Madagascar, a haven for wildlife lovers

Wildlife lovers will have heard about Madagascar and the unique animal species that can be found there, but being there and seeing first hand the amazing array of wildlife is a truly eye opening experience.

Probably the most famous species found on this island are lemurs, and these are what most visitors are anxious to see on wildlife holidays to Madagascar.

Greater bamboo lemur.

There are over 90 types of these curious and unique creatures living here. They are an interesting cat-like creature that are compelling and entertaining to watch and photograph as they dance in the trees.

A highlight for me during my trip was encountering red ring-tailed mongoose, which can often be spotted on Madagascar holidays. These vibrant creatures are active during the day and whistling attracts their attention. They are fascinating to watch as they play and climb and you should get some memorable photographs.

Our guide was hugely informative and sought out other creatures such as civets, fossas and lesser hedgehog tenrec. There are also many varieties of geckos, frogs, snakes, scorpions, and one of the most colourful and interesting reptiles; chameleons.

One of the premier places to see wildlife is Ranomafana National Park with its hills filled with trees. Many wildlife tours and safaris take place in this famous park.

Another place to see lemurs is the Lemur’s Park in Tana, which is a nickname for Antananarivo. Here is where we found the most talked about lemurs, the bamboo lemur and the ring-tailed lemur.

Ring-tailed lemurs.

In the most popular tourist areas, like Sainte Marie and Nosy Be, sightings of humpback whales happen often during the summer.

Our guide said we must visit Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park for the best chances to see the rarest species inhabiting this gorgeous island. Here, we were told we could expect to see an incredible variety of chameleons.

A beautiful “Panther chameleon” specimen.

Other species at Tsingy Park include birds, bats, giant jumping rats, forest rats and even an occasional rare Madagascar sea turtle. He also told us that the island of Madagascar is believed to be where chameleons originated.

Madagascar is a fascinating wonderland for wildlife lovers. I have to admit, one of our strangest experiences was a swarm of crickets we noticed in the sky. Locals told us that they are captured, fried and eaten. Although we were told they taste somewhat like peanuts, we were not brave enough to test that claim!

Going on wildlife holidays to Madagascar is like stepping into another world and the memories made are priceless and everlasting.

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