Andasibe - Mantadia National Park
Andasibe - Mantadia National Park
This park is situated about 4 hours’ drive from the capital, Antananarivo, to the East. This humid National Park of 155 km2 is one of the most well-known and most visited rainforests in Madagascar where rain falls on average 240 days a year. There are 14 different types of lemurs of which (by far) the best known on is; the rare Indri Indri. This is the largest half ape in the world and only exists in the east of Madagascar. You would think they are very difficult to find but the Indri Indri can be heard from afar by the hard and distinctive call they produce. In addition to the lemurs, there are many other endemic animals to be found such as species of chameleons, frogs, leaf tail geckos and special birds such as the nightjar.
Together with a local guide, who knows everything about the park and the surrounding area, you walk for a few hours through the part called Analamazotra. Your main goal is to spot the Indri Indri and the Diadem Sifaka. You could of course find many other animals, such as interesting insects and birds, as well as different scenic sights such as waterfalls, beautiful orchids this area is famous for etcetera. Together with your guide you discuss your interests so that he can search for what exactly you are hoping to see. You will be amazed by the diversity of flora and fauna in this area.
Walk Mantadia National Park
Your guide will take you deeper into the forest to the primary part of Andasibe National Park. Here you are away from the tourists, however the animals here are somewhat shyer as well. This makes your walk an exciting experience because you are now deep in the real thick forest looking for signs of live. Also, for the nature sightings alone you will be spoiled for good photo opportunities. Don’t forget your raincoat, you never know when you might need it.
Evening walk Mantadia National Park
The evening walk of about 2 hours takes place along the main road along the edge of the reserve. With your local guide looking for all the animals in the dark, you are guaranteed to feel the excitement and hopefully see some action. There are few cars at this time and therefore the only traffic you are likely to come across are other visitors wielding torches looking for glowing eyes in the dark! The road makes for easy walking and the proximity to the vegetation will mean that you are likely to see some of the special nocturnal creatures this park offers. Think of dwarf lemurs, woolly lemurs, also known as avahis or woolly indris, and mouse lemurs are commonly spotted. Also be on the lookout for different species of frogs, chameleons and interesting insects.
Visit Vakona Domain
After lunch you can visit a shelter for lemurs located on an island on the grounds of the Vakona lodge. On the lemur island you will get a good chance to photograph some of the animals you have spotted in the wild earlier. You will see the brown lemur and the black and white ruffed lemur as well as the dancing sifaka. The lemurs here are tame and will jump all over you, especially if you have bananas. On the other side of the estate there is a crocodile farm where they also keep some different animals as well. In the lake they have dozens of these prehistoric monsters which are impressive to see from this close by, still from a safe distance of course.