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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 Mananara Nord protected area
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Mananara Nord
Mananara Nord is a terrestrial and marine park of the East. Its coral reefs are among the most beautiful of Madagascar’s. Amateurs of diving, fascinated with birds and lovers of the gilt beaches, Mananara Nord is your destination.

The national park is 280 Km in the North of Toamasina, in the region of Analanjirofo. It spreads on 144,000 ha, 23,000 ha of which is a terrestrial park and 1,000 ha of marine park. This marine park, Nosy Antafana, is the first of the Big island. It is formed of three islands: Nosy be or Nosy Antafana, Nosy Rangontsy and Nosy Hely. The marine ecosystem is very attractive in there , because of the existence of the reef of corals.

The fauna

The two parks, marine and terrestrial, form a range of very various species. 77 species of birds have been recorded there, 13 species of lemurs, 17 species of rodents in humid forest, seven species of freshwater fish. Mananara-North is one of the protected areas that records the biggest number of species of micro mammals of the East, considering its reduced surface.

The marine ecosystem doesn't stopt: Mananara Nord has, among others, 132 species of Cnidiaires, 179 species of saltwater fish, 16 arthropods, two reptiles and two mammals.

The best of the fauna of Mananara Nord

1. The biggest of the lemurs, Indri indri or Babakoto. It has a black fur. The Babakoto is arboreal and folivore. It likes to live in group of two to three. Indri is a monogamous species. Although the indri is best known as a black-and-white animal, the populations in Mananara Nord are entirely black. Indri is the largest living lemur (body weight ranges from 6 kg to as 9.5 kg). It has a head-body length of 64-72 cm, a vestigial tail only 5 cm long.

2. The Ampongy or Avahi Ianiger. Endemic Lemur with a gray fur. The Ampongy is dusky and lives in group.

3. The Daubentaunia madagascariensis or Haihay (or Aye –aye). The family of Daubentoniidae is composed of one living species (the aye-aye). Endemic species with black fur. This nocturnal of middle size one is insectivorous and lone.

4. The Vanga led, or Calicalicus madagascariensis; endemic bird.

5. The Falcon newtoni or Hitsikitsika. This Malagasy endemic bird has sung in the nursery rhymes of children since centuries.

6. The Coracopsis nigra or Boeza fihitra. Endemic bird species.

7. Navy fauna:

a. Hemiramphus far or Antserabandana

b. Kyphosus cinerascens or Torovoko

c. Leiognathus equulus or Salelo

The flora

The National Park of Mananara Nord has 764 primary forest species and 436 species of modified forests that's more than 1 200 species of plants. Mananara abounds of palms: we can find some in the sea until the peak of Verezanantsoro. 47 species of which at least two species are locally endemic palms seen on this day in this park. The flora of the marine park consists of 114 species on three different habitats. The mangrove swamp shelters seven species of mangroves on the nine seen in Madagascar.

The best of the flora of Mananara Nord

1. The Lavanioala or Galeola humblotii. It is a local endemic species that we can meet all year round at South Ivontaka .

2. the Vontro rano or Dypsis antanambensis. Endemic of Mananara Nord, one finds it all year round on the PK 8 Circuit

3. Satranala decussilvae or Satranala. Endemic of Mananara Nord, we find this species on the PK 8 Circuit , Circuit Ivontaka Sud and the Circuit Varary all year round.

Travel shrewd...

In your luggages, don't forget your pharmacy box , a raincoat, light clothes, non slippery shoes, the facilities of diving in apnea and a swimsuit. The female associations can prepare meals by order, the opportunity to taste the local kitchen. However, plan some picnics buffet lunch for the circuits of Verezanantsoro, Ivontaka Sud and Nosy Antafana.

The nearest bank is at Mananara Nord. Antanambe, Sahasoa and Sandrakatsy have a health center. Mananara Nord has a public hospital. The park of Mananara Nord is covered by the telephone network of orange. VHF and BLU are available at the welcome office of the Madagascar National Parks with a possibility of communication with Anove, Antanambe, Sahasoa, Mananara, Antananivo and Sandrakatsy.

The park history

Mananara Nord is the first Malagasy protected area to be part of the world network of the Biosphere Reserves launched by the UNESCO. The Park has been created in 1989. Mananara Nord stirred a lot of legends. The history of Nosy Antafana is thus connected to a certain Rangontsy, a seer that lived in the village of Sahasoa toward the mid 19th century. Rangontsy was from the North of Madagascar, in the region of Vohémar. It is this seer's memory that the second islet of the Marine Park was baptized: Nosy Rangotsy. It is there where his tomb is. The Betsimasarakas live in the region of Mananara Nord, with a minority of Tsimihety and half-caste: 60,000 souls in 186 villages and hamlets. The Betsimisarakas of Mananara Nord are generally farmers. But the region is a big producer of clove, of vanilla and coffee. On the other hand, the piscatorial resources always remain under exploited in Mananara.

A labyrinth of rocks

The pedestal of Mananara is old 2,750 millions years of age. Following the geological metamorphisms, the phenomena of intrusions granitiques of about 770 millions years appeared, as well as the phenomena of change dating the Néocène and erosion. The result gives this orthogonal pace the relief of Mananara: the narrow and linear valleys, the rocky walls, the cascades and the falls, of the rocky coasts. The water sources flows while bordering these failles. It explains the difficulty of access of the park but also the linear fragmentations of its forests. During a era, the density of vegetation and the fast regeneration of the forests created some mazes such as bandits who made their den of it!

Hot water for the corals

The sea is warm in Mananara Nord. Its temperature oscillates between 18°C and 20°C. It is the effect of the South current - equatorial Asia of the South that touches the coast is to become a marine current. These clear and hot waters are useful for the coral reefs that needs a temperature superior to 18°C to develop themselves. The bottom must be a little deep but the saltiness, rise from 30 to 35%. It is the case in Mananara Nord. At high tide, the depths don't pass the half of a wave, between 25 and 35m. The Malagasy East coast is swept during all year round by the trade wind. It nearly rains all year round inMananara Nord! It is a humid tropical climate. The temperature reaches an average of 25.2°C and the precipitations reach 2 900 mm per year. Unfortunately, the cyclones often pass through Mananara…

Wealth of a marine park

The marine Park is rich of an original biodiversity... It has three parcels the biggest of which is, Nosy be or Nosy Antafana, that has a source of soft water. The second, Nosy Rangontsy, shelters a mangrove swamp, a brackish water extent where the fish swims and in the East enormous masses of granites. The last islet and smallest is Nosy Hely. It has representative ecological nests, it is there where we find the coral reefs.

The microprojects of Mananara Nord
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The national park of Mananara Nord is 210 km from Toamasina and  100 km from the South of Maroantsetra.  It is accessible by car or by boat. Antananarivo - Mananara Nord passing through Toamasina needs two to three days of road. The road is  practicable all year round but in bad condition.


By road :

Toamasina - Mananara Nord:

- Take the National Road N°5 that joins Toamasina with Soanierano Ivongo. This road is tarred.

- From Soanierano Ivongo to Mananara, the road is secondary.

- Torn to Antanambe for the Park of Verezanantsoro within a distance of 8 Km. The track has just been arranged, the journey is feasible but preferably by 4X4. The state of the track is managed jointly by the rural commune of Antanambe and the National Park of Mananara Nord.  

 Another track that joins Mananara Nord with Sandrakatsy also permits to reach the National Park in its Western part, of the side of Varary.

By Taxi brousse :

Bus station in Toamasina; cooperative: Kofifen and Cotrans U; every two or three days.

By ship :

Take the boat in Mananara or Antanambe. The boats are always available

- Mananara - National Park is a motor boat journey of 1h30mn or 3 to 4h by boat.

- Antanambe - national Park is a motor boat journey of 45 min

Do the crossing between April and October, the sea will be quieter. Contact the National Park of Mananara beforehand for the organization of the journey, because the motor boat can only embark eight people.

The park of Mananara Nord has four easy, middle or difficult circuits. Make your choice, the discoveries are at the end of the path:

Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The Anosy Antafana circuit Duration : Half-day during the period of quiet sea from October to April
Distance : A loop of 16 km, 1 Km of which is trekking

The circuit passes trough four sites of scuba diving. You will have luck to discover the aquarium of Nosy Antafana and its coral reefs , with as a gift, the beach, the mangrove swamp and coastal forest! The amateurs of diving, but also the fans of birds are going to like the circuit. Indeed, a walk in a coastal forest, Birds nest of marine birds and roussettes, is in the program. To your tubas, to your binoculars!
Tariff of guidance :
Ar 10,000/day

Tariff of carrier :
Ar 8,000/ day

Available camping area with five tents for ten people
Tariff : Ar 5,000 /tent


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The Verezanantsoro circuit Duration : One day
Distance : A loop of 20 Km

Fields of clove and vanilla, forest of bass, lemurs and birds… It is an exotic hike that is waiting for you, with a landscape a little original, fragrant of clove and vanilla! Careful, the climate is fickle: the rain, the hot and the cold weather alternate themselves without notice!
Tariff of guidance :
Ar 10,000/day

Tariff of carrier :
Ar 8,000/day

An area of camping will be soon available at about 5 Km of the entry of the park
Tariff : Ar 5,000/tent


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The south Ivontaka circuit Duration : One day
Distance : 16 km

This circuit borders of agricultural soils for an ascension toward the most beautiful view spots. The slope is stiff in the East side , the climate is capricious and the temperature is appreciably different between the sunny part and the dense forest.
Tariff of guidance :
Ar 10,000/day

Tariff of carrier :
Ar 8,000/day


Circuit name Specifications Tariffs
The Varary circuit Duration : Two days
Distance : 16 km

Take advantage of the agricultural landscapes and discover the best panoramas of the park.
Tariff of guidance :
Ar 10,000/day

Tariff of carrier :
Ar 8,000/day


Two offices of welcome are at your service in Antanambe and Mananara (Mahambolona) to organize your journey. The guides are English-speaking and French-speaking. The national park of Mananara Nord possesses several camping look. Others are those that are arranged in the ecotouristic circuits,which also has a camping look: 
Antanambao Mandrisy: a camp, with the lodging for 20 people, made for the communal tourism managed by the female association.  
Tariffs: Ar 30,000/places for a tent 
- Sahasoa: a camp, with the lodging for 20 people destined to the communal tourism managed by the female  association, 
Tariffs: Ar 30,000 /places for a tent

There are two communal lodgings t in Sahasoa and in Antanambao Mandrisy that work in collaboration with the Mananara Nord Park :  
The ecotouristic lodging  of Nosy Antafana 
Tariff : Ar 10,000 / grey / night 

The communal lodge of Antanambao-Mandrisy 
Tariffs: under negotiation. 

Lodge for the communal tourism of Antanambao-Mandrisy 
Tariff: under negotiation. 
Some hotels are available for the surroundings: common simple and sanitary room, non systematic running water or medium comfort with simple room, private running sanitary water.

Contacts :

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

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

Email :

Parc National Mananara-Nord
Bureau de Liaison à Antananarivo :

c/o Siège Madagascar National Parks à Ambatobe

Tél. : + (261 20)22 415 38
         + (261 20) 22 418 83

Scuba diving, birdwatching, camping and trekking are possible in the park of Mananara Nord. But apart from this its surrounding offers you a lot of opportuniies to have fun and to discover. As the villager tourism  for example!
It is for example possible to do the villager tourism , thanks to the communal circuits of Mandrisy Antanambao. These circuits are managed by a female association of the village in collaboration with Madagascar National Parks. You will be sheltered in a lodge with two bungalows, of the domestic rooms, a restaurant with sanitary.  Two circuits are possible:

- The circuit of the mangrove swamps and beachesat the village of Mandrisy Antanambao.

- The terrestrial circuit that crosses the coastal drill through an agro ecological landscape and the cascades at 1.7 Km west of the village.

These two circuits are accessible by vehicle (4x4), by motorcycles, or on foot.

In another site, a circuit has also been arranged. It is the communal circuit of Sahasoa also managed by a female association  partner of Madagascar National Parks. The circuit has a lodge composed of two bungalows, domestic, a restaurant with sanitary, at the seaside. This circuit will lead you toward a historic underground cave, 1 Km from the village of Sahasoa.

Finally, the villager  circuit of Andavakandrehy, 6 Km  south of Mananara. It is accessible by 4x4, by motorcycle, by  VTT bike or on foot. This circuit is very cultural, because you will visit sites classified national cultural heritages, a tomb and an underground historical cave . The Betsimisaraka culture will be honored.

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