Where to see the famous creatures of Madagascar
Discover the incredible wildlife of this famous island, from lemurs and chameleons to fossas and even ant lions
Want to see a wild lemur on your tailor made wildlife holiday in Madagascar? We’ll you’ve come to the right place. Madagascar is home to over 100 species and sub-species living all over the country. Population sizes vary depending on where you are on the island, and different species are found in different areas. If you'd like to discover the best places to see lemurs in Madagascar, then read on.
The easiest way to get your lemur fix is to head to Andasibe National Park, just three hours east of Antananarivo, where you have an excellent chance of seeing (and hearing) the Indri Lemurs. There’s lots of other wildlife here too, including a number of reptiles. Andasibe is a popular spot with visitors as it is easily accessed from the capital. This means it can be quite busy, but it’s definitely worth a trip and a stop here can be added on to any Madagascar holiday itinerary. Andasibe is also where you’ll find Lemur Island, and an opportunity to get up close and personal with the lemurs, who are tempted in by bananas that you can feed them from the boat.
Ranomafana National Park is another favourite with its excellent primary forest which is home to the golden bamboo lemur – only discovered in 1986 – as well as 11 other species including the Milne-Edwards’ sifaka. Up in the far north, Amber Mountain National Park is hugely diverse and contains seven lemur species, the most notable being the crowned lemur and Sanford's brown lemur.
But it’s not all about the lemurs. There are over 180,000 wildlife species found in Madagascar (150,000 of these are invertebrates!), in the rainforests, deserts, mountains and coral reefs, making for some truly unique encounters. Take a guided night walk in one of the national parks and as you listen to the chorus of frogs, see if you can spot chameleons, geckos, ant lions, yellow comet moths, net throwing spiders or even a praying mantis. Sea turtles can be seen offshore, and Nile crocodiles can be found in some lakes and rivers, although their numbers are dwindling and they’re now considered a protected species. You might also have heard of the predatory Fossa, a cat-like creature and one of the few carnivores on Madagascar. They live out in the eastern rainforests and are shy creatures so rarely seen by visitors.
For more guaranteed sightings, visit a local wildlife centre.
Top 5 Lemur Experiences
1. Andasibe National Park is renowned for its two habituated groups of the endangered Indri.
2. Berenty Reserve – a highlight with numerous tame and wild lemurs to spot both during the day and at night.
3. Nosy Mangabe – a small tropical island reserve where an overnight stay on the basic campsite is recommended to try and spot the elusive nocturnal Aye Aye Lemur.
4. Ranomafana National Park – a chance to spot a rare golden bamboo lemur in this 41,000 hectares of rainforest in the east of the island. Stay at Hotel Domaine Nature.
5. Ankarana Special Reserve – this reserve has the highest density of primates in the world including the crowned lemur, Sanford's brown lemur, Perrier's black lemur, the northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs. Stay at Litchi Tree.
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