The hotel keeps the lemurs in jail

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One of the biggest hotels in Andasabi area is the Vakona Forest Lodge – it is pretty expensive compared to other places in Madagascar so I guess the management tried to figure out how to get more tourists coming to the hotel. They came up with the idea to display about 50 crocodiles at the hotel ground – fortunately the hotel ground is pretty big so there is limited risk of some of the guest getting eaten by a crocodile.

Even with these attraction the price tag for the hotel was too much for us to pay but they do let people go and have a look around at the hotel for an entrance price of 25,000 Ariary for one – which is about 6 € so it was affordable to go there and have a look around for an afternoon.

The tickets to the zoo covers two different sections one with all the crocodiles which is down along a river. At the top of the river is a little zoo which has a fossa. It is difficult to see the fossa in the wild so if you never seen it wild this might be an option – though I very much preferred to see the fossa in western Madagascar. There is also an enclosure where they keep 6 leaftailed geckos so if you haven’t had the good luck to see them in the wild here is the chance to see those amazing creatures sitting on a tree. There might be 6 of them in the little house but they are quite hard to spot despite the fact they got limited places to hide. We do manage to see all 6 in the end but we had to look for a bit.

In another little cage they got a selection of 3 different chameleons so you can get to see these as well though you shouldn’t have too much trouble spotting some in the nearby national park if you got a decent guide.

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From the zoo and the crocodiles we drive for a little bit to reach a parking lot at a little platform where there are many small canoes. These canoes will take you to a little island. Lemurs can’t swim so the people at the hotel have collected a few different species of lemurs and put them on this tiny island. Here they are trapped with no chance of escape back into the nearby forest and the guides feed the lemurs.

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The island is a bit of a circus with all the lemurs jumping on top of guest to get the price of a piece of banana. You don’t have to walk far before the lemurs start jumping from one guest to the next. For some reason this place is more crowded than the nearby national parks where you have to walk a bit to spot the lemurs up in the trees. You may not be touch by the soft hands of the lemurs in the national park but it feels much more natural and appropriate to go there.

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After a little while we leave the lemur prison behind and go back to our place in the forest where we can listen to the sounds of the forest.

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