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Marojejy National Park

Map Majorejy

Marojejy (or Marojevy) National Park, a rugged and untamed mountainous area of 600 km² and 75-2.200 m altitude, is one of the most strikingly beautiful wild areas of the country. The magic of this beauty lies on its Jurassic park character: 90% of Marojejy national park is covered with original primary forests. Voluptuous hillsides, completely carpeted by a lush green rainforests, where shrubs, ferns, feathery mosses and lichens hang from the tree branches in the search of light, extend onto the horizon. The inaccessibility of the area has created a natural laboratory that hosts a unique flora and fauna. For a long time the park, created in 1952, was reserved exclusively for scientists until it finally opened to the general public. 

In June 2007, it was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unparalleled biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
Hopefully these two significant events will become a turning point for the park’s major threat: the traditional slash and burn method (called tavy) practised by the Tsimihety people. It has been reported that during the political crisis of 2009 precious woods have been illegal cut within the National Park boudaries.

The list of plants and animals (most of which are endemic to the area) is truly impressive.
At least 275 species of ferns and more than 50 species of palms have been catalogued in the different types of forest depending on the altitude: low altitude rainforest dominated by palm tress up to 800 m, montane forest from 800 to 1500 m where 300 epiphytes species grow together with bamboo, mosses and lichens, sclerophyllous forest up to 1800 m where the lichens and mosses are most common, and moorland mountain vegetation from 1800 upwards.

Concerning the fauna, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles live in Marojejy, including 60 frogs such as the green climbing mantilla, leaf-tailed geckos, brookesia chameleons and lot of leeches. There are 45 mammal species, among the 11 lemurs. The most representative is the critically endangered silky sifaka (which only occurs here and in Anjanaharibe-Sud Reserve). Another lemurs found here are Indri, red-bellied lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, aye-aye, bamboo lemur or Weasel sportive lemur. Birds are also very well represented: 118 species have been observed so far, such as helmet vanga, Madagascar serpent-eagle, velvet asity, cryptic warbler, short-legged ground roller or Scaly ground-roller. silky sifaka
Silky sifaka is one the most endangered primates of the world. Only around one thousand of them are left. © Muzzanese
And yet, the park still remains considerably unknown. Virtually every expedition up the slippery slopes and the roaring streams succeeds with the discovery of new species, mainly invertebrates.

The best source of information on this wonderful park is provided by the site www.marojejy.com, developed by Paul Atkinson and maintained by Eric Mathieu, a French man settled in Andapa, who will be delighted in helping you organizing your trip here. When planning your trip to Marojejy be aware that this is one of the wettest regions in Madagascar. Marojejy is truly very wet and it can rain almost every day for months. From December to April rainfalls are even heavier, so it can be really hard to reach Marojejy.  So be sure not to forget your waterproof rain gear at home. The temperature difference between the warm and cool season is slight, as is the daily temperature range. The hottest month is February, when the average temperature in Andapa is 25º C, while during the coolest month of August, the average temperature is 19º C.

The main gateaway to the park is located at Andapa, on the good paved road from Sambava to Antalaha. Here you will need to make all your visit arrangements (an excellent support is offered by Eric, you can contact him at: info@marojejy.com). After arranging guides, porters and food, a jeep will bring visitors to Mandena, which is as far as one can go on a car, at the foot of the massif.  After 4,5 kilometres walk the entrance of the park is reached. You will be able to tell exactly where the park boundaries start and finish due to the mass deforestation.

Marojejy forest  The views over the forest are amazing
© Muzzanese

There are three camps being operated within the camps boundaries. From the park’s entry there are four kilometres left for Camp 1. Camp 2 is another 1,5 hour away and is located much higher. The last 900 meters of the trail have 450 meters of firm climb uphill elevation, which makes it a sweating effort. If the almost permanently present clouds clear up, a breathtaking view over the towering Marojejy summit and the surrounding fabulous forests will make you surely forget all painful feet, soaring blisters, leeches’ bites and soaked clothes.

A rewarding three day expedition would look like following: Day one Andapa to Mandena and hike from here to Camp 2. Day two: silky sifaka tracking early in the morning  and hike back to Camp 1. After lunch hike one kilometre to the nearby Humbert waterfall, followed by a short night walk. On day three you hike back to the park’s entrance and from there get onto you jeep back to Andapa.

You can get further information at the ANGAP Office in Atsiranana or at the local office in Andapa. In Andapa there are a couple of more comfortable hotels you can consult on the section of the very close located Anjanaharibe Sud Reserve

Direction de Madagascar National Parks Antsiranana
Route de l’Aéroport BP 475 201 ANTSIRANANA
Tél: (261 20) 82 213 20
Email : angapdie@yahoo.fr  angapdie@gmail.com
          
Parc National Marojejy
BP 19 - ANDAPA 205
Tel: + (261 20) 88 070 27

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