The creation of Masoala National Park in 1997 was quite late, as 15 species of lemurs and too many other species have already disappeared due to human activities. Similarly, this protected area, the largest in Madagascar, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site only in 2007. This park could be compared to a miniature Amazonia without the poisonous plants and animals! You will keep this place in mind forever!
The park’s forest is so dense that only about 10% of sunlight reaches the ground. You will discover a wealth of habitats, including a rainforest, a flooded alluvial forest, swamps and mangroves, as well as a coastal forest, which has become a rarity on the island.
These forests have the highest biodiversity and endemism rates. The national park includes a 100-km² marine park and a special reserve: Nosy Mangabe (520 ha), an islet in Antongil Bay. This complex would shelter about half of Madagascar’s flora in terms of species number.
Here are the figures:
· 235,000 ha of tropical rainforest
· 15 different varieties of lemurs
· 102 bird species
· 1,100 plant species
· 99 different seaweed species
· 300 fish species
· 164 coral species
· 27 sea cucumber species
The park favors wonderful walks in the middle of varied landscapes, such as waterfalls, pastoral rivers, undergrowth... If you have a passion for botany, you will marvel at exceptional varieties of palm trees and orchids among others. It will be like landing in the heart of an enchanted forest!
Moreover, the animals inhabiting this forest are far from ordinary, including the Uroplate (the champion of camouflage), the aye-aye (the half-cat, half-vampire lemur), the tomato frog, the red owl, etc. If not extraordinary, they are very rare, such as Madagascar’s snake eagle, Soumagne’s owl and the red vari lemur.
To take the maximum benefit of the landscape, possible activities include hiking, trekking and kayaking. Sink into the heart of the forest and discover animals hidden in thick vegetation, walk along a river and admire a colorful view, walk along the beaches and observe the rocks decorated with inscriptions made by former Dutch sailors... Adventure will be around every corner!
Masoala National Park also offers an extraordinary marine world! Dive into this world to swim among multicolored fish, rays, marine turtles and reef sharks. Snorkeling is quite magical in this little part of the world! Diversity and colors are simply outstanding!
Every year, the period between July and October is the best time to observe humpback whales that migrated to Antongil Bay to breed and give birth. The majestic southern right whale, the bottlenose dolphin, the pink-bellied dolphin and the rare dugong also inhabit the area! The aquatic animal show is just moving!