Masoala National Park, Madagascar (with Map & Photos)

A concentrate of Malagasy ecosystems. Masoala, which is the largest national park on the island (almost 230,000 hectares of protected areas) is a combination of rainforest, mangrove swamp, sea, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. An exceptional biodiversity, where you can see the usual lemurs as well as humpback whales.

Masoala National Park created in 1997 in the northeast of Madagascar, on the homonymous peninsula. It is the largest protected area on the island with its 235,000 ha of tropical rainforest. The park was created to manage, protect and restore the Malagasy natural heritage that is on the island under severe pressure (15 species of lemurs and dozens of other species have disappeared in the last 50 years).

Masoala National Park
Masoala National Park

In the southwest of the park, the forest is still in direct contact with the sea and its dew. This type of ecotone has become very rare due to the coastal routes that have been created almost all over the world.
Masoala has preserved remarkable landscapes, the last memories of what was the green island (one of the ancient names of Madagascar); a relic of the dense rainforest where, as botanist Martin Calmander recalled filmed on the spot by Yann-Arthus Bertrand, he said, “This rainforest is so dense that 90% of the light never reaches the ground! «. This makes it one of the most conducive places for ecotourism and sustainable tourism, as well as for the study of ancient tropical forests and marine environments. An exceptional place to discover its great biodiversity both on land and in the marine park.

A trip to the largest protected area in Madagascar

With its 2300 km2 land park and 100 km2 marine park, Masoala National Park offers a wide variety of landscapes: swamps and mangroves, rain forest, coastal forest and alluvial forest. For biologists, the park is a true paradise where around fifty species of palm trees can be discovered, some of which are endemic such as the trhedral palm. In addition to the varieties of palm trees, many species of orchids are among the 1,100 species of plants recorded in the terrestrial park. You will also discover an endemic carnivorous plant called Nepenthes masoalensis.

The marine park is not far behind, starting with the 99 species of algae to discover during a dive. With its hot and humid climate (cooler in August and a rebound between September and November) associated with exceptional rains throughout the year, the region is considered the rainiest on the Big Island, which explains its great biodiversity.

Masoala National Park
Masoala National Park


The diversity of its forests has allowed many animal species to take refuge there. The complex has a high rate of endemicity, some of which are among the most threatened by international conservation. You will discover the Aye-Aye, the largest and most elusive night lemur, as well as 10 other species of lemurs such as the red ruffed lemur. Around 60 species of reptiles including the Uroplatus is a genus of geckos in the Gekkonidae family, several species of chameleons, around 40 species of amphibians such as the tomato frog and four species of sea turtles also live in the area.

In terms of avifauna, the snake eagle of Madagascar as well as the red owl of Madagascar are among the 102 species of birds to be discovered. A carnivore from Madagascar, the brown-tailed mongoose can be seen in the park. In the marine park, the presence of coral reefs has made the site one of the most beautiful in the world where you can discover a great variety of multi-colored marine fish of all sizes.


Almost 50% of the Malagasy flora is also found in the Masoala National Park. In fact, around fifty varieties of palm trees are listed on the peninsula. Nepenthes masoalensis, a carnivorous plant endemic to the Big Island, is also found within the park. Many varieties of ferns also make up the lush vegetation of the park. Additionally, 99 different species of algae are listed off the Masoala coast.

Masoala National Park Map