Ranomafana is a mid-altitude rainforest in the south-eastern part of the island, around 400 kilometres south of Antananarivo and a 7-hour journey by road. The park was originally created in 1991 to protect the golden bamboo lemur discovered there and is extremely rich in wildlife. It is also home to a wide variety of rare and endemic plant species and can claim over 100 species of birds along with many butterflies, chameleons, geckos and insects.
Historically, people were attracted to Ranomafana due to its thermal baths, but now most visitors are attracted by its 12 species of Lemur – Milne-Edwards sifaka, black and white ruffed lemur, three species of bamboo lemur, red-fronted brown lemur, red-bellied lemur, and more often at night the woolly lemur, sportive lemur, greater dwarf lemur, mouse lemur and, if lucky, the aye-aye.
The only draw-back of the park is the fact it often rains and most of the trails are steep so really only for the relatively fit. It is a very good stop-off however for 2-3 nights as most people work their way down the RN7 road taking in the diverse scenery along that route.