Madagascar is truly a wild, somewhat backward 3rd world country. It is not easy to travel here; one needs to be relatively fit in order to hike up and down uneven paths, your guide somehow sees the lemurs high up in the tree canopy and quickly guides you through the thick forest roots, vines and branches, then pointing up and through bramble, there they are, the most incredible gorgeous primate family! On many occasions I commented 'this is a Tarzan moment'.
Madagascar boasts incredible diversity; the island has many different habitats; from extreme hot and dry in the west and south, to the fertile highlands in the north center, and wet rainforest along the north and eastern part of the country opposite side of the mountains ridge.
The most amazing thing I learned is with the astounding number of species of Lemur, only 2 or 3 types can share a forest! They actually fight for territory which makes this incredibly interesting for those who enjoy nature and the amazing way these animals have evolved. There are soooooo many species of Lemur, Sifaka and nocturnal animals.
The chameleon species are wild and many. Its glorious to find them on tree branches at eye level staring right at them, and not see them as they are so well camouflaged! Others are so brightly colored green and turquoise like glimmering jewels! Geckos of many species are also endemic, with approximately 285 species of birds of which most are endemic to Madagascar.
If you are an animal and unique species lover, this is a country that needs to go on your bucket list!
Madagascar Trip Report:
by Brooke Berlin
Text and photographs are provided through the courtesy of Johann Van Zyl and Brooke Berlin.