Beza Mahafaly Reserve
Travel to Beza Mahafaly Reserve – Bizarre Spiny Forest
Beza Mahafaly is a popular destination for travellers, not only because of its rich fauna and flora, but also thanks to the unique local culture of the Mahafaly people, the excellent handicrafts of the region, and its proximity to the southern tourist circuit between Toliary and Tolagnaro.
The Beza Mahafaly Reserve is located 35 kilometres northeast of Betioky Sud and 100 kilometres inland from Toliary in the Southwest of Madagascar. Established in 1978, the reserve was the first protected area that also served as a research and training centre.
Beza is divided into two non-contiguous parcels, 8 kilometres apart. The first parcel, about 1 square kilometre in size, is a fenced gallery forest, situated west of the Sakamena river. The second parcel is about 520 hectares in size. It is dominated by many endemic species characteristic of the arid spiny forest community, which are well adapted to the long dry season.
Wildlife includes 5 resident species of lemurs; 4 species of tenrecs including the rare large-eared Echinops telfairi; 3 species of carnivores; 17 species of saurians; 12 species of snakes; 2 species of tortoises including the radiated tortoise; and seasonally the crocodile. More than a hundred species of birds, including several species belonging to the endemic family of Vangidae, are present at Beza.