The Masoala peninsula in the far north-eastern part of Madagascar encompasses 240,000ha of protected land and ocean. Masoala National Park’s ability to support different habitats and an array of wildlife has made it one of this island nation’s most exciting destinations. Visitors can trek through rain and coastal forest in search of the endangered red ruffed lemur or snorkel in the azure Indian Ocean waters.
Three different marine parks protecting coral reefs surround the peninsula and form part of Masoala; while the landscape is one of contrasts ranging from tropical rainforest, coastal forest, flooded forest, and marshland. Ten different kinds of lemur can be found in the park, hiding away from falanoucs and brown-tailed mongooses. The island of Nosy Mangabe is just 2km off of the coastline and is home to the aye-aye and the smallest chameleon in the world.
Along with five other parks, Masoala forms part of the Rainforests of Atsinanana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its waters are ideal for snorkelling and kayaking and are also safe havens for breeding and calving humpback whales that arrive every year between June and September. The park can be accessed by a boat taken from Maroantsetra, which in turn can be reached by airplanes from Toamasina or Antananarivo.
- There are six campsites in the park, a number of lodges around it, and affordable accommodation in the villages nearby
- The park is home to 135 butterfly species, 164 coral species, and the gentle dugong
- Visitors can venture around the park on trekking trails ranging from three days to two weeks
- Overnight on Nosy Mangabe for a chance to spot the aye-aye
- The smallest chameleon in the world is found in the park