Having visited numerous national parks during our six weeks in Madagascar and spent hours with necks craned peering high into the tree tops looking for lemur, our guide promised us a treat for our final activity in the country.
The drive from the “Andasibe Hotel”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/193223 to Lemur Island, in the grounds of Vakona Forest Lodge, took around 20 minutes on a rough track and over a very hump-backed bridge. On arrival, we were introduced to our guide, Safy, who told us that the animals on the island were rescued from villages where they were kept as pets which is why they were tame. He said we shouldn’t be afraid if they got close to us (this turned out to be an understatement) but that we shouldn’t touch them as they may bite. At this point I was glad I’d had a rabies shot.
After a very short canoe trip, we were on Lemur Island – the lemurs do not like water and so fences are not needed. We immediately met brown lemurs who began jumping all over us, especially when encouraged by Safy who fed them small pieces of banana. After the initial shock, it was really good fun and we snapped away finding it slightly disconcerting when taking a photo of a lemur with another lemur on your shoulder.
A beautiful cuddly black and white ruffed lemur appeared and performed acrobatics from a branch. We were encouraged to turn our back on the lemur and hold a piece of banana to encourage it to jump on us.
We moved on and through the woods and found mum, dad and a 9-month-old baby woolly lemur family which we watched mesmerized.
We took another canoe to the banks of a second island where we saw the Diadem Sifaka on the shore and were fascinated by its unusual side to side jump.
We then toured the island in the canoe and returned to the entrance. The trip lasted an hour and whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was a fun way to finish our trip and get some great lemur photos instead of blobs in trees. If I ever need cheering up, I just look at the photos and can’t help but smile – I hope you do the same.