Gustafson Madagascar Trip: Day 8

Gustafson Madagascar Trip: Day 8

Jun 5, 2014| by administrator


Day 8: Palmarium

This morning was rainy, so the lemurs were slow to wake up.  We had breakfast and took a hike into the woods to find them.  First up, brown lemur. Next, crowned lemurs came jumping along.  Then we had a troop of eight Coquerel's sifaka join the party and the game was on.  They jumped from tree to tree for great “flight shots” and all of them posed for portraits.  The rain returned and we ran back to the lodge for cover.  When it cleared, all of the lemurs came out including a black and white ruffed lemur who liked to hang upside down from the trees.  After lunch we hiked into the forest in search of the black Indri indri.  It was still overcast so the light in the forest was perfect when we found a family of four.  They were so close to us! We had a half hour with them before they leapt from tree to tree and disappeared.

This evening we hope to find the Aye Aye lemur.  They are nocturnal and eat coconuts so we will take a boat to the coconut groves.

The wind was up and the rain was coming down at 4:30.  By 5, we had decided not to risk the boat trip to the Aye aye.  By 5:30, it sort of cleared and Solofo said the weather might be worse tomorrow so we should go.  Lynn and Sally didn't think it was such a good idea….

The boat was covered and the wind wasn't bad; by the time we got there, the rain had stopped.  We hopped out of the boat, walked to the coconut grove, and got in position just in time for it to start raining again….We stood there for 45 minutes with our cameras under our jackets just praying for this to end.  The guides said it was too windy and rainy for the Aye aye to come out.  Solofo said 30 more minutes…5 minutes later the rain stopped and lightning bugs started glowing.  There was a rustling in the tree tops and there at eye level was a walking nightmare…The Aye aye.  Long, dank fur, huge eyes, bat ears and long Gollum fingers, he made his way to the coconuts.  You could hear him sawing and scraping with his sharp teeth and then the loud crack as he tore through the coconut shell.  He got used to our presence and another joined him.  They took turns feeding and we were able to move closer until we were four feet away.   We had an hour of great behavior to photograph.  When Sally and Lynn saw the shots, they said they hoped we could do it again tomorrow night.