked comfortably (given the temperatures and the fact that you have been walking all day in the park). If you want to be flexible, consider chartering a car for your trip. Doing so for a two-day (one night) trip in Fianarantsoa will cost around €100 for car, petrol, driver and driver’s expenses.
As of November 2017, for each adult foreign visitor, an entrance fee of 55,000 Ar per day has to be paid, children are 25,000 Ar. On top, a “community charge” of 2,000 Ar per day per person is due in a booth near the park’s checkpoint. The park offers a menu of guided walks to choose from. The fee for a guide for these walks has to be paid on top of the entrance fee and are between 80,000 Ar and 120,000 Ar, depending on the length of the walk. Payment in Ariary cash only.
It is not possible to go into the forest without a guide. Repeatedly, foreigners lost their way in the jungle and had to be searched for. Moreover, it does not make sense as you will not see any animals without a guide knowing where and how to spot them. Apart from your guide, there are animal spotters in the park who inform your guide by mobile phone about where the animals are.
Unless you have your own car, you can rely on taxi-brousse passing by. While possible, this implies that you lose time, in particular in the morning, when the national park employees use the taxi-brousse to go to work.