In the middle of the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, there is a small green oasis. Tsarasaotra park, or simply “Ile aux oiseaux,” is its name.
The location of the town is in the north. The 0.25 km² area includes Lake Alarobia and a second smaller lake and some shore sides.
This park is a refuge for many birds that can be easily visible and photographed here. It is home to 14 endangered species that are only visible in Madagascar.
The Madagascar pond heron lives in the reeds. There, it shares space with the critically endangered Mellers duck.
The rarely seen Madagascan grebe and the nimble Madagascar kingfisher also live there. But also more common bird species like cattle egret, squacco heron, black heron, and reef heron.
The Red-billed teal and the endemic Crested Drongo use this place for fishing and laying eggs. Or they might use it to relax.
More Information About Tsarasaotra Park
This park is a privately owned property. Prime Minister Rainilarivony bought the area in 1890. He created this park and built a small palace.
Rainilarivony escaped into exile in 1896, forced by the French colonial power. His son sold the park to Emile Ranarivelo. German Sonia Ranarivelo manages the park today.
A path leads visitors around the lake. A famous road, mansions, and horse pastures border one side. Since 2005, Lake Alarobia has been one of the small Ramsar sites.
It is the only privately owned Ramsar site worldwide. WWF initiated the Ramsar Convention on wetlands and signed it in 1971 in Ramsar.
Madagascar signed the contract in 1999. Protected Ramsar sites prohibit hunting. They also require signing parties to save natural fauna and flora.
Tsarasaotra Park is open from 6 to 18 o’clock on workdays and by request on weekends. The entry fee is 15.000 Ariary per person.
If you have some time and like birds, it is recommendable for visiting. It is possible to reach this beautiful park by car or taxi.
It is only 4 kilometers from the city center of Tana, between RN4 and Route des Hydrocarbures. But remember to buy the ticket at Boogie Pilgrim’s office first.
Lake Alarobia may be at the heart of Antananarivo’s industrial area. However, it is a vital refuge and nesting site for 14 threatened endemic bird species.
These include the Madagascar pond heron, Meller’s duck, and Madagascar little grebe. The international treaty classifies the site as Ramsar.
The treaty highlights the importance and fragility of wetlands and protects valuable sites. Unless you’re a birder, the place will have limited appeal.
A taxi from Tana Waterfront to the park will cost around Ar10,000. It is delightful, a privately run lake and park, just amid the hustle and bustle of Tana.
The walk around the magnificent lake is pleasant. Some abandoned buildings are available in this area. The number of birds in the lake is astounding.
Search around the reeds and vegetation for more birds. The views of this majestic lake are fabulous. Try to go in the morning and get a birding guide to show you around.
It is worth a visit if you have time in Tana. Tana is vibrant and full of lovely people going about their lives. It is a busy and exciting place.
But sometimes you need a break from all that activity. Parc Tsarasaotra is the perfect antidote. Getting into this place is a little bit difficult for many reasons.
Heavy traffic and narrow streets make it difficult to navigate. Many people walk on the streets. They due to the lack of sidewalks adds to the challenge.
Another piece of information is that no toilets are available on this site. But it is possible to enjoy some good times on this site in Madagascar.