Madagascar safari in a fascinating animal kingdom is written by Anne-Marie Boye.
Go on a Madagascar safari at night
We walk as quietly as possible behind our guide Jimmi on the narrow path. All senses are in use. Every little sound attracts our full attention. We can hear havet and the roar of the waves to our right. It is pitch black, and we can only see what is in the light cone of the flashlight.
Jimmi stops by a tree and lights up the trunk. We both look intensely at the spot of light on the tree trunk, but can not see anything. Is Jimmi having fun with us? We look at him in amazement and back at the tree. Suddenly we both spot it - a leaf-tailed gecko, but only because it just moves for a brief second to lick its eye.
This strange animal can camouflage itself so well that it is impossible to see for the untrained. My boyfriend Rasmus snaps loose with the camera and we give a silent high five, before we list further after Jimmi. We are on safari in Madagascar in the middle of the night and already now it has been worth it all.
Soon Jimmi signals again for us to stop. Something is brewing ahead. We wait in silence. Again we can hear havet and our own breath. It doesn't take long before we can see something jumping in and out of the cone of light. It is the small, cute mouse lemur – the world's smallest lemur species, which is nocturnal.
It's exactly these animals we've been hoping to see tonight. We know they live here on the island of Nosy Mangabe, which is an ideal place to go on safari in Madagascar. But of course we are not sure we are going to see them. The mouse wall jumps from branch to branch, but soon it is gone again.
An unforgettable trip to Madagascar
With its 590.000 km2 is Madagascar the world's fourth largest island. It has been isolated from the African continent for millions of years and thus has a completely unique wildlife. Therefore, the island is also sometimes called the eighth continent of the world, as a large part of the island's flora and fauna is found only this one place on the planet. It's a nature lovers' paradise - and a Madagascar safari has a lot to offer.
We have visited Madagascar twice. The first time we traveled mainly in the northwest corner of the country. And despite the fact that we had five weeks, we only got to see a fraction of all the amazing that is found here. Among other things, we were lucky to see the world's smallest chameleon. It's so small it could sit on the tip of my index finger.
It is otherwise not easy to find for obvious reasons, so again it was good to have an experienced guide with. It hides under withered leaves, and if you try to pick it up, it plays dead in defense. On our second trip to Madagascar, we spent four weeks in the south of the country and one week on Mauritius.
The land of nature lovers
Madagascar infrastructure is not, as we know it from Europe. So you quickly learn to appreciate paved roads as well as buses that run on time and where you have your own seat. So to avoid too much waiting time as well as 18 sweaty people in a Toyota Hiace, this time we had rented car and driver two of the weeks on our safari.
It gave us the freedom to drive at our own pace, stop along the way and get all the way over to the west coast to see the famous'Baobab Alley'. I had probably complained about driving so far to see a number of trees, but I had to surrender as we stood on the avenue early in the morning and enjoyed the sunrise.
That at the same time we were also lucky to see one pit - Madagascar's largest predator, which hunts lemurs in the trees - justified even more the long drive. There are many beautiful places for nature lovers around the world, but Madagascar is something very special and we are ready for a reunion.
If you want to experience wildlife in Africa, then a Madagascar safari is the right thing to do. However, it requires a lot of time, as many of the most exciting experiences are spread all over the huge island.
Our best advice for a safari in Madagascar is to choose to focus on a defined area of the country. Explore that area intensively instead of spending too much time transporting around the whole island - the distances are enormous.
In addition to the exciting wildlife, Madagascar also offers beautiful landscapes, an incredibly friendly population and a lot of language challenges, all of which contribute to the adventure.
Good trip to Madagascar - the paradise of safari and nature lovers!