Mammals

“The most threatened mammal group on Earth, Madagascar’s five endemic lemur families (lemurs are found nowhere else), represent more than 20% of the world’s primate species and 30% of family-level diversity. This combination of diversity and uniqueness is unmatched by any other country – remarkable considering that Madagascar is only 1.3 to 2.9% the size of the Neotropics, Africa, or Asia, the other three landmasses where nonhuman primates occur. – Science Magazine, Febuary 2014”

Mammal tours are focused on all mammals, including the fascinating Malagasy carnivores, though their normal focus is the lemurs. The classic period for mammal tours is September to December, when mammals are most active, involved in breeding with the onset of the rainy season. Many lemurs have babies, while the dwarf lemurs emerge from their dry season torpor. January to March are also excellent months for mammal-watching. If you can tolerate frequent (but rarely all-day) rain, you will find most national parks deserted by visitors in this “low season” for tourism.

Eastern and western Madagascar hold almost completely different sets of lemurs. Even within these zones, each site is quite different. For example, Ranomafana and Andasibe-Mantadia NPs, though both in the eastern rainforest, hold several different lemur species.

The Andasibe area ranks as the must-see site for all mammal enthusiasts.

Other top mammal sites that are easily accessible include Ranomafana NP, Parc Anja for Ring-tailed Lemur, Kirindy Forest for Fosa and lots of lemurs, Ankarafantsika NP, Amber Mountain NP, and the Berenty area in the far south.

Masoala and Marojejy, and are more remote than the destinations above, but hold Silky Sifaka and Red Ruffed Lemur.

Keen mammal-watchers may want to seek out some of Madagascar’s rarest mammals such as the north’s Perrier’s and Tattersall’s Sifakas, in the Andrafiamena and Daraina regions respectively; or the Broad-striped Mongoose at Lake Tsimanampetsotsa.