Hiking

This is a hiker’s paradise. If you are staying in the ecolodges on the west coast, there are many short trails that you can take. There are also three main long-distance trails for serious trekkers. The Maroantsetra to Antalaha direct trip passes through rice paddies and gentler terrain. It is the easiest but also the least interesting. A guide for five days is Ar185,000.

For forest lovers, the Maroantsetra to Antalaha via Cap Est route (up to eight days) is more interesting, particularly the spectacular Cascade (waterfall) Bevontsira, but also more challenging, with river crossings and mountains. A guide is Ar275,000 and porters (you'll need two) are Ar12,000 each per day. Most nights are spent in villages, where it is customary to pay a few thousand ariary per person to the village chief. Carry a tent, however, as there are no villages in the forest, where you will spend three nights.

Finally, one can walk the entire rim of the peninsula, from Maroantsetra to Antalaha via Cap Masoala and Cap Est. This journey takes up to 15 days. A guide is Ar400,000. The trekking time can be cut by taking a boat from Maroantsetra to Cap Masoala (Ar400,000). A tent is required.

Food, including for the guides and porters, and park entry permits are not included in these rates and are paid by the client.

All long-distance treks are fairly demanding and involve muddy stretches. At certain times of the year you may be wading up to chest height over slippery rocks. Inquire at the MNP office about trail conditions.