I visited Madagascar for the first time for 12 days over New Years 2010/11. For a full report go here. But, in short, Madagascar is as good as it gets. It took me an inexcusably long time to return, but I got back to visit the north in 2022.
Andasibe-Mantadia (Perinet) National Park, 1 night Jan 2011: Indri, Diademed Sifaka, Common Brown Lemur, Eastern Grey Bamboo Lemur, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, Eastern Avahi, Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur, Goodman’s Mouse Lemur, Lowland Streaked Tenrec.
Anja Park, near Ambalavao, 1 hour Jan 2011: Ringtail Lemurs.
Ankarafantsika(Ampijoroa) National Park, 1 night Dec 2010: Coquerel’s Sifaka, Common Brown Lemur, Mongoose Lemur, Grey Mouse Lemur, Golden Brown Mouse Lemur, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, Western Avahi , Western Tuft-tailed Rat, Black Rat, Commerson’s Leaf-nosed Bat, Mauritian Tomb Bat.
Katsepe (near Ankarafantsika),1 night Dec 2010: Crowned Sifaka.
Kianjavato Forest, 1 night in November 2022: Jolly’s Mouse Lemur, Peyrieras’ Woolly Lemur, Greater Hedgehog Tenrec, Dwarf Lemur sp, Peter’s Sheathtailed Bats and Eastern Sucker-footed Bats.
Kirindy Special Reserve, 2 nights Jan 2011: Narrow-striped Mongoose, Common Tenrec, Greater Hedgehog Tenrec, Commerson’s Leaf-nosed Bat, Rufous Trident Bat, Red-tailed Sportive Lemur, Pale Fork-marked Lemur, Grey Mouse Lemur, Madam Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, Verreaux’s Sifaka, Southern Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Giant Jumping Rat, Bushpig.
In 2022 I returned for 2 nights and added Western (Bastard) Mouse to my list for this park, but couldn’t find the Fossa I was hoping for.
Ranomafana National Park, 2 nights Jan 2011: Greater Bamboo Lemur, Golden Bamboo Lemur, Eastern Forest Rat, Red-bellied Lemur, Southern Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Greater Dwarf Lemur, Brown Mouse Lemur, Madagascar Straw-coloured Fruit Bat, Major’s Bentwing Bat, and (finally) Milne-Edward’s Sifaka. Heard Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, and also was offered the chance to see again Eastern Bamboo Lemurs and a Lowland Streaked Tenrec, both of which I declined in favour of chasing Milne-Edward’s Sifakas.
I returned in 2022 for 2 nights and added Fanaloka, Grove’s and Sibree’s Dwarf Lemurs, Peyrieras’ Woolly Lemur and Commerson’s Leaf-nosed Bat to my list in this park.
I spent 12 days in Northern Madagascar in 2022.
Ambanja, 1 night in 2022: Gray’s Sportive Lemur, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur sp. , Sambirano Mouse Lemur, Sambirano Fork-marked Lemur, Northern Giant Mouse Lemur and a mystery rat.
Amber Mountain National Park, 1 night in 2022: Ring-tailed Vontsira, Montagne d’Ambre Dwarf Lemur, Montagne d’Ambre Fork-marked Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Sanford’s Brown Lemur and Arnhold’s Mouse Lemur.
Andamoty, 2 hours in 2022: Blue-eyed Black Lemur.
Andrafiamena Forest, 1 night in 2022: Tavaratra Mouse Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Perrier’s Sifaka, Aellen’s Long-fingered Bat, Griveaud’s long-fingered bat and Malagasy Mouse-eared Bat.
Ankarana Special Reserve,1 night in 2022: Tavaratra Mouse Lemur, Ankarana Dwarf Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Ankarana Sportive Lemur, Sanford’s Brown Lemur, Madagascan Rousette, Madagascan Fruit Bat and Glen’s Long-fingered Bat
Daraina Reserve,1 night in 2022: Golden-crowned Sifaka, Aye-aye, Tavaratra Mouse Lemur, Ankarana Dwarf Lemur, “Daraina” Fork-marked Lemur, Daraina Sportive Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Western Sheath-tailed Bat and Griveaud’s long-fingered bat
Marojejy National Park: 2 nights in 2022: Ring-tailed Vontsira, Lowland Red Forest Rat, Mittermeier’s Mouse Lemur, Geoffroy’s Dwarf Lemur, Northern Bamboo Lemur, White-fronted Lemur and Silky Sifaka.
Nosy Be, 1 night in 2022: Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, Omura’s Whale, Black Lemur, Nosy Be Sportive Lemur and Nosy Be Mouse Lemur.
The World’s Best Mammalwatching
I have to include Madagascar but really the entire island deserves a place here, both for the quality of the national parks, the spectacularly unique mammals, as well as some of the best local guides in the business. Guides who know where to find all of the mammals large and small. Finding a good ground agent can be trickier and unfortunately the brilliant Fano, who took me around in 2010 is no longer working. Go while you can because there is heartbreakingly little forest left in many areas. See more of the World’s Best Mammalwatching.
Northern Madagascar, 2022: Jon Hall, 12 nights & 40 species including Perrier’s, Silky & Golden-Crowned Sifakas, Aye-aye and Omura’s Whale.
Madagascar, 2022: Ian Thompson, 3 weeks & 62 species including Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur and Black and White Ruffed Lemur. (Two of these three weeks were also covered in Jon Hall’s Northern Madagascar report above).
Kirindy, Ranomafana & Kianjavato, 2022: Jon Hall, 5 nights & 19 species including Eastern Sucker-footed Bat, Bastard Mouse and Fanaloka.
Madagascar, 2022: Charles Hood, 3 weeks & 44 species including Madagascar Flying Fox, Giant Jumping Rat and Fossa
Andasibe and Berenty, 2022: Hugh Lansdown, 2 weeks & 13 species including Madagascar Flying Fox, Eastern Wooly Lemur and Weasel Sportive Lemur.
Madagascar, 2022: Brett Hartl, 4 weeks & 40 species including Red-ruffed Lemur, Madagascar Flying Fox, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Aye Aye, Indri & Fossa.
Andasibe and the northwest, 2022: Mogens Trolle, 3 weeks & 19 species including Crowned, Coquerel’s and Diademed Sifakas, Black and Bue-eyed Black Lemurs and a Hova Mole Tenrec.
Madagascar, 2019: Alan Dahl, 3. 5 weeks & 37 species including Webb’s Tufted-tailed Rat, Malagasy Mouse-eared Bat and a ton of lemurs. Great photos too.
Madagascar, 2019: Alain Guillemont , 3.5 weeks & 34 species including Aye Aye, Brown-tailed Mongoose and Fossa.
Madagascar, 2019: The Travelling Zoologists, 37 days and many species incuding Aye Ayes, Fossa and Malagasey Mouse-eared Bat.
Madagascar, 2019: Mac Hunter, 2 weeks and some great species including Aye Ayes, Fossa and Eastern Sucker-footed Bats.
Northern Madagascar, 2019: Justin Brown, 17 days & some nice lemurs including Ayes Ayes in two parks, Blue-eyed Black Lemur and Perrier’s Sifaka.
Madagascar, 2018: Romain Bocquier, 4 weeks & 43 species including Fossa, Narrow-striped and Ring-tailed Mongoose and a bunch of bats in a cave at Ranomafana (a cave that I wish I had visited!).
Madagascar, 2018: Royle Safaris, 3 weeks & 53 species including Aye Aye, Fossa and 26 species of Lemur.
Ranomofana, Isalo, Ifaty & Andasibe Parks, 2018: Naturetrek, 2 weeks & 22 species including 18 lemurs.
Madagascar & Mauritius, 2018: Phil Gregory, 26 days & 18 mammals including Golden-brown Mouse Lemur and Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur.
Madagascar, 2017: Keith Millar, 29 days & 55 species including Aye Aye, Fossa, Fanaloka & 37 lemur species.
Madagascar, 2017: Samuel Marlin, 3 weeks & 38 species including Fosa, Fanaloka, Ring-tailed & Narrow-striped Mongooses and (semi-wild) Aye-ayes.
Madagascar, 2017 : Phil Gregory, 21 days & 26 mammals including Aye Aye, Fossa and Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur.
Madagascar, 2016: Marie-Claude & Michel Gervais, 2 weeks & 24 species including some really nice ones like Aye Aye, Fanaloka and Voalavoanala.
Madagascar, 2015: Phil Gregory, 16 days & 18 species including Aye Aye, Fossa, Amber Mountain Mouse Lemur and Verreaux’s Sifaka.
Madagascar, 2014: Dominique Brugiere, 1 month & lots of good stuff including Fossa, Fanaloka, Ring-tailed & Narrow-striped Mongooses.
Madagascar, 2013: INDRI Tours, 16 days & 28 species including Milne-Edward’s Sifaka and many other lemurs, two tenrecs and great pictures.
Madagascar, 2012: Torbjörn Lundqvist, 3.5 weeks & 38 species including some unusual ones and – best of all – Aye Ayes.
Madagascar, 2012: INDRI Tours, a great report of 19 days & 34 species including Fossa, Ring-tailed Mongoose and Narrow-striped Mongoose.
Madagascar, 2011: INDRI Tours, a , 12 days & 26 species including Ring-tailed Mongoose.
Madagascar, 2010/2011: Jon Hall, 12 days and 42 species including Crowned Sifaka, Narrow-striped Mongoose, Giant Jumping Rat and 3 Tenrec species.
Madagascar, 2010: Matthew and Maureen Hart, 2 weeks & 24 mammals.
Madagascar, 2009: K. David Bishop, 3 weeks & 30 mammals.
Madagascar, 2009: Coke Smith, 4 weeks & 42 mammals.
Madagascar, 2009: Phil Telfer, 3 weeks & 42 mammals.
Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion, 2008: Stefan Lither, 1 month & 47 mammals.
Around the World (Madagascar), 2003: Richard Webb, 2 weeks & 25 mammals.
Madagascar, 1998: Steve Anyon-Smith, 6 weeks & 32 mammals.
Garbutt, N. Mammals of Madagascar A Complete Guide . 2007. A & C Black (London). This is a fabulous book that covers all of the species on Madagascar in some details and includes, for the majority, quite detailed information on the best places to see them which as of 2011 was still working well.
Mittermeier et al. Lemurs of Madagascar. 2010. Conservation International. An excellent guide to all the lemurs with notes on where to see each species (the book has been designed deliberately to promote primate-watching – good on ’em!)