THE NATIONAL PARK OF MANANARA NORTH
The national park is 280 Km in the North of Toamasina, in the region of Analanjirofo. It spreads on 144,000 ha, 23,000 ha of which is a terrestrial park and 1,000 ha of Marine Park. This marine park, Nosy Antafana, is the first of the Big Island. It is formed of three islands: Nosy be or Nosy Antafana, Nosy Rangontsy and Nosy Hely. The marine ecosystem is very attractive in there, because of the existence of the coral reefs.
The two parks, marine and terrestrial, form a range of very various species. 77 species of birds have been recorded there, 13 species of lemurs, 17 species of rodents in humid forest, seven species of freshwater fish. Mananara-North is one of the protected areas that record the biggest number of species of micro mammals of the East, considering its reduced surface.
The marine ecosystem doesn’t stopt: Mananara Nord has, among others, 132 species of Cnidiaires, 179 species of saltwater fish, 16 arthropods, two reptiles and two mammals.
THE NATIONAL PARK AND BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF MANANARA NORD
The Biosphere Reserve is located just north of the town of Mananara-Nord. The National Park is divided into two distinct parts. The largest portion of the reserve is located inland from the coast, and includes the forests of Verezanantsoro, southern and northern Ivontaka, and forests near the Anove River. The second, smaller portion of the reserve comprises the island of Nosy Antafana and the surrounding reefs.. This reserve constitutes the largest protected block of low altitude humid forest in Madagascar. The reserve is located in an area composed of mineral-rich hills (the granites of Antogil and the migmatites of Mananara). Between Anove and Antanambe, a sand belt occupies the littoral. North of Antanambe, the beaches become more scarce and isolated. Reefs line the coast and cause waves to break nearly 200 meters from the shore. The group of islands surrounding Nosy Antafana also hosts their own beautiful submerged reefs.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Aye-Aye (midrange)
Chez Roger (midrange)
Les Trois arcs (midrange)
MAROANTSETRA AND THE MASOALA PENINSULA
Masoala is actually a complex of the protected areas of 240,520 ha. It has four terrestrial parcels and three marine parcels. It is part of the forests of the East of Madagascar classified among the world natural heritage sites of the forests of the Atsinanana. The Masoala complex, the Masoala park and the special reserve of Nosy Mangabe is the biggest protected area of Madagascar. We can find islets of the forests or rocks, coral reefs, zones of herbaria and narrow strips of mangrove swamp forest there.
Masoala is among the richest regions on biodiversity. We can find 50% of species of the plants of Madagascar and more than 50% of the species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles in there 102 species of birds of which more than 60% are endentic which have been counted in Masoala. Among the ten species of lemurs of the park, four are part of the category of the primates the more threatened in the red list of the International union of the Conservation of the Nature (UICN). Among the carnivores, Masoala is the only locality where the mongoose Salanoia concolor or Brown-tailed mongooses have been observed since the 1970. This species is the least known of the Malagasy carnivores.
The Humpback whale, the big dolphin and the belly pink dolphin live in Masoala Sea. The Sirenien specie, the Dugong, exists too in this region. 41 types of corals are made an inventoryat Masoala. Reptiles, batrachians, marine turtles and fichies (marin and from fresh water) are over there too.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Masoala Resort (top)
Relais du Masoala (top)
Hotel Coco beach (midrange)
The Special Reserve of Nosy Mangabe is a small island (520 ha) covered in humid thick forest. Despite this island’s remote natural beauty, you can still find traces of its former human inhabitants: the graves of an Antimaroa family are located deep in the forest, and rocks where Dutch sailors scratched out engravings in the XVIIth century can be discovered along the coast.
Four lemur species (black and white lemur, brown lemur, aye aye, microcèbe), two of which are nocturnal, also can be found on Nosy Mangabe. This is one of the places where you can find the Uroplatus, a well camouflaged and otherworldly looking lizard. Nosy Mangabe also shelters the world’s smallest chameleon, the tiny Brookesia, as well as other rare species like the Aye-Aye. In fact, this forested island is thought by many to be the best place to observe the Aye-Aye, thought by many to be Madagascar’s strangest lemur. With its golden sand beaches from whose shores you can see humpback whales swimming in the bay, and its emerald green forests where lemurs fling themselves through the canopy, Nosy Mangabe is a rare delight.
Much of Madagascar’s unique flora and fauna is concentrated in the eastern rainforests. Other attractions are the rugged mountain scenery with beautiful green landscape, the friendly people, abundant fruit and sea food; it has the loveliest beach with white sand and plenty of vegetation.
Mantadia and the Special Reserve of Indri of Analamazaotra form the complex Andasibe Mantadia. These two protected areas are identical but unfortunately the human pressures separated them. Mantadia spreads over 15 480 ha.
The forest of the Mantadia Park accommodates a lot of animals which assure their perpetuity at the same time. 108 species of birds are known in the park, of which some play a role in the survival of plants like Terpsiphone mutata. We can also find 14 species of lemurs in there, 51 species of reptiles Boa of which the famous Boa manditra and 84 species of amphibian. In the rivers of Mantadia several endemic fish species of which two are classified among the threatened species by the International Union of the Conservation of the Nature (UICN): Ratsirakia legendrei and Rheocles alaotrensis.
Finally, the bugs are the most numerous. The ecosystem of Mantadia depends on its lower-case letters animals: They are the pollinisateurs of the plants of flowers, the recyclers of the nourishing elements of soil and the organic garbage. In the food chain, the bugs are the food of many birds and mammals.
The forests of Mantadia are the domains of the lianas and épiphytes as the orchids, the mosses and the ferns. The orchids are very varied with more than a hundred species inventoried. Some varieties of plants have been introduced to Mantadia. They adapt well and managed to constitute a little abundant homogeneous formation. The goyaviers of China and other invading species as the Camelea sinensis, the Rubus mauricana has the tendency to colonize some parts of the protected area. The Eucalyptuses, the pinus and bamboos grows along the border of the site.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Feon’ny ala (midrange)
VAKÔNA forest lodge (top)
Hotel Grace Lodge (midrange)
MANAMBATO (Lake Rasoa be)
Manambato is situated in the south of Toamasina about 140 km. This Pangalane Channel was built at the beginning of the colonisation (around 1896) by the first French Governor of Madagascar, Maréchal Gallieni in order to facilitate shipping and control of the area. It used to be 654km long waterway, which extended from Foulpointe in the north to Farafangana in the south. In recent years, Pangalane has been developed for tourism, with lakeside bungalows and private nature reserves competing with the traditional ocean resorts for custom.
A place of paradise known under a captivating name of perfect Nest – Which means in Malagasy ” Akanin ny Nofy “, is a haven of peace situated on the oriental coast of Madagascar. The charming name of Nest of dream – which in Malagasy means “Akanin ny Nofy”s a haves of peace located on the Eastern coast of Madagascar. It is established on about fifty hectare, in edge of one of the several lakes which form the Channel of Pangalanes, a channel which goes from Tamatave to Farafangana being stretched along the East coast of Madagascar with 665 km length, from north to south. The lake on which Ankanin’ny Nofy bears its name is Ampitabe. It is separated from the Indian Ocean by a line of very thin coastal dunes, sometimes a few meters only. On the level of Ampitabe Lake, the Pangalanes are rather broad contrary to certain place where they are reduced to a few meters of width.The Palmarium is located on a peninsula of more than 30 hectares on Ampitabe. It is a private reserve and it is made up of almost 100.000 specific Madagascar palm tree species. But the species which attract the most are the rarest species such as Dypsis, Ravenea, Orania, but also Voanioala and Lemurophoenix. Considerable species of lemurs live in free range in this reserve. There is about ten species there. And the most spectacular of the Malagasy lemurs such as Indri Indri, the largest lemur is represented there, also the black and white ruffed lemur, the Sifaka, a species which loves to stand up, the Aye Aye which is very endangered and very hard to be located in Madagascar, mouse lemurs, crowned lemurs, very specific of the north part of the island, etc.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Rasoa be (midrange)
Hotel Acacias (midrange)
Toamasina is the capital of the East Island region of Madagascar. It is located 365km from Tana. Toamasina is the principal harbour of Madagascar. It is one of the 6 big towns (province) in Madagascar. The ethnic group in Toamasina is the Betsimisaraka which is the second biggest population of the island. Climate varies from hot to humid and rainy during the whole year. The fertile soil is ideal for growing vanilla, coffee, clove, banana, litchis, and rice. The centre town has a splendid view of its coconut and palm boulevard. The east of Madagascar is the coastal of dense rainforest, of tropical scents and lush greenness, of sunshine, abundant nature and welcoming village life.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Central (top)
Hotel Sharon (top)
Hotel Les Flamboyants (midrange)
Hotel les Joffres (midrange)
Located 95km from Tamatave, Mahambo has nice beaches and rich of the vegatation and sea food. It is a relaxing site famous for diving and snorkeling.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Yang Yang (midrange)
Hotel la pirogue ( high midrange)
THE ISLAND SAINTE MARIE (Boraha Island)
Sainte Marie is 50 km long and 7 km at its widest point. It is a favourite holiday destination, due to its sandy beaches paradise, exuberant vegetation, and spice gardens growing vanilla, cloves and cinnamon. Here is a cliché of a tropical Island with endless beaches overhung by coconut palms, bays protected from sharks by coral reefs, hills covered with luxuriant vegetation,. The island offers diving and water sports and whale watching as the Humpback whales pass on their passage north to give birth and breed.
WHAT TO DO THERE?
Relax on the best beach of the island, whale watching, snorkelling and diving. There are a few good places for sightseeing there, like the Catholic Church, the pirates’ cemetery, and the surrounding area of Ile aux Nattes.
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel la crique (midrange), north of the island
Hotel Maningory (high midrange) south, Ile Aux Nattes
Hotel Village Boraha (high midrange)
Hotel Soanambo (top)
Hotel Princesse Bora (top)
Hotel Masoandro (top), east
Hotel Libertalia (high midrange)