Marojejy is an incredible place for hardier, more adventurous travellers who want to explore stunningly beautiful rainforest and experience one of Madagascar's most unspoilt and remote national parks. We offer expedition-level trips (3 nights in the park). Do call us for more information.
From the access town of Sambava, Madagascar’s ‘vanilla capital’ on the north-east coast, an hour’s drive inland towards the Andapa basin takes you to Manantenina from where you drive about 10 minutes on a bumpy road to the trailhead/vehicle park. This drive is followed by a brisk, 7km walk (pictured, by Daniel Austin, Bradt Guides during one of our small group tours there), to Camp 1 in the rugged and rainforest-clad Marojejy National Park. The first 3km takes you through open terrain with cultivated plots and secondary growth, followed by 4km in closed-canopy rainforest terrain. In this section there are some steep slopes. It can be hot during dry weather. The section through rainforest terrain is generally on an uphill gradient with some steep parts.
Guests are accompanied by porters who will take maximum 15kg luggage each; some carry supplies up to the camps.
If done at a slow pace, the walk from the trail-head/vehicle park to Camp 1 takes 5- 6 hours.
The walk from Camp 1 up to Camp 2 is shorter (2km) but due to the nature of terrain, is graded as difficult and includes some steep slopes. It takes about 3 - 4hrs and the elevation change is 350m. Time taken depends on pace adopted, weather conditions and fitness level.
Walking downhill back to the car park/ trailhead point: From Camp 2 back to the vehicle (about 9km in total) the walking time taken is just under 6 hours at a slow but steady pace. (2 hour descent from Camp 2 to Camp 1 and about 4 hours from Camp 1 back to the trailhead).
Wildlife and habitat:
Marojejy contains lowland, mid altitude and high altitude rainforest, as well as the island’s most intact remaining mountaintop moorlands. The national park is part of the World Heritage Site of Atsinanana, which UNESCO has placed on its endangered list. This cluster of rainforests contains the highest biodiversity of any of the island’s protected areas.
The floral and faunal diversity in the park is bewildering, with the star attraction on the lemur front being the critically endangered Silky sifaka, one of the world’s rarest primates. Other lemurs present include Red-bellied lemur and Eastern lesser bamboo lemur. The park’s iconic bird is the Helmet vanga, with its massive blue beak. Birders also stand a chance of seeing all four the rainforest-dwelling species of ground-roller and asity. Herps abound including various species of Uroplatus (leaf-tailed) gecko and frogs such as the Climbing mantella.
The best months to visit are September to early December (spring). There is another short window (April - earlier May).
Bear in mind that aside from having a reasonable level of fitness and the very basic facilities, trips to this park must be planned carefully and well in advance. Baggage should be organised so as to leave some at the park HQ office storage facility or at your hotel in Sambava.
Facilities in the park consist of three small, basic camps at different elevations. Please note:
There is no electric generator at Marojejy. All supplies are brought in from Andapa or Sambava. Be sure to charge up any equipment in Sambava before undertaking the journey to Marojejy.
Camp 1 has 6 basic bungalows (mountain huts), and Camp 2 has four.
Bungalows are basic and have 3 or 4 beds in each. We will arrange bedding and all supplies.
Please be aware that there is currently only one (cold) shower and one loo at each of the camps.
As an alternative to the basic huts we can arrange fully- equipped camping: tents - which some prefer - are comfortable and everything is prepared for guests.