Masoala Peninsula is located on the northeast coast of Madagascar. It is also the only tropical rainforest still intact, never affected by human hands in this island nation.
On the deserted golden sand that covers the Masoala is a dense forest. Since 1997, more than 2,300 km2 of land area and 100 km2 of sea surface have been planned to become national parks, preserved from tropical rainforests, mangroves, marshes, coral reefs coral seabed in this area.
Thousands of humpback whales to temporarily stay together and flirt
If you come to Masoala from July to September, you will be satisfied with the view of thousands of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) stirring the sea surface. They migrated here from Antarctica to mate and give birth.
Despite the body weighing up to 30 tons, humpback whales remained carefree, very happy to emerge from the water. “We often hear whale singing,” said Seraphin, a local tour guide. Male humpback whales have the habit of singing to flirt with their children. The “sister wing” will also decide to “choose a husband” based on the opponent’s singing skills.
The most diverse ecosystem worldwide
Approximately 80% of the species in Masoala National Park are endemic. That is, they cannot be found anywhere else. It is not exaggerating to say that Madagascar is the country with the rarest and precious animals and plants on Earth.
It is easy for you to see firsthand the endemic species in this place. From Aye-aye monkeys (Daubentonia) – a nocturnal monkey that holds big, round eyes like marbles – to the Euryceros prevostii bird showing the giant blue beak. Then the snake-eating Madagascar mite (Eutriorchis astur) exposes the poise on a big tree branch every day.
Under the ground, giant tree roots spread rampant. The towering Rosewood trees want to reach out to the sky, and the Dracaena draco canopy spread wide. Vines wrap tangerines, dominate all over, crawling out to the stream, where the clear water is pouring into a white waterfall, beautiful and wonderful.
The endemic Madagascar’s red-faced lemur (Varecia rubra) is in the endangered list but not difficult to see. They liked the branches, looking like fireballs that moved because of their crimson fur.
As a lush rain forest, Masoala is also richer in orchids than any other forest in Africa. On the big, rough trees, they show off their elegant and elegant look. However, the most famous orchid here is Vanilla, an “imported commodity” from Mexico.
Although Vanilla orchids have a very high economic value, the Madagascar rainforest has no pollinator for this flower. So, people have to do it by hand. “This is extremely expensive”, Seraphin said.