Madagascar Photo Safari Day 1

09th December 2015
I Have wanted to go to Madagascar for many years now, and finally on the 29th of September 2015 after 2 years of stop and start planning and arrangements it was finally time to board our Airlink flight From Johannesburg to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

After landing and clearing customs we met our guide Solo from Encounter Madagascar, they had made all the ground arrangements and bookings in Madagascar, they had also provided Solo our English Speaking guide and driver.

We had some time available that afternoon so Solo took us on a tour of Antananarivo (Tana), the roads ,traffic and driving habits in Tana were quite a eye opener, to outsiders it seemed quite chaotic but, for the locals there was some form of system and for the most part the traffic flowed reasonably well.

After driving through the city seeing some of the sights for a few hours we stopped at a viewpoint over the busy city and took a few images of the bustling and busy capital after which we headed off to our hotel for the night.

The following morning after breakfast we set off via road and our 4x4 vehicle to Andasibe National park, the drive would take about 3.5 hours and along the way we stopped at a place called “Exotic Park”.

At exotic park we were taken around by one of their guides, here we saw some Brown Lemurs and a small family of Coquerels Sifaka’s and later on we saw a wide variety of different Chameleons and geckos that were kept in cages, I must admit that it was great to see the variety of reptiles in such a short time but I was definitely not happy with the run down state of the park and cages, if I had known that this was what I was booking I would definitely not have included it in my trip.

We left Exotic park and went to the next town for lunch before the final leg to Andasibe Town and National Park.

When we arrived in Andasibe our guide Solo make the necessary arrangements and secured the services of the Local forest guides that would take us through the forest the following morning, after that it was time to check in to our hotel that was a short distance from Andasibe.

After checking in we set off back again for Andasibe, this time to participate in a Night walk from one of the lodges close to the park.

Night walks are a unique and different way of seeing the unique Madagascar Wildlife that can only be seen at night, we set off searching the dark forest with headlamps and small torches.

It didn’t take long for us to find our first nocturnal species, a Frog!

After seeing a few more Frogs we spotted a Leaf tailed Gecko, it was laying perfectly still along a branch that was hanging down from a small tree, after photographing it as best we could it was time to move on with our search.

A number of Frogs and Geckos later our guide spotted movement high up in the trees and after a short chase through the forest we finally caught up with what turned out to be a Furry Eared Dwarf lemur, this cute little guy watched us from the safety of the trees, we were fortunate enough to spend at least 5 minutes with the Lemur before it jumped off and disappeared into the tree tops.

By now it was time to return to the Lodge and make our way back to our Hotel, we had really enjoyed the Night walk and although we had not seen a huge amount of Wildlife it was something we wanted to do again.

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