Situated in northeast Madagascar, the Masoala Peninsula contains the largest and wildest track of rainforest remaining on the island, and the largest number of species.
As a result it is one of the country’s top conservation priorities, and preservation of the incredibly high diversity of plant and animal life here has been helped by the creation of the Masoala National Park. Endemic to the peninsular is the sub-species of black-and-white ruffed lemur called the red ruffed lemur.
There are also many endemic bird species in Masoala and in recent years the Madagascar red owl and Madagascar serpent eagle were spotted here after a gap of almost 50 years. Despite the high numbers of animal species the wildlife in the rainforest can be hard to spot, but you may see species such as: aye aye, eastern fork-marked lemur, weasel sportive lemur, white-fronted brown lemur, greater hedgehog tenrec, Uroplatus geckos, chameleons and fosas.
The Masoala is accessible only by boat from Maroantsetra through the Gulf of Antongil, which is notorious for its sharks! Accommodation can be had nearby at the rustic guesthouse Chez Arol in the little village of Tampolo, from where night walks can be taken.
- Ideal for viewing: Bernier’s vanga, eastern woolly lemur, helmet vanga, panther chameleon, red-ruffed lemur
- Where: Sava Region, Madagascar
An Island Apart
Enjoy taking in Madagascar’s extraordinary habitats and unique wildlife on this specialist trip. Travelling with acclaimed wildlife photographer, Nick Garbutt, spend time tracking endangered golden-crowned sifakas, gorgeous diademed sifakas and colourful chameleons in lush, verdant rainforest.
- When to go: Sep to Nov
- Duration inc. flights: 21 days
- Price inc. flights: From £6,495 pp
- Trip type: Group tour
Best of Both Worlds
The ideal trip if you yearn for a short, but memorable, getaway to experience the extremes Madagascar. Combine the rainforests of the Masoala Peninsula, home to many bird species, aye aye and the endemic red ruffed lemur, with the ecologically sensitive Ifotaka Community Forest.
- When to go: Mar to Dec
- Duration inc. flights: 12 days
- Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
- Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Masoala Forest Lodge
Set next to the beach, this up-market lodge brings comfortable African safari-style camping to Madagascar, with large furnished tents set on wooden platforms. In addition to exploring the forest, you can snorkel in the nearby marine reserve and even spot whales from kayaks in the summer months.
Hotel Relais du Masoala
This colonial-style lodge is located just outside the village of Maroantsetra on the bay of Antongil. Bungalows are spread out through beautiful gardens shaded by coconut trees, and the pool is a perfect place to relax. Boat excursions can be arranged to neighbouring Masoala National Park and Nosy Be.
Petit Relais Lodge
A pristine white sand beach on the north shore of the Bay of Antongil provides the idyllic location for Petit Relais Lodge. The eight spacious bungalows are built from local materials and overlook the beautiful bay, with the rainforest covered slopes of Masoala National Park riding behind.