Overview – Masoala NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Masoala National Park (Parc National de Masoala) is Madagascar’s largest national park and perhaps the most exciting and diverse. The park is only accessible by boat or on foot. It’s therefore most suited to the adventurous traveler with plenty of time and/or budget to embark on something close to an expedition. The park is known for its spectacular scenery with primary and coastal forests.

Best Time to Go August to January (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (The park doesn't get busy)
Size 2,205km² / 851mi²
Altitude 7-1,196m / 23-3,924ft

Pros & Cons

  • Adventurous, off-the-beaten-track destination
  • Arguably the most beautiful park in Madagascar
  • Exciting hiking opportunities
  • Kayaking available
  • Primary forest
  • Expensive destination
  • Accessible by chartered boat or on foot only
  • Wet climate

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Wildlife

Masoala is home to 15 species of lemur, including the sought-after, locally endemic red ruffed lemur. Other lemurs to look out for are the Masoala woolly lemur and white-fronted brown lemur. The lowland streaked tenrec can sometimes be found in the Wet season. There is lots of wildlife offshore as well, including the humpback whale, which gather around the area to breed from July to September.

Scenery

Masoala protects the largest tract of lowland rainforest in the country. The primary forest comes down the slopes right to the coast surrounding little, white-sand bays. Small streams crisscross the forest, and the large variety of orchids and palm trees is a treat for botanists in particular.

Weather & Climate

Masoala has a tropical climate with high humidity and rainfall. The driest months are August to November. At this time the average temperature is a comfortable 25°C/77°F. The rest of the year is warmer with temperatures reaching 29°C/84°F. February to April often see extreme weather and the risk of cyclones is high. Waterproof clothing is essential throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The period from September to November has the nicest weather as it is warm and the sea tends to be calm. Masoala has a wet climate and it makes sense to avoid the worst of the rains between February and April. Humpback whales can be spotted between July and September and lemurs have their young around October/November.

Want to Visit Masoala NP?

Masoala NP Safari Reviews

  • Expert Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
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  • User Rating
    0.0/5
    0 Reviews
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding