Our forest

The western half of the island of Madagascar has a dry season between April and November and was until some time ago covered with vast areas of dry forest. These diminishing forests are the home of remarkable animals and plants that live nowhere else on earth, such as baobabs, giant chameleons, and lemurs, ranging from the smallest primates to the large white-furred sifakas. In his recent film (April 2019) David Attenborough states that only 3% of this forest remains: the most threatened habitat on earth. Nowadays the Zazamalala forest is the first and only forest along the 700 km main road between the capital Antananarivo and the coast at Morondava. This nature reserve is a hot spot of biodiversity, a unique outdoor museum of species that are on the brink of extinction. 

Madagascar is an island that separated 125 million years ago from Africa. Because its plants and animals underwent a different evolution, a unique world developed – these species live nowhere else on earth. The island has a mountain crest in the middle, plenty of rain in the east, a long dry season in the west, a mixture of climates in the north, and a desert-like south. The western dry forest consists of trees that lose their leaves in the dry season, between April and November, when many animals hibernate.

The Zazamalala forest has a unique variety of authentic western Malagasy trees, in some areas mounting to 150 different species per ha. These includes enormous baobab trees, Rosewood and Ebony, Euphorbia and Pachypodium trees, as well as many palms. Due to the small ponds in the middle of the dry forest, plants favoring moist conditions are found here as well, such as Water banana and bamboo. It is our mission to protect and expand this beautiful forest and all its unique animals and plants for our children and grandchildren.