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Masoala Forest and Nosy Mangabe

Why visit Masoala Forest and Nosy Mangabe?

Nosy Mangabe is a small 520 hectare densely-forested island off the Masoala peninsula, which is a sanctuary for the rarely-seen aye-aye. The sultry Masoala Forest is the largest of Madagascar’s protected areas and is located on the coast, so has varied land and marine habitats. It contains about 50% of the island’s wildlife and plant species.
Reasons to visit Masoala Forest and Nosy Mangabe include:

  • Try to spot aye-ayes on Nosy Mangabe. If you miss them there are still plenty of other lemur species, including the black and white-ruffed. 
  • Enjoy great views of the mainland from the walking trail to the abandoned lighthouse.
  • Sunbathe or swim at the Plage des Hollendais
  • Marine-life watching ”“ every August humpback whales from to Antogil Bay to give birth. Dolphins and dugongs can also be spotted.

When to go to Masoala Forest and Nosy Mangabe

This is the wettest part of Madagascar, with a humid tropical climate. Waterproof clothing is essential throughout the year! It’s driest ”“ though still wet - from August to December, and should be avoided during the cyclone season of January to March. The hottest months are March, April and December.

How to do it

Adding to the adventure Masoala is only accessible by boat from Maroantsetra. While you are here the island of Nosy Mangabe makes an excellent daytrip, it's just 5kms from Marontsetra,(you can't overnight as there is no accommodation).

Where to stay in the Masoala Forest

There are some good quality options here, Masoala Forest Lodge offers safari tented style accommodation or you could opt to stay on the outskirts of Maroantsetra at the Hotel Relais du Masoala and enjoy their beautiful landscaped gardens as you relax in your bungalow.

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Masoala Forest and Nosy Mangabe accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT +3 hours

Flight time:

Flights from Europe to Madagascar take about 10/11 hours.

Language: Malagasy and French are Madagascar's official languages. English or German is spoken by a municipal workers and guides.A basic working knowledge of French will make communication easier.


Most nationalities require a Madagascar visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.


Malaria is present in most of the country. No vaccinations are compulsory.



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