Masoala National Park (Madagascar)

Masoala National Park Travel Guide and Trip Resources

Reto Arzbacher

Eyes of the forest

Masoala National Park is the largest protected area in MadagascarIn a remote area of the country and hard to reach: by boat or air to Maroantsetra, then another boat to the park
Wealth of natural diversity including geckos, birdlife and lemurPrimitive accomodation at best
Rainforest, mangroves, mountains and beaches

Masoala National Park is a protected region in Madagascar's north-east, largely falling into the country's Sava region. Its flora and fauna stretches out from the beaches in front of it into dense coastal (rain)forest and mangroves as well as a number of coral reefs out in sea. In terms of wildlife, expect to see geckos, the native Madagascan lemur, chameleons and lots of colorful birdlife.

Meanwhile out in the ocean, if you pay a visit to Antongil Bay anywhere between July and September, you should be able to spot a humpback whale or two. Though keep your toes out of the water unless you are absolutely sure it is safe to swim as these waters are inhabited by sharks as well.

Visiting Masoala (literally meaning "Eyes of the forest") is not the easiest task in the world. First you need to make your way to the small town of Maroantsetra, which is easiest done by boat or airplane as the roads in from Toamasina are practically just muddy forest tracks and have a few shabby ferries in between. Flights arrive here from Toamasina and Antananarivo. Once you are in town, you still need to make your way to the park, which is by boat either over sea or through the river. Inside of the park there are two camping grounds (not easy to reach) as well as hotels in places like Tampolo.

Though if you do go through all of that effort, and you are fine with staying in primitive surroundings, this may be one of the most exciting destinations for a hike anywhere in the world. [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Masoala National Park is a region in Madagascar. It is situated at an altitude of 574ft and the best airport to fly into is WMN (Maroantsetra, Maroantsetra)
  • The currency used in Madagascar is the Malagasy ariayry (MGA)

Masoala National Park Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

86 88 86 84 82 79 75 75 77 81 84 86

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

14.3 15.6 17.4 17.2 12 10 10.6 8 4.4 3.1 5 11.2

Other notes

  • We are (honestly!) not in any way affiliated, but Masoala Forest Lodge may be one of the few spots for those who don't want to make their stay *too* primitive

More Masoala National Park travel resources

Search long and hard, but the internet won't be of much help when (further) researching Masoala. We started off with Travel Madagascar and simply the Wikipedia page on the park. MadaCamp is wonderfully insightful if you want to know more about what type of animals roam these forests, while Travel2mada had some good basics. As did Mada Magazine. Finally, Bradt Travel Guides has a page on the park too.

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