Ankarafantsika, commonly known as Ampijoroa, is a prime tract of tropical dry deciduous forest combined with a lake harbouring Nile crocodiles and highly endangered Madagascar fish eagles. The reserve contains many other rare, endemic birds including Van Dam’s vanga, sickle-billed vanga, white-breasted mesite, Schlegel’s asity and red-capped coua.
Reptiles are plentiful in the dry forest including the impressive Madagascar ground boa, hog-nosed snake, rhinoceros chameleon, iguanid lizard, fish-scaled gecko and the spear-nosed snake. Seven species of lemur inhabit the area which can be easily seen and include the stunningly beautiful Coquerel’s sifaka and rare localised golden-brown mouse lemur. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s exemplary Angonoka Project is also located here, protecting the ploughshare tortoise, rarest in the world. Since the reserve accommodation deteriorated it is preferable to stay in a small lodge outside the reserve and visit daily.