A fantastic park situated in the north eastern part of Madagascar covering a staggering 2,300 square kilometers of rainforest area and over a hundred kilometers of sea park the Masoala National Park is sure a must visit place. This park was created in the year 1997 with a view to protect the massive natural habitat of the Masoala peninsula, which is in the form of rain forests, flood forests, marshland, coastal forest and mangrove. The marine parks that are three in numbers protect the different varieties of endangered marine species along with safeguarding the coral reefs.
For those of you nature lovers out there, this national park is sure a huge treat. The vast island gives the individual a perfect serene atmosphere to explore the various species taking shelter in this park and get absorbed in the exquisite flora and fauna. Masoala houses the ever-elusive Aye aye, which is a nocturnal species. Therefore, if you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of this lemur. The park is also home to a variety of chameleons and geckos in all colors and sizes. So be on the lookout for these long and short novelties all over the island. Have you ever heard of the tomato frog? It is a native Madagascar frog whose name is derived from its bright red color. You are sure to enjoy the sight of one such bright red tomato frog making you jump in joy.
Nature lovers until some time back thought that the Madagascar serpent eagle was extinct but this rare bird exists in good numbers in this part of the island. Credit for this sure goes to the Masoala National Park for rediscovering and housing this rare bird. If you thought that, this forest island was the most amazing place on planet earth, wait the three marine parks have equally amazing things to offer as a visual treat. You can find the most beautiful varieties of sea species swimming in peace here. One look at these water beings brings a big smile on your face and you begin to realize the importance and beauty of every second of your life. The marine park is also a wonderful destination for Snorkeling and Kayaking. In case you happen to visit the park between July and early September, you will be treated to the sight of over a hundred Humpback Whales who settle in the Antongil Bay during their migration period. The soothing waters of this Bay provide a good breeding area for these exquisite mammals.
The best way to reach the Masoala National Park is first go to the town of Antalaha or Maroantsetra. From these towns you can access the park through road if you are in Antalaha or by motor boat if you are in Maroantsetra. There are as many as six camping sites maintained by the park authorities for those of you who want to spend memorable nights amidst the beauty of nature and the camping material can be hired in Maroantsetra itself if you have not come prepared. The camping sites can be found at Cap Est, Tampolo and Nosy Mangabe on the island. There are camping sites on each of the three marine parks too.
If you are the less adventurous kind who would prefer to just visit the National Park during the day there are guesthouses available for accommodation in the towns of Antalaha and Maroantsetra. You can also hire guides and porters to take you sightseeing around the island. Information about the guided tours can be availed at the park offices in the towns. As the park itself is situated in a very wet area, a visit to this place from January to March is best left avoided. The best months to visit the park are from September to December, which is the driest period.
The Masoala National Park was named as a world heritage site in 2007 due to its amazing beauty and excellence. If you are making a list of must visit places, make sure to include this superb destination to your list.