We are staying at the Palmarium resort for a couple of nights. It is overpriced for Madagascar but at least there are certain features provided for free with the stay. The most important one is you can go on a guided walk around the resort for free.
When we decided to stay at the resort I kind of thought it would be similar to the national parks we had been visiting around the island – but it is nothing like this. The lemurs living on the islands are generally not native to the island but have been transported to the island from different places around Madagascar. And the lemurs do not rely on the food they can find in the trees instead they are being fed by the staff on the island.
We start our guided walk around the island when the rain is getting a little less heavy. And we don’t walk long from the start at the restaurant until we get to the first of the lemurs. They come really close and jump on the arms and shoulders of the guest – the reason is obvious the guide is carrying a large bag with bananas and the lemurs are hungry. One of the lemurs are smart and manage to steal a full banana for itself and run away the rest will have to get small pieces of banana from the different guest walking along on the tour.
I am not a big fan of treating the lemurs this way but they do come close and it is interesting to feel the small hands of the lemurs. They are cold because of the cold temperature but they are also incredibly soft – I am sure many women would love to know what kind of hand cream these creatures use to get the hands this soft.
After a while the rain gets heavier again and we stop the tour for a while and go into the shelter of the roof of one of the bungalows at the resort. It takes a while and the rain becomes less heavy but it doesn’t stop. We continue the tour around the small island and the guide tells us some of the lemurs we are spotting isn’t a pure breed species of lemur instead it is hybrid between two different lemurs which is probably infertile. They look pretty but I think it is a shame the resort is making what I think you can best describe as freak creatures.
We walk around the edge of the bungalows and get to a small clearing in the park. Up in the trees is a couple of the biggest of the lemurs – the indri indri. The indri doesn’t really want to come down since it is still raining a bit and the lemurs are a bit like the guest trying to watch and feed the lemurs – they don’t like rain. After a long wait the indri finally comes down and gets small pieces of banana from many of the guests. Unfortunately the rain becomes pretty heavy again and the indri jumps up the tree to find a spot to curl up like a ball. We also try to find a place to go for shelter from the rain for a while.
After another wait the rain becomes less heavy again and we walk around the island spotting some more lemurs and some of the smaller creature living on the island like spiders and geckos. I don’t think these small creatures have been intentionally transported to the island so they are indeed a part of the natural wildlife of this place.
We walk through the forest and go back to the area where the indris are and they come down again to eat bananas with their soft hands. The feeding of the indries concludes our tour of the resort and it has become time to get out of the wet cloths and have some lunch.