Masoala Forest Lodge
The wonderful Masoala Forest Lodge offers the best standard of accommodation in this isolated area providing a highly comfortable base to explore the wild Masoala National Park as well as its many beaches and marine reserve. The core rooms are safari-style canvas and mesh tents which keep out insects, set on raised platforms with tall, pitched palm-thatched roofs allowing for greater air flow. The structures are based on the local Betsimisiraka tribe’s traditional building methods and materials, and members of the tribe were employed in the construction and furniture making.
Meals are freshly prepared and delicious using local produce where possible and the service is friendly, intimate and efficient with outstanding guides that are expert at finding the wildlife. All meals, snacks, soft drinks and local home-made rums, guided activities, laundry service, transportation and flights to and from Tana are included in a stay. On the day of arrival in Maroantsetra guests can also visit the wildlife packed Nosy Mangabe island en route to the lodge for a chance to see black-and white ruffed lemurs and green-backed mantella frogs and many giant leaf-tailed geckos.
The Masoala peninsula protects the last remaining extensive coastal lowland rainforest in Madagascar. Given World Heritage Site status in June 2007 and accessible only by boat, the reserve boasts staggering biodiversity and a wide variety of habitats: lowland primary rainforest, littoral forest, marsh, flooded forest, mangrove and coral reefs.
Rainforest wildlife here can be a little more difficult to spot than in some more locations due to the dense vegetation, and guided walks can be challenging due to steep and slippery trails (it’s also the wettest place in Madagascar). However, there is a fantastic selection of wildlife that can only be found including the beautiful red-ruffed lemur, aye aye, ring-tailed mongoose, tenrecs, leaf-tailed geckos, helmet vanga, Bernier’s vanga, Madagascar serpent eagle and humpback whales, dolphins and turtles.
Each guest at the lodge is allocated their own private guide for the duration of their stay so the activities can be customised around their interests and can include walks in both the primary rainforest of the National Park and coastal forest, sea kayaking, dugout canoe trips through the mangroves, visits to the local villages, snorkelling in the marine reserve and whale watching between July and September.
The lodge has its own private reserve of 10 hectares of coastal rainforest with many trails that can be explored during the day and night. This is a great way to encounter many nocturnal lemurs such as the Masoala woolly, sportive and mouse lemurs, greater dwarf lemur and white fronted brown lemur and occasionally also aye aye. Tenrecs, tuft-tailed rats, ring-tailed mongooses and even the Malagasy striped civet (fanaloka) can also sometimes be seen in this reserve and within the lodge grounds along with a huge range of endemic frogs, leaf-tailed geckos, tree boas and birds and insects.
This luxurious, friendly, family owned and run lodge offers the perfect base from which to explore one of Madagascar’s most pristine and exciting wildlife hotspots.
Restaurant, bar and lounge housed in the Beach House; breakfast is taken on the Sea Deck, which is built over the water and has full views to the sea and coastline. There is also a seclued massage room set away from the bungalows with views to the beach.
Electricty is supplied by solar and back up generators and is available all hours of the day and there are power outlets for charging batteries in each of the bungalows and also main beach house. Torches are also provided in each bungalow. There is a free laundry service proivided for guests and Wi-Fi is available only in the beach house where it can be slow and patchy due to the remote location.
The lodge has its own private 10 hectare forest reserve with many trails to explore enabling exciting night and day walks. The lodge has a good selection of sea kayaks and dugout canoes available to guests to help them explore the mangroves and beauiful coastline.
Highlights include the locally endemic red-ruffed lemur, Masoala woolly, sportive and mouse lemurs, white-fronted brown lemur, greater dwarf lemur and if very lucky aye aye. Both greater hedgehog and lowland streaked tenrecs and ring-tailed mongoose are common and Madagascar striped civets are occassionally seen in October. Reptile and frog diversity is the highest in all of Madagascar with many species of camoflauged leaf-tailed and colourful day geckos, panther, Parson's and several Brookesia chameleons, Madagascar tree and ground boas and abundant frogs such as the Madagascar reed frogs (Heterixalus) and white-Lipped Tree frog. The birdlife is also very special with the headline species being the stunning helmet vanga and rareties include the Bernier's vanga, Madagascar pratincole, scaly and short-legged ground rollers, red-breasted coua and elusive Madagascar serpent eagle. From July to early September, humpback whales can be seen offshore in the Bay of Atongil and bottle-nosed dolphins, green turtles and reef fish all year round.
Hikes and wildlife spotting in the Masoala National Park and in the lodge’s own private reserve, night walks, visits to the local village, snorkelling, boat trips and kayaking.
If you want to be very secluded and private, choose room number 7 which is set away from the rest of the lodge.
If you have any questions regarding our Madagascar tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
Amazing! Best place we've ever stayed. Beautiful accommodation, lovely food, brilliant service and information. Absolutely faultless!