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Madagascar National Parks

Terrestrial National Park
Baie de Baly
Kirindy Mitea
Mananara Nord
Midongy Befotaka
Montagne d'Ambre
Tsingy de Namoroka
Zombitse Vohibasia

Marine national Park
Mananara Nord

Complete Natural Reserve

Special Reserve
Anjanaharibe Sud
Beza Mahafaly
Cap Sainte Marie
Montagne et Forêt d’Ambre
Tampoketsa Analamaintso

News of Masoala protected area
News are ongoing...

The national park of Masoala is located in the Northeast. At some places, among the rarest of Madagascar, the primary forest takes down of more than 1,300 m of altitude until the sea. It is a prowess of the nature, because in fact, in Masoala, the forest meets the sea. Trekking and scuba diving to the appointment! GPS: 15°27’Sud - 15°59’Sud

Masoala is actually a complex of the protected areas of 240,520 ha. It has four terrestrial parcels and three marine parcels. It is part of the forests of the East of Madagascar classified among the world natural heritage sites of the forests of the Atsinanana. The Masoala complex , the Masoala park and the special reserve of Nosy Mangabe is the biggest protected area of Madagascar. We can find islets of the forests or rocks, coral reefs , zones of herbaria and narrow strips of mangrove swamp forest there.

 Masoala is among the richest regions on biodiversity. We can find 50% of species of the plants of Madagascar and more than 50% of the species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles in there.

The fauna

102 species of birds of which more than 60% are endentic which have been counted in Masoala. Among  the ten species of lemurs of the park, four are part of the category of the primates the more threatened in the red list of the International union of the Conservation of the Nature (UICN). Among the carnivores, Masoala is the only locality where the mongoose Salanoia concolor or Brown-tailed mongoose have been observed since the 1970. This species is the least known of the Malagasy carnivores.
The Humpback whale, the big dolphin and the belly pink dolphin live in Masoala sea. The Sirenien specie, the Dugong, exists too in this region. 41 types of corals are made an inventoryat Masoala. Reptiles, batrachians, marine turtles and fichies (marin and from fresh water) are over there too.

The best of the fauna of Masoala

1. The Red Ruffed Lemur or Varecia rubra. A lemur of an impressive subspecies only found but commonly on the Peninsula.

2. Phaner furcifer or oriental pitchfork lemur. Masoala is one of the rare localities of the pluvial forest where we can find this species.

3. Phelsuma laticauda or Gecko dust of gold - Gold Dust Gecko

4. Eretmochelys imbricata, overlapped turtle orscaled turtle.

The flora

More than 600 vegetable species are listed at Masoala : 7 species of magroves, 99 species of seaweed, more than fifty species of plam-trees are listed at Masoala. Then, another interesting species like carnivorous plants can be seen over there. Unfortunatly, with the exception of palm-trees, brackens, seaweeds and another species, nobody does an inventory at Masoala.


Travel shrewd...

For your stroll in the tropical forests, don't forget your anti-mosquito product, your raincoat and torchlight for the nocturnal visits. Wear good walking shoes.

The Park doesn't rent materials of camping, nevertheless, it is possible to rent some in Maroantsetra and Antalaha. Or simpler, bring your own materials. Supply yourselves with food and mineral water in bottle in Maroansetra. The nearest banks and the health centers are in Maroantsetra and Antalaha.  Maroantsetra is covered by the telephone networks of orange and Zain. Antalaha, by Orange, Zain and the stationary line of Telma.

The history of the Park

The National Park of Masoala was created in 1997, while the Special Reserve of Nosy Mangabe - link - in 1965. Both of them are part of the écotouristique complex of Masoala. Masoala has a total surface of 240,520 ha and is formed of four terrestrial parcels and three marines. The History tells us that this part of Madagascar welcomed the first tribes who came to the island. Then, during the 15th and 16th centuries, some slave traders had made Nosy Mangabe a place of stopover for their traffic toward Asia or Europe. The Betsimisaraka are the dominant ethnic group of the region. In Maroansetra, the population is called " Antimaroa ". The traditional customs are those of the Betsimisarakas'.

When the forests meet the sea

Masoala is one of the rare regions of Madagascar that succeeded in the exploit of connecting the forest and the sea. Its ecosystem, made of humid forest, is the one of the East. The forest goes down more than 1 300 m of altitude to met the sea. The forest of the Nearly island of Masoala is joined to the Reserve of Anjanaharibe-south - tie - and to the Tray of Makira by a fragile hall, otherwise Masaoal would become a genetic islet. The marine and inshore ecosystem belongs to the écorégion of the Northeast. We can see an archipelago of forests and rocks, the bays of sand, the coral reefs, the herbaria and narrow strips of mangrove swamp forests in there.

The most humid region of Madagascar

January is its hot month with an average of 24ºC. August is the cold month, with an average of …21ºC! But Masoala is also the most humid region of Madagascar, with a yearly rainfallmeter varies in part between 2,200mm until more of 7,000mm of precipitation.

The microprojects of Masoala
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The national park of Masoala is located between Antsiranana and Toamasina. We penetrate there by boat to Antalaha toward the Cap Est (1 to 4h, according to the boat), toward Ambanizana (3 to 4 hours according to the boat), toward Antanilaviana (5 hs) or toward Masoala (6 hs). The park is also accessible by bicycle or on foot.


By Road :

You can reach the park through Maroantsetra and Antalaha.

Access of the Park from Maroantsetra:

- Reach Maroantsetra following the National Road N° 5 from Toamasina. It is a road of 400 Km for 2 days. The road is bad but practicable. In cyclonic season between December and March, it is often closed.

In taxi-brousse :

- From Toamasina  
- Bus Station: Gare Routière, four times a week.

Access of the Park from  Antalaha :
- Only the detached parcel  of Andranoanala (East Cap) is accessible by 4X4 or by Taxi-brousse bus.  It is a road of 45Km for 4h on average. Its state is very variable. In period of rain, the bridges are sometimes flooded and a transfer is necessary by dugout. We can rent a vehicle fromToamasina to Maroantsetra or from Antalaha to the Cap Est .
 By boat :
Access to the park from Maroantsetra :   
- We can  take the boat in Toamasina. The distance is done 3 to 6 times per week according to the season. The crossing lasts one to two days according to the boat. Careful! Originally, the craft is not destined to transport some passengers, but goods.

By plane :

- The airline company assures a regular flight from Maroantsetra and Antalaha. From Maroansetra, the transfer toward the park is done by boat, by dugout or on foot. By fast boat , Maroantsetra - Nosy Mangabe represents 5Km of road against 40 to 60 Km between Maroantsetra - Masoala National Park   by motor boat. Antalaha to the Cap Est, the road is arduous, take a 4X4 or a bicycle. Antalaha – Cap Est is: 45km  
The tourist sites of Masoala are accessible  on foot in majority or by boat.

5 circuits cross the Park of Masoala

Circuit namet Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of the detached parcel of Andranoanala Duration : 4h by 4x4
Distance : 45 km from Antalaha

The circuit passes through a coastal forest to the discovery of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes masoalensis. It is a part that is constituted of marsh and flooded forest.
- Accepted guide :
Ar 30,000

- Guide on training :
Ar 26,000


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of the Marin park of Ambodilaitry Duration : 3h30-4h by motor boat
Distance : 60 km

Departure from Maroantsetra. White beach, emerald sea, lagoon and coral reefs will be in the program. Don't forget your swimsuit!
- Accepted guide :
Ar 24,000

- Guide on training :
Ar 18,000


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
Le circuit de la Cote Ouest de Masoala Duration : 1h30 - 2h by motor boat
Distance : 40 to 50 km from Maroantsetra

It is one of the rare places of Madagascar where the primary forest constituted of forest of low altitude and coastal forest reachs the seaside. The humid dense forest coasts the marine park on kilometers of beaches.
- Accepted guide :
Ar 24.000

- Guides on training :
Ar 18.000


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The circuit of Nosy Mangabe Duration : 15 min. by motor boat. 3h to 2 days for camping
Distance : 5Km from Maroantsetra

Forest, beach and cascade to honor. But you will also visit historic sites, as the beach of the Dutchmen the rocks of which was engraved by sailors of the 16th century, as well as the cultural sites where the Betsimisaraka tombs are. This circuit will bring you on the path of the Aye-aye, the Uroplarus and the Mantella.
- Accepted guide :
Ar 24,000

- Guides on training :
Ar 18,000


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The trekking circuit Duration : 1 week
Distance : 120 km

It is a long and beautiful hike that joins Antalaha and Maroantsetra (3 to 5 days) or Maroantsetra to Cap-Est (5 to 7 days) while passing through small villages of farmers of vanilla and clove while crossing a humid dense forest.
- Accepted guide :
Ar 24.000 with an overcharge of 10.000 for the nocturnal visit

- Guide on training :
Ar 18.000 with an overcharge of 6 000 for the nocturnal visit

- A forfeit of Ar 30 000 for the guide's return.

- Ambatoledama, area of camping,: Ar 2 000 / tent / night

Shelter: Ar 5 000 / tent /nuit

The welcome office is in Maroantsetra. You will be able to take all information from there to make your stay an unforgettable moment.. About twenty French-speaking guides work at the park. 
Apart from the areas of camping in the circuits, you will also find a camp in Andrakadilagna, the East Cape  and in the three marine parks.  
- Area of camping: Ar 2,000  / tent/night 
- Shelter: Ar 5,000 / tent / night.

Contacts :

Direction Inter-Régionale de Madagascar National Parks Toamasina
BP 548 - Salazamay
501 Toamasina

Tél : + (261 20) 53 327 07
Fax : + (261 20) 53 318 39

Email :

Parc National Masoala
BP 86 – 512 Maroantsetra
Tél. : + (261 20) 111 à travers le 15
Fax : + (261 20) 88 812 89

Tél. : + (261 32) 02 675 72
Email :

CVECOT : Emerentienne
Tél. : + (261 32) 41 944 46

Trekking and scuba diving will be your main activities in the park of Masoala. But beyond Masoala, you can also visit the zoo… of Zurich! Hey yes! The Zoo of Zurich reconstituted a miniature of the protected area  of  Masoala in an enormous greenhouse in Zurich, where we can find unique animals of the region. Madagascar National Parks has provided all species of fauna and flora permitting to run the project well. Thus part of the returns of the ecoshop in the Zoo comes back to the Management of the National Park of Masoala and contribute to the conservation of the protected area .


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