The national park of Marojejy which covers the solid mass of the same name is located in the North-East of Madagascar. From the Indian Ocean, the escarpment of this solid mass quickly reaches an altitude of 2132 m because of the very high slopes. It is noted that as altitude increases such are also the angles slopes.
Within this park, the relief is very abrupt; these escarpments are punctually cut by successions of small valleys overcome by more or less high peaks. The latter are often laid out starting from three famous peaks of the solid mass.
CLIMATE AND RELIEF
Marojejy profits from a climate governed by two different factors which are the south-east trade winds and the North-West monsoon. These two factors have an influence which varies according to season on this zone’s climate.
During the cooler season, from June to September, the trade winds as on the whole part of Madagascar Eastern coast contributes enormously to the abundance of rains on Marojejy. It is at the time when they decrease in intensity that rains become rarer, i.e. April at May and from September to November, even December.
In addition, during the hot seasons, monsoon coming from the Malagasy Western part brings also its batch of rain on this zone with stormy rain. Because of the relative constancy of rains, the temperatures thus do not record an important variation according to seasons’. They oscillate between 26 and 19°C.
Because of this abundant rain climatic condition, the national park of Marojejy offers an example of most remarkable forests mountain to Madagascar. All those who are intact nature passionate will not be disappointed if they pass a little time in Marojejy. This national park proposes various vegetation formations with much diversified components according to altitude.
On the lower zone towards the top of Marojejy, wet dense forest always green is first crossed. This type of formation is part of Madagascar Eastern area characteristics. It comprises the plants species which make as well the reputation of Marojejy as that of Madagascar; these species are not other than myriads of palm trees. By visiting the lower part of the park, you will have the occasion to appreciate, in few hours, almost the totality of the remaining palm trees on the Great Island. To give you a precision, Marojejy records nearly 170 species of palm trees. It can even be said that it is a with palm trees park. Nearly the totality of these hundreds of palm trees is only found in Madagascar. Then, almost the quarter of them are visible only in the park of Marojejy. To perfect the beauty of these palm trees, their stems are tangled up by epiphytes plants and ferns.
On the periphery of the park, the evergreen vegetation formation was replaced by a secondary formation following destruction. This formation is dominated mainly by the Ravinala or traveler’s palm tree and the arongana. Continuing your ascent, the lower altitude formation leaves the place to a wet dense high altitude forest. This formation is also made up of palm tree even if they are less and less numerous. However, the largest palm tree of Madagascar the Marojejya insignis is found there. By reaching the top of the solid mass of Marojejy, the vegetation formations were substituted by the mountain thicket characterized by of small-sized and less developed plants.
With the fauna, the national park of Marojejy does not have anything to envy the other Malagasy protected areas. It shelters species of lemur in abundance like the small hapalémur, white faced lemurs….
In spite of many species of lemurs existing in the park, Simpona (silky or diadem sifaka) made however the characteristic and the reputation of Marojejy. This specie of the same family as the sifaka is characterized by its completely bewitching very white color. This specie constitutes even the emblem of the park because it only occurs in Marojejy.
Like the majority of the parks located in the north-eastern area of Madagascar, Marojejy also constitutes a privileged shelter for the ayes-ayes, very curious night specie. In addition to the ayes-ayes, other more notable exceptional species of lemur are also visible there. Among them, one can note the presence of Indri Indri, largest lemur of the world.
The birds are also well represented in the park of Marojejy with nearly 116 listed species; among them, there are the falcons with striped belly, the Madagascar sparrow hawks, a small the serpentaria of the Great Island, Blue Coua ….
Amphibians are characterized mainly by the various species of Mantella in Marojejy.
Lastly, reptiles are not less compared to the other animal families within the park. The most amazing reptiles are chameleons and geckos. To be able to benefit as well as possible from these wonders of nature which remain in the park of Marojejy, trails and some infrastructures exists and are by the park management.
The park is accessible by paved road about sixty kilometers from Sambava. To visit the three existing trails in the park, three camp grounds are at the tourists’ disposal: Mantella camp, Marojejia camp and the Simpona camps. Each camp site has its own characteristics and its natural beauty. They are set up at different altitudes. There are some shelters making it possible to spend the night if one carries their own camping gears. In addition to these camps, some lodgings are also available within the park.
The three trails offered in the park are the Mantella, the Simpona and the Marojejy top trails. These trails are done between 2 to 5 days maximum. The first one, while referring to its name, refers to the meeting of the species of reptiles and Amphibians, in particular a species of Mantella which does not exist anywhere else than in the park. It then makes it possible to meet some species of lemurs. Like the first trail, the second one offers the occasion to familiarize with the endemic lemur of the park characterized by his extreme whiteness. It also offers the possibility to see various palm trees.
Lastly, the Marojejy top trail brings you on the top roof of the park, as if you accomplish a voyage in the sky while entering the cloud. This top offers an unspoiled view on thousand of kilometer to the Indian Ocean; a sight which is added by other sights, quite as splendid between the different specific view-points offered during the ascension. The dominant tribe in the neighborhoods of the park of Marojejy is the Betsimisaraka associated with Tsimihety. It is with their belief that Marojejy owes its name; a name made up of two words “maro” and “jejy” which means much spirit.