Mananara-Nord Biosphere Reserve. Untouched and secluded
Madagascar is truly an attractive holiday destination boasting hidden gems like Mananara Nord National Reserve.
The Mananara-Nord Biosphere Reserve is situated on the north-east coast of Madagascar conveniently located in proximity to many other Madagascar highlights. Mananara Nord is located 250 km north of Tamatave and spreads over 144,000 hectares – 23,000 of terrestrial park and 1,000 hectares of marine habitat. The fascinating ecosystems in the Mananara-Nord Biosphere Reserve include tropical humid forest, sandy coastal plains with littoral vegetation, river vegetation, mangrove formations, marshlands, and coral reefs. With such diverse highlights, you can be assured that a Madagascar holiday to Mananara Nord will be an unforgettable experience.
Untouched and secluded – this makes Mananara Nord National Reserve a lovely paradise. The vegetation is a blend of tropical forests, mangroves, marshlands and littoral and river plants. The marine section is formed by several small islands and coral reefs. The marine reserve comprises of magnificent coral reefs with 132 different coral species. Mananara Nord National Reserve reports over 100 species of marine invertebrates, nearly 200 types of fish, more than 100 mollusks and echinoderms. Humpback whales play in the waters between July and September, and at times a rare dugong can be spotted.
Mananara Nord shelters a remarkable variety of fauna. Small mammals are especially well represented: 17 rodents and 13 lemur species live in these humid forests, such as aye-aye, eastern woolly lemur, brown mouse lemur and the biggest of all lemurs, the indri indri. The indri in this reserve are much darker than the other groups living further south, making spotting them a little bit easier and extremely fascinating.
Mananara Nord is also home to 77 bird species: including Red-tailed Vanga, helmet Vanga and Madagascar kestrel, as well as 21 reptiles and 8 amphibian species. The flora is also exceptionally diverse, as more than 1200 different plants have been recorded. Palm trees (47 species) and tropical flowers including some local endemic orchids are representative of this magnificent forest.
The circuits established are longer than in other National Parks and take almost the whole day. The Verezanantsoro and the Ivontaka circuits are 15 to 20 km trails going up through the tropical forest and some vanilla and clove plantations looking for lemurs, birds and reptiles.
The Varary circuit is the hardest of all. It takes two days and goes up through the forest while you can enjoy several splendid views over the National Reserve.
You can also make a boat trip to a small island called Nosy Antafana to visit a huge colony of bats and sea birds, mangrove forest, enjoy the spectacular beaches and of course dive into the coral reefs. There is a simple accommodation in the island and camping is allowed.
Watch more photos about Mananara Nord National Reserve here.