Marojejy is one of the most strikingly beautiful and wild areas of Madagascar. It is unique in the world, a place of dense, jungly rainforests, sheer, high cliffs, and plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
Located in the rainforests of northeastern Madagascar between the present-day towns of Andapa and Sambava, the Marojejy Massif was first described by Professor Henri Humbert of the Paris Natural History Museum in 1948. Humbert was an eminent botanist who arrived in Madagascar after exploring many of the mountain ranges in Africa. Following his expedition to Marojejy, Humbert published a book entitled A Marvel of Nature, in which he described Marojejy as the most impressive range in all of Madagascar due to its grandeur, its rich flora, and especially its pristine natural state. His enthusiasm led him to ensure that Marojejy was protected as one of Madagascar’s strict nature reserves.
Marojejy remained listed as a strict reserve from 1952 to 1998, when its status was changed to that of a national park. This change removed the restrictions which limited entry to research scientists only. As a national park, Marojejy is now open to all visitors.
In June of 2007, Marojejy was officially designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unparalleled biodiversity and stunning landscapes. Marojejy shares this World Heritage Site status with five other national parks that protect Madagascar's eastern "Rainforests of the Atsinanana."
Marojejy National Park comprises 55,500 hectares (137,144 acres) of land, and protects the entire Marojejy Massif. The forests, ranging from low altitude rain forest through to high altitude montane scrub, harbor an impressive list of plants and animals: at least 275 species of ferns, 35 species of palms, 149 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 118 species of birds. The park is also home to eleven species of lemurs, including the critically endangered Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus).
Rugged and untamed, Marojejy is one of the few places in the world where you can hike from the dense, vine-shrouded jungle to the high mountain tundra in a relatively short distance. Even if you are not a seasoned biologist, you can't help but note the extreme diversity of life forms and the changes in plant communities you encounter as you climb the mountain. Marojejy will appeal to all who value nature, the mountains, and wild places.