ChamEO Madagascar Expedition 2017 | Part V

Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 6-7: Exploring Andasibe and Vakona Lodge

By the time we arrived in Andasibe it was utterly dark outside but early enough for a pre-dinner herping walk with our flashlights in hand. Our bus left us on a stretch of road where we met up with our three tour guides for the evening, two men and one woman, who scanned the trees and bushes for chameleons as we walked through the rain. Soaked completely through and sans my camera (I wasn't going to risk getting my equipment wet for mediocre nighttime photos), I walked briskly the length of the road just trying not to step and kill all the little frogs on the asphalt, who were emboldened by the rain and were busy socializing underfoot. 

Dinner and bedtime followed, but the next morning we were able to appreciate the area's natural beauty. Much more misty rainforest than any of the areas we'd seen so far, it truly felt like being in the tropics now. 

The view from my cabana.

The view from my cabana. 

I managed to sneak in a little pool time, where day geckos kept us company. 

This is going to count as cheating, but at the Vakona lodge where we were staying had an expansive property, and nestled in all this land was their lemur island. A very brief canoe ride and you were face to face with lemurs eager for banana, which made this the single best opportunity to photograph lemurs on the entire trip!

I don't claim to be an expert on crocodilians either, so to be honest I had never thought about it, but I was surprised to learn that the crocodiles that we saw in Andasibe (and all of Madagascar) are Nile crocodiles! Much smaller here due to the cooler temperatures of the rainforest, but Nile crocodiles nonetheless.

Female panther chameleon (F. pardalis


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