The eastern part of Madagascar is home to not only the most accessible national park, but also some of the most challenging areas of the country, which for the adventurous are hugely rewarding and worth the time, money and effort.
The real draw for most people in the east is Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (also known as Perinet), which is only a 3 hour drive on good tarmac road from the capital. This is probably one of the most popular wildlife hotspots in the country. The paths are generally well maintained and it is a great choice for a couple of nights.
Further north on the east coast are the spectacular rainforests of Masoala and Marojejy. This north-eastern region is home to some of the most impressive and largest rainforests in the country. Masoala is also home to Aye-Aye Island and the Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve.
Further south of Antananarivo and along the RN7 is Ranomafana National Park, a mid-altitude rainforest and especially rich in wildlife, being home to 12 different species of lemur.
However, the eastern part is not all about rainforest. Off the coastline is the truly beautiful Il St Marie, an idyllic tropical island with miles of sandy beaches and reef-protected coves and bays, home to migrating whales in July-September.