Our first weekend in Madagascar, we went on a trip with our friends to an amazing rainforest called Ranomafana. My first impression was; WHAT A COOL NAME! Literally it means hot water. Though it is supposedly safe from deforestation techniques as a national park, there was still cutting and burning happening all around the area.
But this place still lived up to its amazing sounding name as it was a low altitude rainforest filled with out-of-this-world creatures, as well as primary and secondary forests! I was so impressed by our guide Andry, who led us through mazes of thick forest as if it was his home.
On one walk, Andry tapped a tree where there were some dead leaves and revealed to us a leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) that blended in so well we couldn’t even find it when he pointed straight at it. We also saw bright colored weevil bugs, endangered golden bamboo lemurs, chameleons of many kinds, beautiful orchids, waterfalls, rickety bridge crossings to special picnic sites, and even a few cockroaches (they were everywhere).
During a few night walks we were amazed by the glowing eyes of the brown mouse lemurs (Microcebus rufus). We chased them with our flashlights, watching them curiously hopping from branch to branch, waking up sleeping chameleons hanging with their long tails curled around low hanging branches.
This weekend opened our eyes to the lushness, the biodiversity, and the richness of Madagascar’s land, bringing us closer to understanding what makes Madagascar and its people so unique and important!
Thanks for reading!
Elizabeth & Nolan