Although Andasibe is only 140kilometers from Antananarivo, it took me a full day to get there. First off it was hard to find a local company going there and when I finally found a taxi brousse (local bus) it took six (yes SIX!) hours for it to get full so that we could leave. I have never waited as long for a bus to fill up, but once we were on our way it went super fast and did not take long before they dropped me off at the junction of Andasibe, because that is really what Andasibe is, a junction.
I checkes in at the cheapest guesthouse called “Marie’s” where I met a local guide who said he could take me on a night safari the same night. After some negotiation we agreed on a price of 3 dollars for two hours and we’re on our way walking in the forest nearby. It amazed me to see how many animals that could be seen just a short walk from my guesthouse! In the two hours we managed to see mouse lemurs, dwarf lemurs, boa constrictors, chameleons, praying mantises and stick animals. I couldn’t wait to see what was possible to see in the daytime and agreed to come with him the next day as well into a private park called V.O.I M.M.A costing 12 dollars including his salary as my guide for three hours. The guide assured me that the rest of the money would go to the community and maintenance of the park which I was also very happy to hear.
An idri watching us from the treetop. Their shoutings were super loud!
On our day safari we watched families of Idris shouting loudly at each other marking their territories, we saw chameleons, birds, brown lemurs and lots of interesting bugs. The guide was really the best spotter I have come across on my safaris and I’ll never forget the smile he gave me after receiving a five dollar tip at the end of the day. It might sound little, but apparently that was a quarter of a monthly wage here in Madagascar.