Maroantsetra is one of the most beautiful places on the Big Island. Located on the coast of Vanille, in the North-East, the city abounds with prodigious and unique tourist possibilities. Beautiful beaches, contrasting landscapes, original nature and biodiversity, all for a unique stay!
The city of Maroantsetra takes its name from a ruse of King Radama I. The latter ordered his army to plant a considerable number of spears at the entrance of the country to dissuade his opponents from attacking the village. Maroantsetra or "many spells" is nowadays a city out of the ordinary, located 100 km north of Mananara. It's also the end of the track coming from Tamatave.
Maroantsetra is the most watered city of Madagascar but that does not prevent a wonderful stay. This agglomeration surrounded by greenery, facing the bay of Antongil, is beautiful. In town, we will take the time to admire the shipbuilding shipyard as well as the workshops of preparation and braiding of vanilla. It is also present throughout the city and around. Excursions to the fall of Vodiarana, to the lake of Mahevarano and still in the villages of basket makers like Marogisa and Ambodivoafaho will be most pleasant.
The impression of the "end of the world" that gives the city encourages a total escape. It is the starting point for many idyllic cruises. It allows you to go to Nosy Mangabe, Antalaviana, Itampolo, Ambanizana and even Cape Masoala, all sites of rare beauty. A stopover at the Navana site is also scheduled for a relaxing day. This gulf with wild and tropical decor is bordered by a splendid granite beach. A visit to the coffee, vanilla and clove plantations of the neighboring village will not be too much.
Located 5 km from the city, Nosy Mangabe or "the very blue island" was the haunt of many Dutch during the seventeenth century. Engravings on the rocks along the beach of the Dutch still recall this time. The site now houses a special reserve of more than 500 ha. The secondary forest is queen with a notable presence of mango and ravenalas. The famous Aye-Aye is the star of the reserve, alongside four other species of lemurs. The other tenants of the site are the Uroplatus Fimbriatus with their incredible camouflage, the "Brookesia" chameleons, the "Mantella" frogs and some species of snakes. In short, a great discovery of the Malagasy fauna.
Masoala National Park
The Masoala Park deserves special attention. This is indeed the largest national park in Madagascar. Masoala or "eye of the forest" is an invaluable heritage that holds many surprises. The high concentration of endemic animal and plant species makes this place a treasure trove very appreciated by specialists and researchers from all over the world.
Spread over 230 000 ha and located on Antongil Bay, it deserves a lot of time. In terms of flora, an expedition through the park will take you to discover a lush tropical forest on a marshy background and a spectacular mangrove forest. Precious woods such as rosewood, ebony and rosewood are visible in some corner of the park. It is also home to some 50 species of endemic palm trees adorned with orchids of exceptional beauty.
Wildlife is not left behind; she is even endearing to it. Birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles coexist in a beautiful green setting. The red-ruffed lemur recognizable by its glowing fur, the Aye-Aye, the Uroplate, the Brookesia and Furcifer chameleons, the red owl, or the mongoose Salanoia Concolor are among the "flagship" species of the park. One can even observe the Malagasy snake eagle, one of the rarest species in the world.
In addition to the terrestrial environment, the park also has fascinating marine biotopes. The site has three marine parks with a multitude of marine species that must be discovered. There are more than 300 species of fish in addition to an attractive aquatic flora. A dive into these marine parks is an unprecedented experience; the decor is fantastic. It is also worth remembering that Antongil Bay is one of the most important humpback whale breeding sites. From July to September, these whales are a real attraction.
We can say that the city of Maroantsetra contains many unique and interesting sites to explore. This destination is to be privileged for a discovery in all tranquility. The nature is exceptional, as is the atmosphere that reigns in the city and the welcome of the inhabitants. Despite an above-average rainfall, everything is there for a dream holiday!