This fabulous, small, tented camp is set in a clearing behind a beach at the edge of the Tampolo Marine Park, and provides the opportunity to explore the Masoala's forests and the surrounding Bay of Antongil.
The 7 comfortable, furnished and fully netted safari-style tents accommodate a maximum of twelve people. The tents are on high stilts (so have a tree-house feel) and set under thatched roofs and each stands on a wooden deck, with a hammock in which to doze after lunch. Each tent has private toilet and washing facilities with hot water.
The site is level and well-tended, enabling less fit people to visit the Masoala. There are easy walking trails for people who do not want to take on the more challenging trails traversing steep slopes. The main area, where you can relax with a book or a game, is constructed from local wood.
The restaurant area is a traditional Malagasy thatched structure overlooking the sea. Meals are wholesome, prepared by local chefs (the kitchen manager is superb) with fresh fish, seafood and local produce being used.
Activities & Facilities
The lodge provides guided rainforest walks for wildlife, birds, nocturnal species - and the privilege and pleasure of exploring the rich primary rainforest at Lohatrozana, part of the Masoala National Park. The rainforests of the Masoala Peninsula are rich in lemurs, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Red-ruffed and White-fronted brown lemurs can be seen by day, and various range-restricted nocturnal species may be seen at night.
With its location just behind the hardwood trees that border the beach, Masoala Forest Lodge is ideally located for the Tampolo Parc Marin, which protects extensive coral reefs and myriad marine species. There is rewarding snorkelling right from the beach.
A sea kayak is the perfect way to explore the clear rivers, deserted coves and the sacred islands offshore and kayaking is a particular feature of this lodge - proprietor Pierre Bester used to do kayaking on Lake Malawi before he and Maria moved to Madagascar. If you are new to kayaking, you can be taught; and it is worth learning for the magical experience of doing the short paddle down the coast to an untouched beach at the edge of the rainforest at Lohatrozana.
Fishing, whale-watching and excursions to other parts of the Masoala Peninsula can be arranged at the lodge (extra cost).
The community tourism activities of the lodge are part of an international conservation programme which aims to provide a sustainable source of income for the local communities. The lodge opened and is responsible for running a school. The proprietors also founded a rubbish collection programme back in 2013; this has been a great success.
The lodge is about 40km southeast of Maroansetra. The speedboats at Masoala Forest Lodge means transfers can be arranged at any time during the day and take between 1½ and 2 hours, depending on conditions. (Transfers are best operated in the morning because of sea conditions).
Note that currently (2018) visitors need to reach Maroantsetra Airport by means of chartered flights. .