Madagascar – Trekking and Kayaking in the Masoala Peninsula

On this trip we explore this natural paradise, kayaking the forested coastline and to deserted tropical islands, into pristine mangroves and shady rivers overhung by primary rainforest; snorkeling the coral reefs; swimming in warm tropical sea and crystal clear streams; beachcombing and exploring the rainforest for the unique wildlife.

This Madagascan tropical escape is a perfect extension to one of our small group departures – or a fantastic addition to a tailormade trip. The spectacular untouched rainforest covered peninsula, tucked away on Madagascar’s’ North East coast is the backdrop to Masoala Forest Lodge, your home for 6 blissful days. Only accessible by boat or foot and with a maximum capacity of 12 guests, the lodge is a haven of tranquility.  A luxurious outpost lost in time and nature. Find yourself immersed in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings, a blend of golden sand beaches and overhanging rainforest as you snorkel, uncover deserted islands, beachcomb and explore the extensive secluded rainforest of Madagascar, rich in wildlife.

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Madagascar – Masoala Peninsula Itinerary

NB. This itinerary starts at Maroantsetra airport. Pioneer are happy to arrange accommodation and transfers to ‘book-end’ this trip.

Day 1:  Arrival Maroantsetra & Boat Across The Bay Antongil  (L,D)

We are met on arrival at the Maroantsetra airport and transfer to the boat for the exciting voyage across the Bay d’Antongil to the Masoala Forest Lodge. The journey takes around 2 hours, passing the tropical island of Nosy Mangabe, with the possibility of dolphin and whale sightings in season and the thickly forested mountains as a dramatic backdrop to the destination.

The Antongil bay is the largest bay in Madagascar. It is at the northern end of the east coast of the island and for administrative purposes it is within Analanjirofo Region. The bay is about 60 km long and 30 km wide, and is formed by the Masoala peninsula on its eastern side. At the northern end of the bay is the island of Nosy Mangabe and the town of Maroantsetra.

Upon arrival in paradise, we freshen up and settle into our luxury lodge before lunch, which is served at the beach house.

The afternoon activities include exploring the beaches and coastal forest in the lodge area and potentially enjoying a swim in the pristine sea, before taking a guided walk along the coast past Tampolo Point, with the possibility of spotting white-fronted brown lemurs in the coastal forest.

This evening we will return to base for sundowners around the fire on the beach and dinner at the lodge.

Overnight – Masoala Forest Lodge

Day 2: Masoala Forest Lodge (B,L,D)

We awake early and take coffee and breakfast on the sea deck overlooking the beach and then we set-off on the day’s adventure. Today will involve a walk down the beach in the other direction and up into the primary rainforest in search of the Red-ruffed lemurs, dwarf chameleons and other wildlife endemic to this forest.

This unique tropical lowland forest is home to a huge variety of chameleons, snakes and lemurs, 5 species of which are nocturnal. Tampolo Forest is situated on the east coast of Madagascar and is just one of the last remaining substantial areas of littoral forest. This area really showcases the interesting, endemic animal and plant species of Madagascar.

After some hours in the dense forest with giant hardwoods and majestic tree ferns we return to camp by boat for a well-earned lunch and rest before the afternoon activity. This could be a snorkel on the nearby reefs rich in underwater diversity, or a guided sea kayak to the look-out rock at the “Secret Cove” for the sunset, with the chance of a close encounter with Bottlenose Dolphin or Green Turtle. Dinner at the lodge

Overnight – Masoala Forest Lodge

 

Day 3: Masoala Forest Lodge  (B,L,D)

A relaxed start and breakfast on the sea deck for today before departing on a guided walk through the coastal forest, in search of more birds and mammals. After a couple of hours walk, we will enjoy a swim into the crystal clear water of the cascades of the Tampolo River at the foot of the forested mountains. We will return to camp on a traditional dugout canoe paddled down the shady river.

After lunch, enjoy a relaxed afternoon on the private beaches or snorkel on the coral reefs. Then we will join a guided nocturnal walk with the intriguing possibility of seeing some of the secretive nocturnal wildlife such as Leaf-tailed Gecko, Dwarf and Mouse lemurs and maybe even the elusive Aye-Aye.

Dinner will be served at the lodge.

Overnight – Masoala Forest Lodge

 

Day 4: Masoala Forest Lodge (B,L,D)

After breakfast, be ready for an exploration by sea kayak or boat of the calm water and fantastic rock formations of Tampolo point. We will stop on the beach at the “Sacred Island” where we will relax or swim. Then we will kayak into a pristine mangrove and forested river, with the chance of spotting Blue-spotted stingrays in the shallow water or perhaps the Lesser bamboo lemurs crossing the river.

After a picnic lunch on the beach, we will head back the camp by kayak or boat, for an evening of entertainment and high spirits with the visit of the traditional Malagasy music and dance group from the local village.

We will enjoy the sundowners around the fire on the beach and have dinner at the lodge.

Overnight – Masoala Forest Lodge

 

Day 5: Masoala Forest Lodge (B,L,D)

After breakfast on the sea deck, we will have a short guided walk through the coastal forest trails and farm land of the nearby village of Ambodiforaha.  This is an opportunity to experience the local Betsimisaraka culture and sustainable way of life in the rainforest. You can visit their  traditional  houses  and  kitchens  and  perhaps  see baskets,  mats  or  hats  being woven, vanilla, cloves, coffee or rice being prepared and pop in for a quick visit to the village school, co-funded by the lodge.

After  lunch  at  the  lodge,  you  have  the  option  of  a  stroll  down  the  beach  to  the Tampolo  River  and enjoy a  peaceful  pirogue  trip  on  the  cool  shady  river  to  observe  the birdlife.

This evening will involve sundowners around the fire on the beach and dinner at the lodge.

Overnight – Masoala Forest Lodge

 

Day 6: Masoala Forest Lodge (B,L,D)

You will take an early breakfast on the sea deck before board the boat for the voyage to the island of Nosy Mangabe.

Once ashore on the densely forested island, we will explore the network of trails with our guide with a chance of spotting Black and white-ruffed and White-fronted brown lemurs, leaf-tailed geckos and perhaps a Madagascar tree boa. We can view the traditional Malagasy tombs in a cave and the engraved rocks on the “Plage des Hollandais”.

After a picnic lunch on the beach, we board the boat once more for the voyage to Maroantsetra and transfer to the airport in time for the flight out to Antananarivo.

 

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  • Duration6 days / 5 nights
  • Price£2,195$2,695
    Full board. Excluding international and internal flights.
  • Tailormade DeparturesOn request
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