Parc National Mananara Nord

Park in Mananara

The remote 240-sq-km park encompasses some of the last remaining lowland rainforest in the country. An additional 10 sq km of islets and surrounding reefs are protected as a marine park, the largest being Nosy Atafana. The park itself isn't the most traveller-friendly: the two-hour terrestrial circuit requires four hours of hiking to get there. The MNP office is in Sahasoa, about 30km south of Mananara.

The park has two main circuits, one terrestrial and the other marine. The terrestrial circuit begins 6km south of the park office by foot. It takes four hours to get there, two to do the circuit, and another four to get back. You're advised to camp overnight in the park. The marine circuit includes a trip to Nosy Atafana, and costs an additional Ar120,000 to Ar150,000 for boat and fuel. The cost per person thus declines with the size of the group (maximum eight). A third circuit takes two full days and covers both land and sea. For any trip in the park, you’ll need to be self-sufficient with food and water, and, if hiking, in good shape. Camping is Ar5000 per tent.

While lemurs are not always seen, Mananara Nord contains indris, brown lemurs, ruffed lemurs and aye-ayes, and is the only known habitat of the hairy-eared dwarf lemur. There is also a variety of geckos, including the endemic uroplatus and day geckos. Offshore there are dugong.