Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve

map Nosy-Mangabe This small tropical island of just 5,2 km², situated in the Antongil Bay, just about 4 km from the city of Maroantsetra, is totally covered by dense humid forests. Nosy Mange is reached by a small boat in less than 1 hour from Maroantsetra, which makes it an ideal day-trip. It was the refuge of many Dutch during the seventeenth century and in the following century the French colonial power conquered it and made it a trading post. Today the island has turned into Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve, famous because of the imperceptible and nocturnal Aye-Aye. These extremely rare lemurs were introduced by humans during the 60´s in order to create a reserve to protect them from extinction. 
Aye-ayes have been hunted by local people for centuries since they believed these strange and fascinating animals were symbol of death and harbinger of evil.
It is preferable to plan one or two nights camping out there in order to be able to seize an occasion to approach them while they feed on small insects or coconut fruit during their night hunting. They are provided with very long tentacles on its hooked and over-dimensioned middle finger.
Other lemurs found in these dense and hilly forests and by far more easily to spot are the mouse lemur, gray mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, white-fronted brow lemur and black and white ruffed lemur. There are also several birds and a good number of reptiles and amphibians: leaf tailed geckos, frogs, sea turtles, chameleons (including the Brookesia), small snakes and even an endemic boa. From June to September humpback whales can be seen from the beach.
uroplatus fimbriatus      Uroplatus fimbriatus © Glowingz
Visitors can hike to some ancient graves of the first inhabitants of the island, to rock inscriptions left by Dutch sailors during the 16th century on a beach called Plage des Hollandais, to a waterfall and to an abandoned lighthouse. Aside from the hiking, you can spend some time just lying on the wonderful beach and swimming just a few meters away from the rainforest.

The climate is warm and very humid and it can rain every day (which certainly happens).

Nosy Mangabe
Feel like in paradise! © Glowingz

Park fees are payable at the ANGAP office in Maroantsetra. One day permit costs Ar 10 000, two-day permit is Ar 15 000 and three-day permits costs Ar 20 000. A guide is mandatory. You can camp at the camping site in Nosy Mangabe (Ar 4000 per tent). The campsite has a basic kitchen and shared facilities.