Day 25 Bush House
The East Coast of Madagascar is incredibly lush and tropical compared to the barren baobab filled West Coast. It is in this more lush and tropical environment surrounding the Bush House that many of Madagascar's unique Lemurs can be discovered up close.
We set off on a short 10-minute boat ride to explore the Palmarium reserve or ''Ankanin’ny Nofy'' in Malagasy which translates to ''nest of dreams''. Palmarium is a small 50-hectare reserve on the banks of the Pangalanes du Canal of Madagascar that has seven species of Lemur.
We were fortunate enough to spot 6 out of 7: the Macaco Macaco, Collared Black and White lemur, Crowned lemur, Red Bellied lemur and Indri Indri. Not bad for a morning's work!
A Pair of Crowned Lemurs Collared Black and White Lemur Macaco Macaco Lemur
The Palmarium is also home to the Carnivorous Pitcher Plant which is always a treat to see in the wild.
The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant
Before dinner, we ventured out to see the endangered Nocturnal Aye-Aye Lemur. Often described as the world's creepiest animal with rodent-like teeth and extend middle finger.
There is much negative Malagasy folk-lore surrounding the Aye - Aye and they of often were killed when found by villagers. A lot of work is going into conservation education to protect these fascinating creatures.
Aye- Aye Lemur
Our last dinner as a group was filled with many laughs and recounting the great time we had on this 25 day adventure through one of the most unique countries on earth. From navigating the backgrounds of Tana in CV2's, the magnificent Avenue of the Baobabs, ferry crossings, the limestone landscape of Tsingy, the turquoise waters of the Indian ocean, the turning of the bones ceremony, getting stuck in the sand and Lemurs galore, we really made so many memories in Magical Madagascar.
Day 26 Extension to Ile Sainte Marie
Bush House to Mahambo
Getting to Sainte Marie was quite an adventure. It took us just over a day from Bush House with an overnight stop in Mahambo on the Madagascan mainland. We travelled along Pangalanes du Canal on a small boat which was very scenic and tranquil passing small fishing villages and fishermen going about their daily lives.
Daily life on the tranquil Pangalanes du Canal
This 4-hour boat trip took us to Tamatave where a pre-booked driver transferred us by mini-bus to our guest house La Pirogue in Mahambo which is set right against the ocean with very scenic gardens.
Scenic gardens of La Pirogue
Day 27 Extension to Ile Sainte Marie
Mahambo to Ile Sainte Marie
The next day we travelled to Ile Sainte Marie via Catamaran that acted as the local supply ferry and carried about 100 people. Our start was a little slower than expected while we watched everything and the kitchen sink get loaded via a smaller tender boat. You name it; it was packed, vegetables, corrugated iron, even a motor scooter!
Everything and the Kitchen Sink being loaded
Once we were on our way our journey on the ocean was very smooth with seating up on the top deck to enjoy some fresh air. Mike and I found a spot downstairs out of the sun in between a loaded motor scooter and the life vests - which made for a very comfortable spot!