Marojejy National Park is a Madagascar national park in the Sava Region of northeastern Madagascar. This Madagascar National Park covers 55,500 ha (214 sq mi) and is centered on the Marojejy Massif. Marojejy National park is a mountain chain that rises to an elevation of 2,132 m (6,995 ft).

Access to the area around the massif was restricted to research scientists when the site was set aside as a strict nature reserve in 1952. In 1998, Marojejy National park was opened to the public when it was converted into a national park. Marojejy National park became part of the World Heritage Site known as the Rainforests of the Atsinanana in 2007.

Despite Marojejy National park rugged terrain, poaching and selective logging are still persistent problems, particularly since the start of the 2009 political crisis in Madagascar. Mining, slash-and-burn agriculture, and wood collection also pose threats to the park and its wildlife.

The wide range of elevations and rugged topography of the massif create diverse habitats that transition quickly with changes in altitude. Warm, dense rainforest can be found at lower elevations, followed by shorter forests at higher elevations, followed still by cloud forest, and topped near the peaks with the only remaining undisturbed mountain scrub in Madagascar.

Better growing conditions for plants can be found on the eastern side of the mountains, which receives more rain than the western side. This habitat diversity lends itself to high levels of biodiversity.

At least 118 species of bird, 148 species of reptile and amphibian, and 11 species of lemur are known to occur within Marojejy National Park. One of the lemurs, the silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus) is listed among “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates”. The helmet vanga (Euryceros prevostii) is considered the iconic bird species of Marojejy National park.

Marojejy National Park

One path leads from the entrance of Marojejy National park to the summit. There are three camps along the route. Camp Mantella at 450 m (1,480 ft) in elevation in lowland rainforest. Camp Marojejia at 775 m (2,543 ft) at the transition between lowland and montane rain forest. Camp Simpona at 1,250 m (4,100 ft) in the middle of the montane rainforest.

Camp Simpona acts as a base camp for the Marojejy Summit trek. This is a route that stretches 2 km (1.2 mi) and can take up to four or five hours to traverse.

Things to Do in Marojejy National Park

Marojejy National park has a single trail ascending through three camps to the summit. The expedition is in two parts. The first a fairly gentle nature ramble and the second a rigorous climb.

For the former, there is no need to go past Camp Marojejia, which anyone in decent shape can reach. Beyond it you must be very fit, and prepared for cold weather.

Hiking to Camp Mantella & Camp Marojejia

While you could arrange for a ride to Marojejy National park entrance, it is a beautiful walk there from the MNP office in the village of Manantenina. This goes along a dirt road through lush mountains, small villages and rice paddies. It is 5.6km and rises from 80m to 180m.

Those on Marojejy trekking tour from Marojejy National park entrance, will climb to 450m over 3½km to Camp Mantella, the first camp. You can continue for 800m to Cascade de Humbert to see the impressive waterfall.

Overnight at Camp Mantella, or go on for 2km, which will take another one to two hours, to the second camp, Camp Marojejia, at an elevation of 750m. This is the best place to see wildlife, including colourful millipedes the length of your hand, leaf-tailed geckos, and paradise flycatchers. It is also a wonderful place to hang out, surrounded by the sounds of the forest and the rush of a nearby stream.

Climbing Mt Marojejy in Marojejy National Park

From Camp Marojejia, it’s just 2.1km to the third camp, Simpona, at an elevation of 1250m. This climb will take around three to four hours. Camp Simpona is the base camp for Morojejy summit trek. It is a very steep and strenuous climb, requiring both hands and feet as you surmount one root after another, a challenge magnified when it’s wet.

Marojejy National Park

The final leg to the summit, 2132m high, stretches 2km and can take four or five hours to traverse.

Marojejy Trekking Routes

Marojejy National park offer treks of varying lengths in the park. The Marojejy trek go along a trail that leads from the village of Manantenina into the rainforests. It eventually takes you up to the summit of Marojejy itself (elevation 2132 m [6995 ft]).

Mantella Trek

This takes you to Camp Mantella, about a four-hour hike from Manantenina. Camp Mantella (elevation 450 m [1475 ft]) has six cabins furnished with beds, mattresses, and bedding. It also has a large sheltered eating area with an assortment of cooking utensils.

A campground is located nearby for those who prefer to pitch a tent. This area of lowland rainforest is a good place to see several species of lemurs, many birds (including the helmet vanga) and many species of amphibians and reptiles. The beautiful Cascade de Humbert waterfall is a short walk (800 m) from the camp. For best wildlife viewing, we recommend at least two days for this trek.

Simpona Trek

This is a continuation of the Mantella Trek, leading from Camp Mantella up to Camp Marojejia (about a two hour hike). Camp Marojejia is located at the transition between lowland and montane rainforest (elevation 775 m [2540 ft]), and is perched on a hillside with stupendous views overlooking sheer granite outcrops and lush vegetation.

The camp consists of a sheltered eating area and four cabins furnished with beds, mattresses, and bedding. The name of this trek comes from the Malagasy name for the Silky Sifaka, a beautiful white lemur which is found only in this area. To increase your chances of spotting this elusive animal, we recommend hiring a “Simpona Specialist” in addition to your guide. Plan on spending at least three days in the park for this trek.

Marojejy Summit Trek

It continues beyond Camp Marojejia to Camp Simpona (elevation 1250 m [4100 ft]), which is then used as a basecamp for the final hike to the peak itself. Camp Simpona consists of a sheltered eating area and two cabins.

Trekking to the summit of Marojejy is a real wilderness experience — one of the most beautiful and wild walks you will likely ever take. High in the moorlands above the cloud-forests, the views from the summit are truly spectacular. We recommend allotting at least 4–5 days for this rugged and difficult trek.

Madagascar Tour Safaris to Marojejy National Park