Meeting the villains from Madagascar

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After a couple of long days of driving we only got a short drive today. So we can get a bit of a sleep in before we hit the road. After a late breakfast we head out of town doing a bit of practical things first. We need to get some water for the next couple of days and we drop by the air Madagascar office to buy a plane ticket for our return from Nosy Be in a couple of weeks. For some reason it is cheaper to buy the plane tickets in person in Madagascar compared to the online tickets. Then we need a ticket for the national park we are going to visit – and then we are ready to go.

We head down the nice sealed road but only a few kilometers down the road we turn off to a dirt road. Though this dirt road is much better than the country tracks we have been driving the last few days – it is an actual road and two cars can pass each other without problems.

A short drive down the dirt road we reach one of the most famous sights of Madagascar – the Baobab Avenue. It is a short stretch of road where a group of 1000 years old baobabs stand tall on each side of the road. There is nobody around this time of the day so we get a few photos of the avenue before we continue down the road.

After a couple of hours driving we reach a little forest which is the home of a national park. We have booked a bungalow for the night. It is twice as expensive as the bungalow with beach view we had last night. So to compensate for the price there is only occasionally hot water which after you have let the water run for maybe 10 minutes. There is only electricity from 6 at night till 10. But since the world cup is going on the staff want to watch the football match so they turn on the generator at 5. At least the camp is quite – we are the only guest of the night so we have a staff off around 20 people just serving us.

We have arrived early and enjoy the balcony in front of the bungalow. As I sit there reading a bit suddenly some animal shows up. It is two fossa’s walking by – the fossa came to fame as the villains in the animation movie Madagascar. They are very difficult to spot around the island – so this is one of the few spots on the entire island you have a good chance of seeing the fossa. I follow the fossa through the camp and then I see them sitting on a fence where there are some buckets of water left from the workers lunch – maybe it has been used for dishwashing.

The fossa sits drinking water for a while and then they start moving around for a little while. But then they start wondering into the forest and they quickly disappear from view. We head back to the bungalow and just wait there for a while. And then one of the fossa returns. There is only one thing to do – quickly crab the camera and then try to catch up with the fossa.

The fossa is looking around the part of the camp where the local staff got their room. I suppose it has a much better chance of finding something to eat in this section of the camp compared to the part with the empty bungalows. After a while it just walks back into a foresty section of the camp and lay down to relax. It makes it pretty easy to get some really close-up shots. It is the older of the two fossa’s we had seen earlier which you apparently can see from the colour of the fur. Heading back towards the bungalow we pass the kitchen bungalow and the younger of the fossa has decided it is a good place to sleep right under the kitchen – then you got easy access to food scraps which might fall down. We get some more photos of this fossa as well.

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14 comments

  1. I had never heard of the fossa (never saw the movie), but I googled it am fascinated! A near relative which we sited in the wild in Sumatra is the civil cat famous for producing copi luak. The mating habits of the fossa is similar in some ways to the African lion. Thanks for introducing me to the fossa!

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  2. I am loving your updates from Madagascar! The roads look so empty that really makes me feel like it’s one isolated country, and to think about it, it indeed is. What a memorable experience driving on those roads. I would have been scared shitless of the snake. I really really don’t like them, but I am working on the fear by reading about them, seeing their photos and videos etc.

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