Travel Mada: Masoala

Why Visit: Masoala is the largest protected area of Madagascar with 2,300 square kilometers of forests and 100 square kilometers of marine parks. The parks is full of sea shores, mountains, lemurs, birds, and other flora and fauna.

Where is it: Masoala is located in the “armpit” of Madagascar, south of SAVA and east of Maronsetra.

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Getting There: This isn’t the easiest park to get to. You can fly into Maronsetra and take a boat across the bay, or you can hike in from Antalaha. There are hikes from 3-10 days depending on your speed and route. Once in Masoala you can stay at several resorts within the park land that gives you access to the ocean and forests.

Cost: As you can imagine by its remoteness this isn’t a cheap destination in Madagacar. The resorts are all inclusive including your guide and parks fees, food, and activities such as hiking, whale watching, kayaking and snorkeling. These will cost around $300 a person per night. If you want to hike through the forest it can be done for about $100 a day.

When to go: To avoid the rainy season the best time to go is between May and November, most of the resorts shut down during cyclone season (rainy season). During the dry season it can still rain a lot as it is a rain forest so bring a jacket! Even though it is the winter in the temps are still warm enough to enjoy the ocean without being too hot.

Time and Trails: There are many different activities to choose from. There are half day or day hikes, snorkeling, kayaking, visiting the local village, and whale watching. I would recommend three day minimum to see everything the forest and ocean has to offer.

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