Kirindy Forest


The Kirindy Forest is a unique dry deciduous forest in western Madagascar north of the coastal town of Morondava.

Where we work


The Kirindy Forest is located within the Menabe-Antimena Protected Area. By working with local communities and rangers, and supporting research and education, we aim to do our part to preserve the special features of this area for future generations.

The Kirindy Forest is now the largest remaining dry forest in the region. The dry forests of western Madagascar are among the most threatened habitats in the world. Their existence is therefore of fundamental importance for the conservation of Madagascar’s endemic biodiversity.

Kirindy is part of the Menabe Antimena Protected Area, which is also home to other various biologically very valuable habitats and thus a globally unique biodiversity.

The Kirindy forest and its surroundings

A map of Kirindy. Black line = boundary of the Menabe-Antimena protected area.

About Kirindy

Animals & Plants

The Kirindy Forest is one of three remaining dry forest areas in the region. Kirindy is home to over 200 different species of woody plants; some of which have not been scientifically studied to date. In addition to this remarkable diversity of plants, Kirindy’s dry forests are home to 15 species of amphibians, 54 species of reptiles, and over 80 species of birds. If we add the bird species in the mangroves and the lakes of the Menabe-Antimena Sanctuary, we even arrive at 149 bird species. The sanctuary is also home to 30 endemic mammal species. Three of these are locally endemic and are found only in the dry forests of the region worldwide. The distribution of the Northern Narrow-striped Mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata decemlineata) is restricted to the dry forests of the Menabe region. The worldwide distribution of the Madagascar Giant Rat (Hypogeomys antimena) and Madame Berthe’s Mausmaki (Microcebus berthae) is restricted to the remaining dry forest of Kirindy and the forest of Ambadira slightly to the north. Microcebus berthae is the smallest primate in the world, weighing just under about 35g. In addition to the smallest of all lemurs, now classified as critically endangered, Kirindy is home to seven other endangered lemur species.

Endangered giants


The Central Menabe region is famous for its baobabs. The Allee de Baobab, a cluster of trees of the genus Andansonia grandidieri, south of Kirindy, is perhaps the most frequently photographed motif in Madagascar. In fact, baobabs are also threatened with extinction.

Unique bird life

Ibis, Coua & Co

The dry forest is also home to a unique birdlife. The Madagascar ibis, as well as several species of silky cuckoo, are among the most conspicuous inhabitants and can be easily observed during a visit to Kirindy.

Ghosts of the forest


Kirindy is home to eight species of lemurs. Six of them are nocturnal and two are diurnal. Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is the smallest described primate in the world. It is found only in the dry forests of the region and is now threatened with extinction. This is also true for the Verreaux’s sifaka and the red-tailed sportive lemur.

The somewhat different rat

Malagasy giant jumping rat

The Madagascar giant rat (Hypogeomys antimena) is found only in dry forests of the Menabe-Antimena Sanctuary. The animals are nocturnal and live in monogamous pairs. Due to its highly restricted range, the species is critically endangered.

Striped mongooses


The narrow-striped mongoose is locally endemic to the Menabe region. Almost nothing is known about its distribution outside the Kirindy Forest. The small predators live in small groups and feed mainly on small vertebrates and insects in leaf litter.

sometimes welcome


While an encounter with a fossa is a unique experience for tourists, the loss of the dry forest increasingly leads to conflicts between fossas and the villagers of the region.

About Kirindy

People & Nature

The population in Menabe originally consisted of the Sakalava ethnic group. They mainly kept cattle and sheep and lived from the products of the forest. For the Sakalava, the forest is sacred to a certain extent, and the deceased are buried at sacred sites in the forest. In the last century, the population in the region increasingly mixed due to several waves of immigration from the east and the south. Today, many ethnic groups live in Menabe, including Betsileo, Merina, Tandroy, and other ethnic groups. The waves of migration were mostly due to economic factors and continue to influence the way of life of the people in the region and thus conservation.


Sakalava & Co

A traditional zebu cart on the avenue de Baobab in Menabe. The population in the region originally consisted of the Sakalava. The Sakalava lived from cattle breeding and products of the forest. Today, many ethnic groups from other regions of Madagascar live in Menabe.



The forest plays not only an economic role in the region but also a cultural one. The forest is a spiritual place for the ancestors and the bereaved. The Sakalava use the forest for ceremonies and as a peaceful place for the graves of deceased family members. The picture shows a Sakalava burial site.



Rosewood and other valuable woods bring a lot of money and are illegally taken from the forests.

Maize & Peanuts

Slash & burn agriculture

Traditional slash-and-burn cultivation of corn and peanuts destroys the ecosystem and does not provide a long-term and sustainable solution for farming. After a short time, the soil is no longer usable. Slash-and-burn agriculture for corn and peanuts has increased dramatically, especially in recent years. Only the majestic baobabs often survive the fire.


Tourism & Research

Der Kirindy-Wald ist eine ehemalige Forstkonzession, die durch das Centre National de Formation, d’Etudes et de Recherches en Environnement et Foresterie (CNFEREF) verwaltet und heute für Ökotourismus und Forschung genutzt wird. Das Deutsche Primatenzentrum (DPZ) eine Forschungsstation im Kirindy-Wald. Die Präsenz von Besuchern und Forschern trägt wesentlich zum Schutz des Waldes und seiner Bewohner bei.



Insbesondere gegen Ende der Trockenzeit machen die Menschen Jagd auf bedrohte Arten und sammeln andere Produkte des Waldes, um ihr Auskommen zu sichern.


CfN in Kirindy und Menabe Antimena

“Little Rangers” &

Environmental education

Little Rangers ist ein Umweltbildungscamp für Kinder und Jugendliche im Kirindy-Wald.

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Species conservation & research


Forschung zur Ökologie und Verbreitung von Arten ist Grundlage für Naturschutzmaßnahmen.

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& Restaurierung

Wir unterstützen das Management des Kirindy-Waldes und die Restaurierung des Waldes für die Zukunft.

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