Unforgettable Shark Diving and Big Animal Encounters

The Trip of a Lifetime!

We have just returned from a 3.5 week scouting trip to central and southern Madagascar. This will be distilled into a 14 day Madagascar Wildlife Expedition scheduled for November 2020. Our exploratory trip was nothing short of life-changing. Madagascar is unquestionably the best primate watching location on the planet.
As a photographer, I wasn’t just interested in ticking boxes, I wanted good encounters with each lemur species that we saw. Fortunately, it turns out that lemurs are posers so the photographic opportunities were excellent.

We visited 12 different parks including Ankarafantsika, Analamazoatra, Mitsinjo, VOI, Vohimana, Mantadia, Andasibe Orchid Garden, Kirindy, Ranomafana, Anja, Isalo, Zombitse, and Tulear. All told, we photographed 28 species of lemurs, plus a few other mammals, a dozen chameleon species, about 20 different frogs, a few different bats, and some very cool lizards and geckos.
Rather than writing an excruciatingly long, blow-by-blow account of the trip, lets just say everyday was amazing! We hiked in rainforests, dry forests and spiny deserts at different elevations. The highlands were humid but cool, and the lowland forests were oppressively hot and dry, but each location delivered numerous new animals so everyday brought new excitement.
Now, at the risk of crashing our server, here is one shot of every species of lemur that we saw, plus a handful of bug-eyed chameleons and colourful frogs. Enjoy!

Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

Lemurs

Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

Black and White Ruffed Lemur – Varecia variegata

Goodman's Mouse Lemur

Goodman’s Mouse Lemur – Microcebus lehilahytsara

Milne Edwards Sportive Lemur

Milne Edwards Sportive Lemur – Lepilemur edwardsi

Mongoose Lemur

Mongoose Lemur – Eulemur mongoz

Diademed Sifaka

Diademed Sifaka – Propithecus diadema

Gray Mouse Lemur Nocturnal Lemur Tour

Gray Mouse Lemur – Microcebus murinus

Milne Edwards Sifaka

Milne Edwards Sifaka – Propithecus edwardsi

Furry-eared Dwarf Lemur

Furry-eared Dwarf Lemur – Cheirogaleus crossleyi

Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur – Lemur catta

Eastern Woolly Lemur

Eastern Woolly Lemur – Avahi laniger

Red-tailed Sportive Lemur – Lepilemur ruficaudatus

Red-fronted Brown Lemur

Red-fronted Brown Lemur – Eulemur rufifrons

Indri

Indri – Indri indri

Verreaux's Sifaka

Verreaux’s Sifaka – Propithecus verreauxi

Common Brown Lemur

Common Brown Lemur – Eulemur fulvus

Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur

Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur – Cheirogaleus medius

Zombitse Sportive Lemur

Zombitse Sportive Lemur – Lepilemur hubbardorum

Weasel Sportive Lemur

Weasel Sportive Lemur – Lepilemur mustelinus

Madame Berte's Mouse Lemur

Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur – Microcebus berthae
The smallest primate in the world!

Pale Fork-marked Lemur

Pale Fork-marked Lemur – Phaner pallescens

Grey-brown Mouse Lemur

Grey-brown Mouse Lemur – Microcebus griseorufus

Grey Bamboo Lemur

Grey Bamboo Lemur – Hapalemur griseus

Rufus Grey Lemur - Eulemur rufus

Rufus Grey Lemur – Eulemur rufus

Red Ruffed Lemur – Varecia rubra

Coquerel's Sifaka

Coquerel’s sifaka – Propithecus coquereli

Golden Bamboo Lemur

Golden Bamboo Lemur – Hapalemur aureus

Rufous Mouse Lemur

Rufous Mouse Lemur – Hapalemur aureus

Red-bellied Lemur

Red-bellied Lemur – Eulemur rubriventer

Other Mammals

We saw quite a few other mammals but a lot of them saw me first and ducked into the undergrowth before I could get a shot. We saw one fossa crossing the road; Madagascar’s version of a big cat but actually descended from a mongoose. Also, a few endemic rodents, the largest being the Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat that looks like a cross between a rat and an aardvark. Plus a solitary mongoose and a few bats. Combined with lemurs, we identified 35 different mammals but if you count bats in flight, we probably saw quite a few more.

Madagascar Giant Jumping Rat

Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat – Hypogeomys antimena

Narrow-lined Mongoose

Narrow-striped Mongoose – Mungotictis decemlineata

Commerson's Roundleaf Bat

Commerson’s Roundleaf Bat – Macronycteris commersoni

Pipistrelle sp.

Peter’s Sheath-tailed Bat – Paremballonura atrata

Frogs

In a country as rich in animals as Madagascar, it is hard to know where to point your camera. We concentrated on lemurs so inevitably, we missed some very cool frogs in the process. However, I still managed to shoot maybe 20 frog species when I dedicated time to look for them.

Baron's Mantella Frog

Baron’s Mantella Frog – Mantella baroni

Herping-Madagascar

Gephyromtis species (I think)

Spiny Narrow-mouthed Frog

Spiny-Narrow-mouthed Frog – Scaphiophryne boribory

Chameleons

We ran into chameleons of all shapes and sizes in every park that we visited. Some are very unique looking but others look quite similar so I’m still working through the ID process. I’ll eventually post each species on our instagram and Facebook pages once I am sure what species they are.

Oustalet's Chameleon

Oustalet’s Chameleon – Furcifer oustaleti

Lance-nosed Chameleon

Lance-nosed Chameleon – Calumma gallus

Blue-legged Chameleon

Blue-legged Chameleon – Calumma crypticum

Brown Leaf Chameleon

Brown Leaf Chameleon – Brookesia superciliaris

Nose-horned Chameleon

Nose-horned Chameleon – Calumma nasutum

Parson's Chameleon

Parson’s Chameleon – Calumma parsonii

Geckos

Like everything else, gecko diversity in Madagascar is amazing! Some geckos are colourful and easy to find, other’s are masters of camouflage like this leaf-tailed gecko:

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko.

Henkel’s Leaf-tailed Gecko – Uroplatus henkeli

Ocelot Big-headed Gecko

Ocelot Big-headed Gecko – Paroedura picta

Malagasy Day Gecko

Malagasy Day Gecko – Phelsuma madagascariensis

Lizards and Snakes

We found lizards everywhere. As always, snakes were more difficult but we probably saw about a dozen during the whole month we were in Madagascar. I do like the fact that there isn’t a single venomous snake in the entire country; very reassuring while bushwacking to get close to lemurs 🙂

Madagascan Sand Lizard

Madagascan Sand Lizard – Chalarodon madagascariensis

Malagasy Spiny-tailed Iguana

Malagasy Spiny-tailed Iguana – Oplurus cuvieri

Malagasy Hognose Snake

Malagasy Hognose Snake – Leioheterodon madagascariensis

Malagasy Tree Boa

Malagasy Tree Boa – Sanzinia madagascariensis

Wow, you made it all the way to the bottom of the report. Well done!
Needless to say, we’re planning to run a guest trip next year. To be honest, I’d go again even if I we didn’t have any guests because I’ve never been anywhere this crammed with photogenic animals.
You need to be fairly fit to handle all the hiking on this trip. Other than that, its open to everyone.

You’re going to love it! Madagascar Wildlife Adventure 2020

Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar