Madagascar’s incredible wildlife is known for its bio diversity worldwide. Madagascar’s flora and fauna statistics are impressive, just 5% of flora and fauna can only be found in Madagascar and from the rest, 70% fauna and 90% flora are endemic.
To admire the wonderful wildlife, Madagascar’s national parks are knowledgeable with brilliant guides and good infrastructure. These arrangements not only protect Madagascar’s precious wildlife, it also provides perfect touristic spots.
Visiting Madagascar’s Incredible Wildlife
Here are the 10 national parks that you should consider visiting. Before visiting Madagascar’s national parks, find the best weather conditions to visit each park you are interested in, remember to plan your trip very well to maximize your enjoyment.
Please be inform of the many groups trying to protect Madagascar’s environment, like for example: http://www.madagascar-wildlife-conservation.org/, caring for the region surrounding the Lake Alaotra, a wonderful comunity of native people and an important rice growing region where the balance between environment and public needs is always a struggle. Donate to their efforts if possible.
1. Indri (Park National d’Andasibe)
Indri, the Madagascar’s largest lemur is popularly known by its particular song that can travel up to 3 Km. deep in the forest which is used by the animals to keep rivals away. Indri’s can jump up to 10 meters with surprisingly grace.
They fall under the endangered category because of their extensive hunting for years just like other lemurs. The best chance you can see Indri’s is in the morning.
2. Breaching Humpback Whales (Ile Sainte Marie)
The Humpback Whales leave the Antarctic ocean every year during the winters and travel up to the Indian ocean to give birth in warmer waters.
They are best known for part of their courtship ritual that is breaching. Ile Sainte Marie is one of Madagascar’s whale watching hotspots.
3. Aye-aye (Aye-Aye Island)
Aye-aye is a strange looking animal often described as with unkempt hair and big ears. They use their middle finger to echolocate and extract food also known otherwise as their “Magic digit”.
They were hunted extensively back then because of a belief that it was a bad omen. And today it is still considered a subject of superstition but they are protected now.
To spot this weird nocturnal lemur, take a night walk at Madagascar’s Aye-Aye Island.
4. Brookesia Chameleon (Parc National de la Montagne d’Ambre)
Being just 2 cm. in size, Brookesia Chameleon is considered to be world’s smallest Chameleon. It is so small that it can fit on the top of your thumb, but it is not easy to spot.
It has got a brown bark like skin that makes it camouflage perfectly in leaf litter where it usually resides. But Parc National de la Montagne d’Ambre has got guides with an uncanny ability to spot these creatures.
5. Ring tailed Lemur (Park National de l’Isalo)
Ring tailed Lemur are archetypal Lemur with expressive eyes. They have a fluffy coat and a bushy tail, and they are usually seen in big groups and spend much time on the ground which is why they are easy to spot.
They have the ability to easily adapt to many different opposing habitats. For example, they seem as much comfortable in spiny forests in north as in the Canyons of Parc National de l’Isalo.
6. Sea Turtles (Nosy Tanikely)
Sea turtles take the Western Coast of Madagascar as their feeding site. Five species are regular to visit the coast and most common are two of these species: Green turtle and Hawksbill. The rest seen on Nosy Tanikely are Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback.
7. Iconic baobabs (Allèe des baobabs)
These majestic creatures come on their own during sunrise and sunset, when trees cast their shadows on the road and paddy fields. Baobabs thrive across south of Madagascar with their ability to store water in their trunks.
8. Pristine Rainforest (Masoala Peninsula)
A place where rainforest meets the sea would surely be a very special place. And one place is Masoala Peninsula, which means Lemurs and Whales at the same place.
It is estimated by scientists that 1% of Earth’s Biodiversity falls in Pristine forest of peninsula which is protected by Parc National de Masoala.
9. Wild Orchids (Park National de Ranomafana)
Madagascar has about 1000 different species of orchids with 90% of them being endemic. What makes seeing wild orchids so special is the rareness of their species, and some flower for short seasons, spotting these wild beauties is an experience of another level. Most of these are found in the forests of Park National de Ranomafana.
10. Fosa (Réserve Forestière de Kirindy)
It is a strangely elongated mongoose which more or less looks like a puma. The Fosa is considered to be Madagascar’s biggest predator. Lemurs, birds, reptiles, all these are hunted by the Fosa. It is famous for its amorous acts which are to be spotted around the mating season. Réserve Forestière de Kirindy is one of the places where it can be spotted reliably.
These 10 wildlife parks are only a small sample of many others in existence in Madagascar. Please help protect our wildlife by only visiting the parks with experienced, professionals and authorized guides.