Exploring Madagascar’s Jungles at Night

If you ever find yourself in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in Madagascar, be sure and check out the “night walk”.  You can hire a tour guide who will walk you down a quiet, dark road flanked by thick jungle, and alert you to various types of lemurs, reptiles, amphibians, and other creatures you’ll never see by day.  If you’re lucky, you’ll spot mouse lemurs, quite possibly the cutest critters on the planet.

We were met by Mary, a young-middle-aged woman who commands an extensive knowledge of Madagascar’s fauna and can name virtually every animal you might stumble across, in several languages including Latin.  She led us down the road flicking her flashlight rapidly back and forth, up and down – high in the trees, in the shrubs and grass lining the road, ahead in the distance…  Every few minutes she would stop and point out something in the trees that none of us could see, and we’d strain to catch some movement, a flash of eyes…in the bushes she would spot a half-inch-long frog, or an inch-long chameleon perched on a tree branch twenty feet away.

The next day, she would meet us early in the morning and lead us through dense trees, up and down muddy inclines through the national park to show us all of the area’s daytime lemurs and some sleeping nocturnal lemurs, in addition to a wide variety of chameleons, spiders, bugs and other creepy crawlies.  These are some of the highlights from that tour:

To get in touch with Mary or get recommendations for other tour guides in Madagascar, contact the folks at ASISTEN Travel. They’ll look after you and make sure you have a great time in Madagascar.

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