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Wildvoyager

Masoala National Park


Introduction

The Masoala National Park is a hub of biodiversity and has an island reserve called Nosy Mangabe which portrays the biggest of Madagascar’s conserved land areas and a part of its least visited by tourists. The habitats around are diverse, ranging from flooded forest marshlands and coastal forests to mangroves in the saltwater areas, which are filled with life and provides an amazing view of the island’s several natural wonders.


OVERVIEW

Location: North-east Madagascar

Area: 2,400 km 2

Nearest Railhead: Soarano Train Station

Nearest Airport: Antananarivo Airport (TNR)

How to reach: Maroantsetra and Antalaha are nearest cities

Famous for: exceptional flora and fauna and 10 species of lemur 

Months open: All year

Best time to visit: April through to mid-December

What's Here: massive flooded forest, coastal forest, rainforest, mangrove and marsh

WHAT TO SEE

massive flooded forest

coastal forest

Madagascar rainforest

mangrove

marsh



Details

Culture:

Madagascar’s culture is a mixture of different cultures that have lived over the centuries with its multi-ethnic folk. The culture mirrors the origins and the story of Malagasy people and portrays amazing likeness in certain areas with the influence of the Arabic, Indian, French, English, and Chinese settlers who make up the history of this country. In the highland and rural regions and remote areas of the country, traditional dresses are still used. Both men and women wear a Lamba, which is a traditional wrap that is worn around the waist. Women also usually wear a matching shawl over the head and shoulders. In the highland regions, both the men and the women put a white wrap around their shoulders over this beautiful garment. Different types of straw hats are worn by the people in the country to protect them from the searing sunlight and heat.

 

Music is not only a source of entertainment for the folk of Madagascar but also has a distinct presence to be felt in spiritual, cultural, and historical events and the traditional ceremonies. The valiha, which is a musical instrument created by local craftsmen out of bamboo showcases the Southeast Asian influence of a section of the Malagasy people and has several likenesses with the instruments used in the Philippines and Indonesia even today. The earliest written records found here include detailed information about herbal medication and religious rituals that were written down by “wise men" called the ombiasy using the Arabic script or the sorabe that was introduced in the region by the Arab sailors. The Europeans understood the importance and were the first to keep track of the oral history and traditions of Madagascar in the written way. Raombana documented the Merina’s history in his many writings as the first Malagasy historian.

 

Cuisine:

 

Malagasy cuisine is a rice-based diet and is relished with nearly every meal. Rice is cooked with assortments of stuff called kabaka which includes beans, beef, chicken, fish and so on. Romazava, a broth and bisque prepared from green leafy vegetables, is also frequently served with rice. The side dishes are usually boiled, grilled, fried, or cooked form. Tomato-based sauces and syrups in the highlands and dried coconut and coconut milk in the coastal regions are added to the cooked side dishes to increase the flavor of the dish. Other spices that add lip-smacking flavor to the kabaka are onions, ginger, garlic, cloves, vanilla, turmeric, and salt. Some spices native to Madagascar are sakay that is made of chilly peppers and sour or sweet fruit pickles. The arid regions of Madagascar will take you where zebu is domesticated by the people and its milk is used in cooking to add flavor. Sweet potato, maize, cassava, yams, and millet are the most important kinds of foods eaten in these arid regions. 

 

Flora and Fauna:

 

The star of the Masoala National Park is its diversified and dense wildlife and flora. It has around ten lemurs species for you to see. There are other animals like the red frog, Madagascar day gecko, aye aye, hedgehog tenrec,  and many native and rare birds like the tomato owl and the Madagascar serpent eagle. Another fascinating animal in Madagascar is the fossa, which is a huge jumping rat, having the size of a rabbit. You will be amazed to find fishes of all types of colors, shapes, and sizes in the marine parks!

 

Cultural highlights:

 

  • Historical: The historians say that the first people who reached Madagascar lived around Antongil Bay. During the 15th and 16th centuries, slave traders used the Nosy Mangabe as a pit stop during their sails to Asia or Europe.

 

  • Sacred places: Anjagnaharibe is a holy region entry to which is strictly regulated and under control of a local community organization. This regulation is resepected by most families in the Masoala peninsula.

 

  • Legend: Maevarano is the tale of a nobleman who came from the west, who in vengeance for his brother gave food to the crocodile descendants of his slaves. That was the beginning of the Zafirabay clan.

 

How to reach:

 

There are two routes to reach the park, either through Maroantsetra or via Antalaha. The easiest and fastest mode of transport is by plane.




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