Friday, October 27, 2017


Teeth chattering, bone jarring, mind numbing, stomach churning… The nine hour drive north to the Tsingy forest on a dirt Malagasy road was the stuff of legend, or at least we won’t soon forget it. We did pick up a couple new birds along the way to break up the tedium. And the two ferry crossings could have been right out of a Bogart movie. The highlight of the day was the lunch destination – the gourmet restaurant called the Mad Zebu, catering to park-bound tourists, was outstanding.

As an alternate to our missed connection to Masoala National Park, the Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) turned out to be a grand time. After a restful evening, the next morning had us venturing to the park for some outstanding birding an a hike/climb of the famous Tsingy Limestone formation. We knew we were in for some fun when the local guide broke out the climbing harnesses before we started out. Those who know of Susan’s acrophobia will be shocked to learn of her smile of anticipation and eagerness to jump in with both feet. We were off.

The climb was everything and more – fixed lines in the razor-sharp limestone along a set path, fun class 3 climbing moves, and epic views. There was even a long swinging suspension bridge over a chasm that terrified me to no end. What fun!!

Madagascar Rock-thrush

Madagascar Brush-warlber
Decken's Sifaka
Red Forest Rat

As this was an out and back trip of limited time to get back on schedule, we started back the next morning. Lunch again at the Mad Zebu! We had one more evening available to us and stopped a couple hours short of the airport at the Kirindy Forest Reserve for an afternoon and night walk. The lemurs and birds were fantastic. At sunset we saw the local Fosa, a giant predatory mongoose. The night walk produced pair of Fork-marked Lemurs grooming on a high tree branch. Later that evening we saw the worlds smallest primate, Madame Berthe’s Mouse-Lemur, and the rabbit-like Giant Jumping-Rat. We had a couple hours in the morning for another walk and found the hard to see Striped-tailed Mongoose and had amazing views of Madagascar Buttonquail.

Fork-marked Lemur



Giant Jumping Rat

Giant Mouse Lemur

Madagascar Buttonquail

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

Red-fronted Brown Lemur

Red-fronted Brown Lemur

Striped-tailed Mongoose

Then it was on to town for our flight east, except Air Madness cancelled our flight – again. As I type this I have no idea how we are getting out of this town and on to the rest of our trip…

1 comment:

  1. I am blown away!! By your "ferry" across the river, by the sheer chutzpah of your climbing around on those limestone towers, and by the awesome number of animals you are seeing. A new one for me is the gorgeous Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher. Stunning.
    Your hike and climbing are incredible. Thank you for documenting so well. Susan must be getting used to heights !? but you, Bob, still don't like chasms and suspension bridges. Yikes!
    What a trip!!