We have arranged to meet a guide this morning to go to a little park outside the town we spend the night. He had recommended us to go fairly early in the morning so we would arrive at the park at 8.30 in the morning. So in good holiday style we get up early to get breakfast before we drive down the road to the park.
When we get to the park we meet a guide and a spotter and we walk inside the small forest to look for ring-tailed lemurs. The park isn’t a national park but is owned by the community. The money the locals make from the tourist is enough to ensure they do protect the forest so the lemurs have a place to stay. It is nice to know our tourist money actually help protect this little piece of forest and the animals living inside the forest.
We are the first visitors of the day and when we walk down to the forest it doesn’t take long before we spot a group of lemurs up in the top of the trees. We look at them jumping around up in the tree and try to take some pictures up there. We are not allowed to take pictures for long before the guide wants us to move along. At first I am not too happy with him rushing us but we do walk along the little path. We go down to a little lake with a rock in front of it.
It doesn’t take long before a large group of lemurs start making their way from the trees down across the rock to reach the water. The lemurs only drink in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon – the rest of the day the lemur spends up in the top of the trees relaxing. So this is the reason for the early departure in the morning and why we couldn’t spend too much time looking at the first group of lemurs. We had to time our visit so we got to see the many lemurs jumping around down at the lake and having a drink.
It is a fairly big group of lemurs heading down to drink maybe around 35. And they aren’t scared at all – they jump pretty close to us and they really don’t mind us taking photos of them up close. They stay down at the water jumping around for a while it seems a bit like they are playing a bit as well as getting their daily water. After a while most of the lemurs start making it back to the forest going up in the trees and we decide to leave the lake behind and go into the forest.
We do look a bit at lemurs in the trees – but the main reason to go into the forest is to go and spot chameleons and geckos on the trees. We do manage to see a few before we start making it back to the car.
On the way back to the car we go back to the lake. By now there is a group of other tourist watching for the lemurs. But they are too late for the good viewing time. Most of the lemurs have left the water and only a few remains down at the lake. I guess this is the advantage you got when you go alone – you don’t have to wait for a big group getting ready so you can make it for the best wildlife viewing of the day.