AndasibeOctober 2, 2017 in Madagascar
After buying a local SIM card, water and getting some cash, we drove ~4 hours up to the Analamazaotra-Mantadia National Parks (another world heritage site).
The people in this part of Madagascar look far more Asian than we expected. You could easily believe you were in Indonesia or Malaysia. We’ve learned that the first people to settle here were originally from SE Asia, and they were followed by Portuguese, Arabs, African slaves, Indians, French, etc. You can definitely see the French influence in the farmhouse–style architecture complete with wooden shutters. And happily, you can taste it in the food – including some delicious patisseries and boulangeries.
We learned a few days before arriving that several of the hotels we’d planned to stay at were fully booked so we ended up in a very basic “eco-lodge”. Essentially, it was a straw hut with a bed inside and attached toilet block (where the toilet hardly worked and the hand-spray shower water was cold). Not a good introduction to accommodation here, and especially disappointing because this is where we spent our 20th wedding anniversary.
Nevermind. We had each other. And the lemurs and chameleons (almost) made up for it!
We first visited Mantadia park and were lucky to see 3 species of lemurs there, including a lemur baby. Ridiculously cute creatures that are so odd – almost a cross between a gibbon, NZ possum, sloth (not the movement, just the look) and meercat. On several nocturnal walks we were able to see 3 more species of lemurs as well as 3 kinds of chameleons. Amazing. And, on our last day here, we saw 2 more lemur species and several more babies.
For our anniversary, we went to lunch at a fancy lodge (where we’d wanted to stay) and enjoyed a bottle of wine and some seafood. Very nice, though the animals here have been the absolute highlight.Read more