Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park is a conservation area of 2,300 sq km of rainforest on the Masoala peninsula and 100 sq km marine in Antongil Bay in Sava Region in Antsiranana Province and Analanjirofo Region in Toamasina Province, Madagascar, declared on 2 March 1997 as the largest protected area in the country to protect the diverse habitats of tropical rainforests, coastal forests, flood forests, swamps, mangrove forests, and three coral parks.

Masoala National Park is the wettest area in Madagascar with an average annual rainfall of 2,200 mm to 7,000 mm. The driest months of September to December. The humid and warm tropical climate varies between 24C in January and 21C in August. Masoala peninsula protects Antongil Bay from the Indian Ocean.

Xvlor Masoala National Park Masoala National Park

The whole area is divided into four terrestrial sections and three marine zones:
  • The mainland plot of forest (227,020 ha)
  • The detached land plot of Andranoanala (1,300 ha)
  • The detached land plot of Andranomainty (1,600 ha)
  • The detached land plot of Beankora (620 ha)
  • The marine plot of Tampolo (3,600 ha)
  • The marine plot of Masoala (3,300 ha)
  • The marine plot of Tanjona (3,100 ha)

Ramps and coastal plains stretch between Tampolo and Cap Masoala on the west side, while the coastal plains with a width of up to 15 kilometers on the west side. Along the coast take turns with rocky bays, sandy and coral reefs. The terrestrial ecosystem is characterized by a rainforest at an altitude of 0 meters to 1,300 meters where the edge of the forest meets directly with the sea.


More than 600 plant species from more than 100 families with about 400 genera are identified on the peninsula. The families most represented are Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Clusiaceae, Sapotaceae and Flacourtiaceae. A study of mangrove counts Avicennia marina, Carapa obovata, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Ceriops candolleana, Rhizophora mucronata, and Sonneratia alba.

Masoala is a center of fern diversity with 155 varieties distributed in 50 genera and represents 27.3% of the Madagascar fern. The marine plot identified 99 species of seaweed, including 40 species of red algae, 34 species of green algae and 25 species of brown algae, including Syringodium isoetifolium, Thalassia hemprichii, Halophila ovalis and Diplantera sp.

At least 50 species of palm include Marojejya darianii, Dypsis pachyramea, Dypsis moorei, Lemurophoenix halleuxii, and Voanioala gerardii. Four endemic Bignoniaceae include Rhodocolea, Ophicolea, Colea, and Phyllarthron. Other interesting plants are Nepenthes masoalensis, Geosiris aphylla, Rhopalocarpus and Rhodolaena altivola.


Ten species of lemurs in Masoala with 2 diurnal species and 8 nocturnal species. Varecia variegata is found in Nosy Mangabe and the endemic subspecies of Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) on the Masoala Peninsula. Four species are listed in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature including Hairy-eared dwarf lemur (Allocebus trichotis), Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) and Masoala fork-crowned lemur (Phaner furcifer).


At least 102 bird species of which over 60% are endemic to Madagascar include Madagascar serpent eagle (Eutriorchis astur), Henst's goshawk (Accipiter henstii), red-breasted coua (Coua serriana), Pitta-like ground-roller (Atelornis pittoides), gray-crowned greenbul (Phyllastrephus cinereiceps), Bernier's vanga (Oriolia bernieri).

Ward's flycatcher, Madagascar red owl (Tyto soumagnei), Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata), brown mesite (Mesitornis unicolor), Rand's warbler (Randia pseudozosterops), helmets vanga (Euryceros prevostii), short-legged ground-rollers (Brachypteracias leptosomus), and scaly ground-roller (Brachypteracias squamiger).

Reptiles and amphibians

At least 90 species of reptiles and 66 species of amphibians are still many others that have not been identified or documented in Masoala. Reptiles and amphibians include Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis), gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda), Phelsuma pusilla, speckled day gecko (Phelsuma guttata), flat-tailed day gecko (Phelsuma serraticauda).

Panther chameleon (Chamaeleo pardalis), brown mantella (Mantella betsileo), Boophis madagascariensis, common flat-tail gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus), Marojejy leaf chameleon (Brookesia griveaudi), brown leaf chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris), bronze girdled lizard (Zonosaurus aenus) , and red-footed zonosaur (Zonosaurus rufipes).

Four species of turtles that are considered vulnerable and the number decreased significantly in the world are green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and live ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).


Freshwater fish occurred in three Andranobos, Ambohitsitondroinan 'Ambanizana and Iagnobe basins recorded at least 23 species in 19 genera and 12 families in the rivers including genus Bedotia and Rheocles. Nila tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is considered harmful to native species. The saltwater fish includes 346 species around the peninsula.

Corals and mollusca

At least 41 genera of corals that have a big difference between coral reefs on the Indian Ocean side and coral reefs on the side of Antongil Bay. around the richest and most developed of Ngontsy and Ambodilaitry bays. Studies show 114 species of coral and 104 species of molluscs. The most dominant coral genus is Acropora.

Sea snail species include horn drupe (Drupella cornus), Triton's trumpet (Charonia tritonis), Ramose murex (Chicoreus ramosus) and Marbled turban (Turbo marmoratus). Echinoderms and arthropods include 16 species of sea urchins, starfish and brittle stars. Also 27 species of sea cucumber and starfish thorns (Acanthaster planci).

Other fauna

Seven species of Viverridae are endemic, except for small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Masoala is the only place where brown-tailed mongoose (Salanoia concolor) is seen, two rare carnivores are fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) and falanouc (Eupleres goudotii).

Nine species of rodents include white-bellied nesomys (Nesomys audeberti), tailless tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus) and black rat (Rattus rattus). At least 14 species of bats include Madagascan flying fox (Pteropus rufus). The wild boar Bushpig (Potamocherus larvatus).

At least 135 species of butterflies where 84 species are endemic in Madagascar, 213 species of ants, 140 species of wasps and 129 species of beetles. The four species of cetaceans include humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops), pink belly dolphin and dugong (Sirenia).

Location: Sava Region (Antsiranana Province) and Analanjirofo Region (Toamasina Province), Madagascar.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Maroantsetra Airport in Maroantsetra City as the location of gates and office parks. Alternate flights to Antsirabato Airport in Antalaha City, then drive to Maroantsetra City and boat trips can be arranged. Masoala National Park

Xvlor Masoala National Park

Advice: At Maroantsetra is available on-site tours, guides and accommodations. At least 20 guides working in parks speaking French and Malagasy, educated in guiding techniques, biodiversity and the history of the area.

Entrance fee to visit the park for foreign tourists is 45,000 Ariary per day, while the children pay 25,000 Ariary per day (2015). The cost for the guide depends on the selected tour. Available porter for 12,000 Ariary wages per day, including preparing food and tents.

Masoala provides an excellent opportunity to experience the unique flora and fauna of the big island including 10 species of lemurs. Every July to early September hundreds of humpback whales visit Antongil Bay during their long migration. The sheltered waters of the bay provide an ideal breeding and birthing place for this marvelous marine mammal.

Campsites in the park, but the park does not rent camping equipment where you can rent camping equipment in Maroantsetra and Antalaha. It is also possible to live in simple homes owned by villagers. Accommodation providers include Tampolodge (9 bungalows), Masoala Forest Lodge (6 safari-style tents) and Ecolodge Chez Arol (8 bungalows).

Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve Circuit
Easy to medium circuit, 5 km from Maroantsetra (3 hours). rainforest, waterfall and beach. Licensed guide: 24,000 Ariary (1-5 people), trainee guide: 18,000 Ariary (1-5 people). Camping: 2,000 Ariary per tent/night, camp shelter: 5,000 Ariary per tent/night.

Cap Est Circuit
Easy to medium circuit, 50 km from Maroantsetra to Cap Est (2 hours) by speed boat. Lowland forest, coastal forest and beach. Licensed guide: 24,000 Ariary (1-5 people), trainee guide: 18,000 Ariary (1-5 people). Camp site Andrakadilagna: 2,000 Ariary per tent/night, camp shelter: 5,000 Ariary per tent/night.

Ambodilaitry Marine Reserve Circuit
Easy circuit, 60 km from Maronatsetra (3.5 hours) by speed boat. White beach, swim in the ocean and turquoise lagoon and coral reef. Licensed guide: 24,000 Ariary (1-5 people), trainee guide: 18,000 Ariary (1-5 people). Camping at the shore of the marine park: 2,000 Ariary per tent/night, camp shelter: 5,000 Ariary per tent/night

Circuit of the detached land plot Andranoanala (Cap Est)
Easy circuit, 45 km from Antalaha (4 hours) by 4x4 car. Coastal forest to discover carnivorous plant Nepenthes masoalensis, swamps and flooded forest. Licensed guide: 30,000 Ariary (1-5 people), trainee guide: 26,000 Ariary (1-5 people). The guide comes from Antalaha. The fee for the guide includes his travel costs, meals and accommodation.

Trekkking from Maroantsetra - Antalaha or Cap Est
Average to challenging circuit, 110 km from Antalaha to Maroantsetra (3 to 5 days), 110 km from Maroantsetra to Cap Est (5 to 7 days). A hike from Antalaha to Maroantsetra or from Maroantsetra to Cap Est through small farming villages and dense humid rainforest, vanilla and cloves cultivation. Licensed guide: 24,000 Ariary (1-5 people), trainee guide: 18,000 Ariary (1-5 people). An additional 30,000 Ariary apply for the guide's return journey. Camp site Ambatoledama: 2,000 Ariary per tent/night, camp shelter: 5,000 Ariary per tent/night.

» Madagascar
» List of National Parks