November 16, 2013
11/16/13 - 11/17/13 83 °F
On the way to Ranomafana we stopped to pickup our guide Fidy who has been a local guide in the lush forests of Ranomafana since 1973! We also picked up our spotter, the spotter is usually a guide in training who runs all over the forest looking for the animals and makes calls back to the guide. When we arrived to the entrance of the park Fidy wasn’t feeling well so he called his wife to be a backup. We were worried that she wouldn’t be as good but she was wonderful. Ranomafana is a lush forest with lots to see and home to ten species of lemurs including the rare Golden Bamboo, Eastern Grey Bamboo and Greater Bamboo lemurs. After hearing about this you know Ruby wouldn’t be happy until we got to see the rare Golden Bamboo Lemur in the wild! We started our walk spotting all kinds of creatures like toads and pretty birds. . .
It wasn’t long hiking down the trail curving around the dense forest before we met up with the fun little Greater Bamboo Lemurs playing on the ground. Soon after we arrived the lemurs decided it was lunch time and we all quickly moved though to the trees so we could watch them munching on bamboo shoots. They were so cute as they stared back at us watching them with bamboo in their hands.
This place was not an easy walking trail, it’s crawling under branches, pushing though bushes and going up and down muddy hills just getting to the places where the lemurs are. I know we keep saying this but if you’ve never been out with a guide to see animals in the wild it’s definitely something you should do because it’s just incredible to see animals in their real habitats observing you as you observe them!
We spotted a whole family of Red-Bellied lemurs. They were taking an afternoon nap high up in the branches. When they finally woke up we got the see the Male species which has a white mask-like coloration around their eyes.
The Female Red-Bellied Lemurs don’t have mask markings on their face, they look like little black teddy bears.
On our walk back we saw some Milne-Edwards Sifakas hanging out on a branch and showing off!
Towards the end of the hike we climbed up to a lookout point and admired the amazing distance we hiked through the trees!
There were a bunch of gorgeous geckos hanging out on some tables so we couldn’t help but shoot some photos of the brightly colored lizards!
On the long hike back to the entrance of the park there was a group of young teenagers in matching outfits- it turns out they were famous and filming a music video!
We went back to the hotel room for a quick shower and rest before heading out for a a night walk. When we went back out that night our driver pulled over on the side of the road along with two other small busses filled with tourists and told us to wait until dark. Our guide walked with us along the road pointing out lizards, plants and bugs.
We even saw the bizarre looking giraffe-necked weevils which are a famous in Madagascar for their odd appearance!
They also spread some fresh banana on a tree and soon after dark the mouse lemurs came out to get a taste! They were so cute and their eyes shined bright red when we aimed our flashlight in their direction.
We thought it was funny that the other tourists buses loaded and left right after they saw a mouse lemur. So it was just us and the mouse lemur…until a python showed up and started hunting the little mouse lemur. The tiny lemur was jumping dangerously close within striking range and we felt like we where watching an episode of National Geographic! Lucky for the little lemur the python got tired of waiting and slipped off into the brush.
Once again exhausted we arrived back to our hotel Centrest Sejour and called it a night.