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Tsaratanana Strict Nature Reserve

This large, isolated reserve in northwestern Madagascar provides protection for an important altitudinal gradient of rain forest that culminates at 2,876 m, the highest point in the country. Access is from Ambanja on the west coast, where simple hotels can be found. Visitors need a permit from Madagascar National Parks to enter, and getting there entails expedition-level preparation since this protected area is isolated and remote. A reasonable level of fitness is also necessary. Species to be found here include greater dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus major), pale fork-marked lemur (Phaner pallescens), Gray’s sportive lemur (Lepilemur dorsalis), northern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis), black lemur (Eulemur macaco), brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer), and aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). The newly-described Margot Marsh’s mouse lemur (Microcebus margotmarshae) may perhaps occur there as well as at higher elevations, though this has yet to be confirmed. This reserve is not recommended for first-time visitors to Madagascar, and mounting an expedition there can be quite costly.