The reserve of Nosy Mangabe is often called the National Park of Nosy Mangabe. It is a small green island of just 5,2 km² in the bay of Antongil. It takes less than 1 hour by boat to get there from Maroantsetra.
It was the refuge and trading post of European pirates. Nowadays, boats to Maroantsetra refuge next to the island while waiting for high tide in the river mouth. The extremely rare lemurs Aye-Aye were introduced during the 60´s in order to protect them from extinction. It is preferable to plan one or two nights camping to be able this strange creature.
The small size of the reserve makes easy to spot day active animals. Other lemurs such as the mouse lemur, gray mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, white-fronted brown lemur and black and white ruffed lemur often get close to the camping site. There are also several birds, reptiles and amphibians. Leaf tailed geckos, frogs, sea turtles, chameleons (including the Brookesia), snakes by all size are the highlights of the island. From June to September humpback whales can be seen from the beach.
The Island has a historical and environmental value. 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. Aside from the short trekking, you can spend some time just lying on the wonderful beach and swimming just a few meters away from the rainforest. In difference to all primary forest that you can see in other parks of Madagascar, big trees grow in Nosy Mangabe. Obviously, you don’t need to ask anymore if you are in primary forest or not. You are in the rainforest!
The climate is warm and very humid. Rainfalls last for days and even for weeks. The campsite has a basic kitchen and shared facilities.