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Madame Berthes Mouse Lemur Fc Casuario Kirindy

Madame Berthe's Mouse lemur, Kirindy Forest (FC Casuario).

Nocturnal Wildlife Walks

Fascinating animal oddities are seen on night walks in Madagascar

Explore the nightlife of the forest

Night walks are a popular pursuit for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Madagascar

After dark, a very different cast of characters emerges from their daytime hideouts to forage in the forests and woods of Madagascar. So all wildlife enthusiasts aim to experience at least one night walk during their time in the country. The park guides - with whom exploring any Malagasy protected area is mandatory - know where best to seek out various resident species, so armed with a strong torch, you should encounter interesting animal oddities.

High on the wish list of visitors is to see nocturnal lemurs, such as the various species of Woolly, Sportive, Dwarf and Mouse lemurs. The best sites to accomplish this include Kirindy Forest which claims a world record for primate density (in this case, largely nocturnal lemurs including the tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemur); the privately managed VOIMMA or Analamazaotra Forestry Station parcels of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and also, Masoala National Park.

But its the island's rich herpetofauna (its profusion of endemic reptiles and frogs) that really delights during night walks: at sites such as just outside of Montagne d'Ambre National Park and also, on the periphery of Ranomafana National Park you can easily see a variety of chameleons (they reflect white in torch beams at first); the amazing, almost miniature dinosaur-like Uroplatus leaf-tailed geckos (some species mimic dead leaves; others look like bark or moss) and many Tree frogs. You may also see interesting, large invertebrates such as Madagascar hissing cockroach and the enormous Madagascar moon (lunar) moth.

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