Lemurs, Lemurs and more Lemurs

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December 25th 2016
Published: December 26th 2016
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Lots and lots of lemurs - but first - wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!

Madagascar – As I am writing this, I can hear the lemur cry, such an eiry, almost human like sound. We are now Day #7 in country and quickly becoming quite the lemur experts, if only we could remember their names! It is amazing to see so many of them! It is the eyes, that are so mesmerizing!

We landed in Tana, the capital which is an amazing combination of cultures – African, Indonesian, French, Indian. Built on the hills with beautiful terraced rice fields in the valleys. The food has been fantastic with the same combination of countries. Plus, they appear not to be having any issues with their rains, as the country appears fertile and lush with the markets full of fresh produce.

Traffic in the capital is massive amidst the narrow cobblestone streets in the old town. All of the taxis are old Citroens and Renault R4s, tan colored. The first morning we just wander the streets, fascinated by the overflowing markets, blend of architectures of French brick, lots of 2nd story wood porches, all seeming to be built on top of each other.

We have booked a 16 day tour and so far it has been amazing. Our first stop the East Cost are of Akanin'my Nofy, a 400 mile inland of fresh water causeway constructed by the French in the late 1800s to allow for transport of goods from the nearby Port on the Indian Ocean. The eight beautiful beach bungalows of La Palmarium we have completely to ourselves for most of the 3 nights we are there.

The reserve nearby have 8 Lemur species of which I think we saw 6 of them. The short trail near the restaurant makes it very easy to spot and even easier to photograph as multiple times they climb on us or the nearby branches overhead. In the evening, we take a short night walk to see the nocturnal Aye-aye lemur. There are about 8 of them in this isolated section of the island. The guides lodge a coconut in the trees and the lemur quickly shows up for dinner, devouring the shell of the coconut to get to the juice. It was fascinating to watch, as they did
Le Palmarium at Akanin'ny NofyLe Palmarium at Akanin'ny NofyLe Palmarium at Akanin'ny Nofy

Our gorgeous private beach cabins!
not look quite so cuddly as the morning lemurs we saw.

The rest of the time is enjoyed, relaxing, with short walks and the occasional boat ride. Christmas Eve we have dinner at the restaurant at the Reserve and enjoy dancing and singing by a group of children, and teenagers.

After 3 days, we tear ourselves away from this little oasis of paradise and head inland to the Highlands of Andasibe. This morning we enjoyed Mantida National Park spotting the Indri lemur and the Diademed Sifaka. Its great fun watching them play and jump from branch to branch, sometimes as much as 10ft, but much harder to photograph. Tonight we will do another night walk at another reserve.

We are amazed at the beauty of this country. Even so early in the trip, the diversity of the island, the warmth and friendliness of every one we meet, and the fantastic food makes this a great destination!

Additional photos below
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27th December 2016

Lemurs galore
Happy Holidays to you as it seems you will spend the new year in Madagascar. Great photos as usual, my favorites the tiny tree frog, the golden spider, the travelers palm and the kid's hats. I can't think of anyone else who has been to Madagascar except for you two, I thought Peace Corp might be there. My friend Steve Mustoe liked Morocco which I might put on my list. Happy New Year and safe traveling. Grant

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