Trip Start Nov 18, 2002
157Trip End Ongoing
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Yes I know we have been here already but we just wanted to break up the journey back to Antananarivo so we checked back into Hotel Feon'ny Ala. It just so happened that our Dutch friends Ferdi and Dunik were on their way from Antananarivo to stay here also. Great! we would meet up with them for a 3rd time. They arrived just after lunch and it was suggested by us, that because we had Lova and a car that we should visit Vakona Forest Lodge. It was about 10kms away from where we were staying and so it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, taking advantage of Lova. We had nothing else planned after all. And it would be a great opportunity for Ferdi and Danik to see the semi-tame lemurs.
So we all took off for Vakona. Again on arrival we made arrangements not to buy tickets for the 'animals in cages' bit and just headed for the lemur island
Then we took off in the canoes this time all 4 of us had one guide so while our guide paddled our canoe, Ferdi had to paddle there's. Well now that was just hilarious to watch. He was very enthusiastic with his paddle strokes to the point that he kept attempting to moor the canoe where he didn't want to moor it! We were in fits of laughter and tears rolled down mine and Dunik's cheeks.
We eventually arrived at the ring tail lemurs island. Our guide whistled a couple of time and they came bounding over. But unlike last time they boarded our canoe and proceeded to climbe all over us. It was amazing. They were chasing each other and stopped occasionally to take banana from our hands. It was amazing, we just couldn't believe that they were so confident with us. On our last visit they choose to just stay on their island. We were sooo pleased we came back for a second time. It was certainly well worth it.
For our last evening we arranged to do a night walk with a local guide called Mary. Our main aim, we told Mary was to find chameleons. We felt we hadn't seen enough of them yet (over our 4 weeks in Madagascar) especially ones bigger than the size of a thumb. 'Yes, yes no problem' was Mary's reply. We liked her confidence we just hoped she would come up with the goods
The walk started outside our hotel at 6.30pm. All 4 of us and little Mary (who must have only reached Martin's waist at best) set off down the dark dark road. Mary wealded her massive black 'mag-lite' around like Darth-Vader wealds his light sabre! Within one minute Mary had spotted a tiny chameleon just sitting on a leaf. It was the size of a finger nail, no joking. How did she find that? She was very informative telling us its name in English and Latin. After taking pictures, we set off. Again within a minute she found another sort and slightly bigger one. Just look at all the photos. These creatures are amazing. Mary just kept finding chameleon after chameleon, some tiny some bigger. Then she spotted a huge one. Wow! It was fantastic. We took photos of it on my elbow so you can get an idea of the size of it. Amazing. Mary's light sabor also found us some lemur eyes of the tiny bamboo lemurs and common brown.
Mary was a brilliant guide and if you are in the area DEFINITELY ask for her if you want to do a night walk or a morning trek in Adasibe National Park. She has been guiding for 17 years. Her father was the first ever guide in the park when it first opened apparently, and her 2 brothers are guides too. She certainly knows her stuff. Look her out or ask for her by name at Hotel Feon'ny Ala.