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Andringitra

Characterized by many remarkable granitic inselberg-like domes reminiscent of the famous outcroppings of California's Yosemite, Andringitra National Park is home to mount Imarivolanitra (a.k.a. "Pic Boby"), at 2658m the highest accessible mountain in Madagascar. The vegetation differs markedly between the eastern and western portions of the park, and is so varied that it contains a profusion of habitats and microhabitats hosting over 100 bird species, 57 amphibian species, 35 reptile species, a notable concentration and variety of tenrecs, and 15 lemur species. Most significant of these is the ring-tailed lemur, which has adapted from its typical habitat in the lowland forests of southern Madagascar to a high mountain environment with abrupt climate changes and dominant succulent rock vegetation. Another remarkable feature are the altimontane prairies of the Andohariana plateau which, at 2000 m above sea level, are the only such prairies on the African continent and can be compared with the paramos and puna of the Andes in South America - a result of latitude, altitude, a marked seasonality between dry and wet conditions and high daily temperature fluctuations. This altimontane prairie is also a centre of orchid diversity: Aloe andringitrensis and Disa andringitrana are common.

For amateurs of vigorous hiking in an environment that changes rapidly and radically with altitude, Andringitra is the promised land ...


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