An incredible country where we spent 3 very enjoyable weeks during September. We visited reserves at Perinet, Mantady, Ampijoroa, Ankarana and Amber Mountain. Lost count of the numbers of lemurs, chameleons, snakes we saw and even managed to see a Fosa (wild cat) and a scorpion at Ankarana. Bird-watching was relatively simple and we polished off over 110 species, including self-found Madagascar Fish Eagle (one of the rarest birds in the world) . Guess what! - I got stung by a jellyfish at Tanikely. Internal flights were unbelievably bad. Late, not running, broken planes etc. We couldn't get our connecting flight to the beach because the landing lights were broken and the plane couldn't land in the dark so we were put up in a hotel in Tana. Incredibly it was a dry hotel. Fortunately it did sell tonic water and we had the gin. The local wine was very good as was the food. Interesting to note that the piece of British TV that the Malagasy were most aware of was Benny Hill.

Just one of the crazy lemurs we saw and photographed. We managed 13 different wild species on the trip (and a few more in the private collection at Vakuna Lodge). It was interesting to note the differences between those in areas of little tourism which ate the whole banana including skin if offered against the ones in more visited areas, like Nosy Komba which peeled them and only ate the middle. Generally though most lemurs smell of piss… 


The canyon at Ampijoroa near where we saw Van Dam's Vanga (a rare bird and very good at kick boxing)


Loads of lizards, geckoes, snakes and a very rare sighting of a Fosa (a member of the cat family) added to the holiday. The bird-watching was fantastic and we also saw a scorpion.


Madagascar is famed for its areas of Tsingy, limestone outcrops that are very sharp and difficult to navigate but home to a wide variety of specially adapted species


© Paul Hyland 2012