Our Team

The people that make a visit to Masoala possible

Your Hosts – Maria & Pierre

Maria & Pierre
Maria & Pierre

Founder and owner of Masoala Forest Lodge Pierre Bester was born in South Africa and became hooked on the outdoor life from an early age. After completing his studies, he put a career in law on hold and went traveling and quickly became interested in pursuing a career in adventure tourism.

In 1993, Pierre established his first commercial sea kayaking operation in Africa on an island in Lake Malawi and over the next 8 years, went on to develop these islands into luxury eco-lodges. During this time Pierre also led sea kayaking expeditions in Malawi, Mozambique, Zanzibar and finally in 1998, this passion took him to Masoala Peninsula.

Blown away by the pristine natural beauty of Masoala, he realized his search for paradise was over and embarked on the mission to set up another eco-lodge operation on the Masoala Peninsula, opening Masoala Forest Lodge in 2004.

In 2010 his wife to be, Maria, completed another epic journey – an eleven-month drive from her home in Germany to Cape Town in a 1973 Mercedes ice cream van – 23 countries and 33,000 km. At her last stop-over before returning home, Pierre and Maria met. One month later they were in Madagascar with Maria helping to run the lodge and guide sea kayak expeditions. As an adventurous nature lover and born hostess, Maria very quickly fell in love with Masoala and so began her life here.

The Team

As an entirely self-contained remote operation, Masoala Forest Lodge needs drivers, boat-crews, camp-staff, kitchen-team, hosts, masseurs, forest guides, marine guides as well as managers in Masoala, Maroantsetra and Antananarivo to deliver the entire Masoala experience to guests.

When you book with us, you will be met at the airport by your private guide, who will assist with your baggage and escort you in our vehicle to our boat where the boat crew will assist you onto the boat for your transfer to the lodge.

The lodge managers will be waiting for you on the beach to welcome you and give you a short briefing on the lodge and activities.

The team of local Malagasy staff will be seen discreetly operating around the lodge, doing the myriad tasks required to take care of your every need in this remote location.

Your private guide will be at your beck and call from morning until night, always ready to introduce you to the wildlife and beauty of Masoala and the local Malagasy culture.

Your hosts, the lodge managers, will be constantly available and will join you for the evening camp fire on the beach and for dinner, ready to provide some insight on life in Madagascar and in this last Eden of Masoala.

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