After enjoying the golden bamboo lemur and the greater bamboo lemur during the daylight hours of the day it is time to head out and search for other creatures of the area. We are using the same guide to search for the animals at night – but we are not heading back into the park. The search for the nocturnal creatures will actually take place along the highway just a little past the national park of Ranomafana. I don’t really mind too much since the thought of walking up and down on slippery sloops inside the national park in the dark isn’t all that attractive.
We drive quickly past the national park and then get out walking along the road. We are not alone – it seems like pretty much everybody who visited the national park during the day is out at this particular stretch of road to spot mouse lemurs and chameleons. It might be after dark – but there is still a bit of traffic on the dark road – a lot of taxi brousses drive past us with the passengers to the different villages in the area. We have to take care of the cars driving back so we don’t get hit when one of them drive pass us.
We start out searching for the mouse lemurs. It turns out we are not really searching for the lemurs at all. The guides put some bananas at a couple of different trees to attract the small lemurs. I am not a big fan of attracting the lemurs by feeding them – it seems a bit unnatural. But since I have never seen a mouse lemur before I quickly overcome my reservations and just wait for the small animals to show up.
It doesn’t take too long before the tiny lemur show up – the weight of a mouse lemur isn’t measured in kilos or ounces but in grams. They might only weigh around 40 grams – so the name is justified. It is difficult to actually take pictures of the small creatures since it is pretty dark and they are moving really fast. But after a few attempts I do manage to catch a few pictures of these fast moving animals. After having looked at the small lemurs for a while we start searching for chameleons.
The search for chameleons is a bit easier – they don’t move and during the night they don’t blend in very well with the surroundings. We find several different chameleons – there is a huge difference in the seize of the different species some are almost a foot long and others only a few inches. We also spot a little frog and a few spiders and other not so interesting animals of the night.
After the walk it is time to head back to the hotel for some dinner.