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Aye-aye – the world of the long-fingered Lemur

13 – 17th October 2019

Optional extension tour to Madagascar – marvelous nature in the kingdom of the Lemurs

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Some of the tour highlights:

  • Aye-aye, the long-fingered Lemur, the world’s largest nocturnal primate, up close in a private reserve.
  • Two nights of Aye-aye photography with good lighting.
  • Low forests just outside the lodge’ bungalows with Indris (eastern race)
  • Several Lemur species.
  • Several interesting species of reptiles.
  • The lodge has private deciduous woodland, where we can walk freely.
  • Night sky photography (weather permitting).
  • Excellent lodge at a lagoon by the sea, with good opportunities for swimming and relaxation.
  • Eastern Madagascar.
  • The tour leader will show their best sites and provide photographic advice in a small like-minded group.
  • We support efforts to protect the remaining rainforests.

No animal on Madagascar is as mythical as the Long-Fingered Lemur, or Aye-aye. This elusive animal has gather birth to numerous myths, tales and superstition.

In the 1970’s alarming reports came that the Aye-aye was disappearing due to persecution and deforestation. Since then it has been shown to occur sparsely over a larger part of the country than scientists previously thought. However, the population is sparse and currently declining. As it is nocturnal and shy, it is normally difficult to locate and get close to.

The Aye-aye is a unique animal, known from many wildlife films. It is larger than it might seem and is one of the largest Lemurs, and the world’s largest nocturnal primate. In the dark it looks like a troll or witch, with a pointed head, large elf-ears and long black-grey streaked fur and a big bushy tail. It doesn’t move like any other Lemur, but more like a cat as it climbs up and down tree trunks in the forest.

Its front paws are most striking. They are actually hands with long, bent fingers. The middle finger is extra long and has a long, curved nail. It uses its fingers to knock on rotten trunks whilst looking for food. With its arg ears it can hear if there are any grubs in the wood, whereby it uses its sharp rodent like teeth to open up the trunk. Then it uses its long middle finger like a dental probe to extract the juicy grub. The Aye-aye is like the Lemur equivalent of woodpeckers.

The Aye-aye leaves it’s nest about thirty minutes before dusk, and doesn’t return before dawn. On the small privately-owned nature reserve island it is protected from poaching. There are about half a dozen individuals, and it is common to see several during the early hours of the night.

By our lodge there is a low deciduous woodland where the BBC has recorded many scenes with jumping Indris. As the trees are not very tall and the forest is less dense than at Andasibe-Mantadia there are good opportunities to get nice Indri images. The Indri here have different patterns, with larger grey areas on the fur. There is also a pied Vari – a Lemur with a graphic panda-like pattern.

We are accompanied by local guides and trackers. During the tour we have photo workshops, where Jan demonstrates techniques and ideas for the next days photography.

Travel facts

Dates
13th – 17th October 2019

Price 
1 390 € (Euro)
(Registration fee 278 €)*

This is an optional extension tour to Madagascar – marvelous nature in the kingdom of the Lemurs.
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Tour leader
Jan Pedersen

Number of participants
Min 6
Max 8

Last date to register
31st July 2019

Price includes
Share in twin room and meals according to itinerary, all entrance fees, all safaris, local guides, photo workshops, local transports (bus and boat), transfer to and from Antananarivo airport. Accommodation in hotels, camps and lodges of middle standard.

Single room fee
200 €

Price does not include
Flights in and out of Antananarivo airport, visa, tips, camera fees, insurance, cancellation insurance, beverages, meals that are not specified in itinerary, phone and internet charges, personal items.

Airport
Antananarivo International Airport. The tour starts and ends here.

Travel in Madagaskar
To travel in Madagaskar is a very complicated logistic process. The infrastructure have a very low standard since this is one of the most poor countries in the world. The roads are few and of poor quality. All travel times are to be taken with some reservations since delays might occur which leads to changes in our itinerary.

Photo equipment
A wide range of subjects will be available to us, from landscapes to smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibies. Therefore it is good to bring everything from wide-angle to telephoto lenses. Lenses from 70-200 mm up to 500 mm are excellent for the wildlife that we will encounter. To increase focal length you can use a teleconverter.
We will have lots of opportunities for macro photography so bring a macro lens if possible.
A good torch or head lamp, with neutral light, and a flash is of importance for night-, insects-, and chameleon photography.
If you have two camera bodies, bring both in order not to have to change lenses as much.

During our walks in the rainforest it´s important to have a good protection for camera and lenses since it wet in the forest and rain showers may appear.

Tripods are heavy to carry in the rainforest. A monopod might be an alternative. A tripod is not a must for this tour unless you want to try and photograph the star sky.

Clothing
The climate at Madagaskar are tropical which means hot days and nights. Mornings in the mountains might be chilly. Days will warm, temperatures above 30 degrees C is common and it is humid almost all of the time. Even though we are not in Madagaskar during the rain season is it important and useful to have proper rain gear, best when photographing is a rain poncho. It is good to bring clothes that dry easy. Sturdy walking boots is a must for the feets in the rainforest. Bring sandals or lighter shoes to wear at lodges and while traveling.

Group and language
Our tours are open to all nationalities, so the group may be international. Our tour leaders speak Swedish and English.

*Terms of payment
Registration fee to be paid on registration. Remaining fees to be paid latest 60 days before the tour starts.

Additional information
Contact your insurance company about insurance, including cancellation insurance. Contact your doctor about vaccination requirements.

Terms and conditions

Itinerary

Day 1 (13/10) (Day 11 on main tour) (Breakfast – dinner)
After visiting the Lemur island of Vakona (see day 11 on main tour itinerary), we take farewell of the participants that are not continuing on the extension tour. In our bus, we head east through a landscape where the climate gradually becomes more humid and warmer. About three hours by bus. Once we reach the small village of Manambato on the shore of a large lagoon, we exchange bus for boat, which carries us through a lagoon landscape to the lodge and reserve of Palmarium and Akanin’ny nofy. We pass Terns and Herons fishing on the marshes, where the local villagers also fish with nets

Day 2-3  (14-15/10) (Breakfast – dinner)
After sunrise we head out into the lodge forest in search of Indri and other Lemurs. This will give you a chance to get used to the area so as to go on your own photo walks. After breakfast there is time to photograph on your own, or rest and swim until after lunch when we will go through images. At the end of the afternoon we take a photo walk together, before its time to go to the Aye-aye island. Late dinner.

Day 4  (16/10) (Breakfast – dinner)
After breakfast we leave the area by boat for the awaiting bus that will take us back to the capitol Antananarivo through a landscape of rice terraces, small villages and mountain ridges. About six hours busride. Evening farewell dinner at our hotel in Antananarivo.

Dag 5  (17/10) (Breakfast – Lunch)
After breakfast we drive through Antananarivo to a large crafts market. Lunch followed by transfer to airport and journey home.

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Aye-aye - the world of the long-fingered Lemur 13th - 17th October 2019

NOTE! When you have made your booking you will immediately get a confirmation e-mail. If you don´t get the confirmation e-mail please check your spam e-mails or contact us by telephone, +46730 662 007.

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