The Masoala Peninsula holds Madagascar’s largest remaining tract of lowland rainforest and is a haven of biodiversity and endemism. Accessible only by boat, Masoala Forest Lodge is a perfect castaway retreat lovingly built over two decades. Its seven tented rooms are raised into the tree canopy on timber decks and peep through the lush greenery directly onto the golden beach.
The gentle wash of the ocean on the sheltered beach lulls you to sleep at night, and one day blends into the next here as you reconnect with nature and marvel at the evolutionary miracle that is Madagascar while forgetting that you ever wore shoes.
Pierre and Maria Bester ‘discovered’ the Masoala Peninsula on their kayak expeditions of the late 1990s and kayaking still makes up a large part of the experience at Masoala for interested guests. They also have a variety of powered boats to get guests to and from some of the key attractions of the peninsula; the primary rainforest and it's Red Ruffed Lemurs and Helmet Vangas, the sacred island of Nosy Ndraindra, snorkelling at Antalavia and more. Guests also sail in the pirogue outrigger, do night walks in their private forest reserve, amble to and around the neighbouring community and simply laze on the beach or snorkel right in front of camp.
What we love about Masoala is the endemism and diversity. The celebrities in this regard are the Red Ruffed Lemur and Helmet Vanga, but there is so much more. Another eight lemur species including the bizarre Aye-aye, mammals like the Lowland Streaked Tenrec and more than 100 bird species including four Ground-Rollers and no fewer than 16 of Madagascar’s 22 Vanga species!
The seven rooms are traditional African safari tents, raised on stilted decks within the forest canopy and overlooking the beach. The cool breeze off the ocean or through the rainforest acts as natural air conditioning with the tents and their gauze windows oriented for maximum through drafts. Lying in bed and listening to the gentle wash of the ocean on the golden beach below, or the rustling of rainforest leaves cannot help but let you leave the frenetic energy of the city behind.
A central ‘beach house’ is where lunch and dinner is served and where you’ll find comfortable chairs and a well-stocked natural history library. The ‘sea deck’ overlooks the little bay and is where breakfast and afternoon tea are served.
You can reach the Masoala Peninsula in north-eastern Madgascar only by boat. Or on foot over several days. That’s the whole point...we like it remote. The closest airport is at the frontier coastal town of Maroantsetra and this is where scheduled charter flights come in and out on Sundays and Wednesdays for 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11-night adventure itineraries. At 440km from the national capital at Antananarivo, the flight is about 90 minutes over the Malagasy highlands before descending into the Bai d’Antongil and landing at Maroantsetra Airport. All of the scheduled trips to Masoala are met here and taken the 40km by boat to Masoala via the interesting island of Nosy Mangabe (with its tiny Brookesia chameleons, camouflaged leaf-tailed geckos and more). Reaching the Masoala Peninsula you’ll be hard-pressed to see the camp from the sea so hidden is it in the coastal forest. Just the way we like this too.
RATES & INCLUSIONS
3 nights - 3 950.00 Euros
4 nights - 4 310.00 Euros
7 nights - 4 920.00 Euros
10 nights - 5 770.00 Euros
11 nights - 6 110.00 Euros
Honeymoon 7 nts - 4 660.00 Euros
per person sharing
Antananarivo return flights, road and boat transfers, all meals and cooldrinks, locally made rums and selected spirits, private guide per day, park fees, guided walks, boat trips, kayak excursions, snorkeling, 30 min massage, laundry.
Longer stays include visits to more distant destinations along the coast.