After spending a wonderful time with lemurs and chameleons in the Peyrieras reserve it was time for lunch. We went to a village very close, in a small Malagasy hotely (which means something like a roadside restaurant, nothing to do with a hotel i.e. it does not provide accomodation)
The food was very simple. I got rice with chicken. There were some other options, mostly including rice. It was nothing much but it was an opportunity to see how Malagasy people eat every day. And the price was super cheap, 5000 Ar = 1.5 Euros
After lunch we travelled onwards to Andasibe. It was a couple hours more, winding down the ridges towards the sea. We passed by the town of Moramanga and reached the Amdasibe-Mantadia national park. Moramanga literally means “cheap mangos” and is a little town with some history as this is where the uprising against the French colonists started in 1947, when a group of militants stormed a police camp only with spears.
Around 30 minutes after Moramanga we reached the outskirts of the national park and our accomodation just off the RN 2. It was a very nice lodge, a group of wooden bungalows just by the rainforest. Most of them, including mine, had great views of the forest, a small ridge and a lake.
We arrived a little after sunset and checked in. Before dinner there was an option for a night walk along the road connecting the national to the small village of Andasibe, which I took along most others of the group. We didn’t get into the forest (it is not allowed after dark), just walked along the road and close to the trees. It wasn’t much but we saw some nocturnal lemurs and chameleons, including a lovely mouse lemur (which is the smallest primate species in the world with the size similar to a mouse as the name suggests)
After the walk there was dinner in the restaurant of the lodge. This time it was very good. I got a mixed kebab-like meal, sticks with meat, fish and prawn, with salad and french fries on the side. And fried bananas with honey for desert which I understand is popular in Madagascar
After that it was nap time. I noticed that 3G/4G and Wifi were very slow, they seemed to get better late at night presumably when people go to sleep. But in a setting like this you don’t really miss it and anyway I didn’t stay too late because we had to get up early next morning, for hiking in the rainforest and trying to meed wild lemurs, including the Idri, the largest surviving lemur species. But this will be the next chapter of the story!