The night walk..
We continue walking for another 5-6 minutes then we saw this lemur.
The Red-tailed sportive Lemur.
It was one of the specie that I wanted to see so much this trip.It's body size around 28cm long and weigh about 800-900 grams.It's a nocturnal species feeding on leaves and some fruits.They normally live in pairs and are monogamous that is quite unexpected amoung mammals.They are aboreal (living in tree) The pair use the same home range, and there is little overlap between the home ranges of neighbouring pairs. Travel distances each night are between 100 metres and 1 km, making them quite inactive species. The male will make a loud call sound like a crow -like call to show their territory.We'll find them mostly in Madagascar dry deciduous forests.
When I saw this lemur ,it was sitting on top of a tree in one motion ,not moving much ,really inactive, but it's cute.I was glad to see them
The night walk..
The night walk start at 6 pm. before sunset.We have to drive into the reserve area for about 3 Km.There 's parking area or a small flat area along road side that can park few cars.Jeff waited for us at the car ,only my new guide ..Ceriel lead us into the reserve .He walked quite fast,start to look for animal for his customer immediately.He noticed the pole sign to be sure that the area we will walk was the place we should see some lemur.It's only 1 minute then a group of red fronted brown lemur appeared .
Red fronted Brown lemur...This was first lemur I saw in Kirindy.It was until 2001 that Red fronted brown lemur was considered a subspecies of the common brown lemur, E. fulvus.The red-fronted lemur lives on the western coast of Madagascar between the Tsiribihina River to the north and south of the Fiheranana River and in eastern Madagascar from the Mangoro River and Onive River to the Andringitra Massif and here.. in Kirindy reserve. It lives in dry lowland forests.It has body lenght about 35 to 48 cm. and weight about 2.3kg. It's body is more brown than grey.The distictive point that I noticed is the face that has black line from muzzle to forehead with white eye brow patches.To see which one is male one..try to see if which one has more bushy cheeks and beards,that's the male one. They eat leaves, seeds, fruit and flowers.They are diurnal, but increase nocturnal activity during the dry season.
Unluckily that my camera focus on the brances than the lemur and they move all the time in the very dim light at that moment so it's hard for my small camera to get best shot.I got a jumping picture but little blur.In real ,it's fantastic to see them jump.
There are about 13,000 species of plant and about 89 % of them are endemic. I saw this Pachypodium along the way climbing Grand Tsingy.There are so many species of Pachypodium in Africa and about 20 from Madagascar ,they have different flower colour..,white,.. yellow and orange-red.. like this one.I still din't find out what exactly specie it is but it's not a tree- like specie ,it's more a caudiciforms or "stem succulents" specie.
The second picture ,another flora...the flower itself look so much alike Pachypodium when blooming but the branch is something else.Let me find out.. ,I'll inform you soon ..
We arrived at Kirindy almost 5pm. After check in the room and we had some drinks in restaurant area ,these drinks not included in Jeff 's tour price,only the accomodation price were included.We have to pay entrance fee 20,000 Ar./person for 3 days and the guide fee is different between day and night walk, day = 12,000Ar. for 2 hours ,night = 20,000 Ar. for 2 hours,this price is per group not more than 4 person.All the price officially written in the receit.Our guide was an old man name Cereil.The night walk start at 6pm. a little bit before completely dark.We drove into the reserve area for about 3 km.There's a small parking area for vehicles.After that point we started to walk into the so call "forest" area.The Swiss had managed the forest well.They grow the tree in line ,even it looks like dense forest but still we can see the line with small signpost in the front row like "A3 , J8 " to be easy to mark and remember for researcher ,and now good for the guide to lead tourists to the exact point where the lemur are.
Kirindy is private nature reserve.I went there especially for the night walk to see nocturnal wildlife.The Kirindy area is dry decicuious forests.After turning left from main road to Kirindy it was long straight road but not so good condition.My driver Jeff drive very fast along this route until I was afraid that some other parts of our vehicle will fall off again. But we arrived safely before sunset.At the moment there was an international group of field biologists students had a meeting at Kirindy reserve center,and 2 other tourists vehicles who just drove past us along the way cuz Jeff drove slowest but suddenly drove so fast along this route,probably he was afraid that we might not arrive before sunset.
Shortly after arriving ,there were few red fronted brown lemurs appeared near reception and kitchen area .They get use to human and always come here waiting for some food from kitchen or from tourists.I was excited to see them because it's the first red fronted brown lemur I saw.One with a small baby holding tight on her body,they were so cute.They jumped around the area,posting for photograph for a while but none of these visittors gave them food ,probably busy taking pictures.(At the moment there were 4 other tourists one Argentinian ,one Chilean who were couple that living in USA ,other 2 were European.)
Before arriving Madagascar ,I have no idea what Kirindy area and it's accommodation may look like .There’s not much information before I went there ,probably because it’s not famous amoung tourists.Most tourists visitted only Morondava ,Grand Tsingy and Baobab avenue then left.But for me I’m interested in many wildlife ,the more ..the better,especially wild life in Madagascar that is very unique.There are so many endemic species in the country, both fauna and flora.I decide to do the night walk here because it’s flat area ,easier to follow animal like lemur that jump from tree to tree.The reserve is not so big ,and not so small either.So I think the animal should gather in the middle part of reserve than the edge of reserve .And the center of the reserve is right in the middle of it,so I think we’ll have more chance to see wildlife day and night.Another reason is ..because it’s quite less frequent visit from other tourists,so animal will still remain there ,not forage farer away.
I found these birds ,probably the same specie.I tried to find out what kind of them.They might be the "Tsingy Wood Rail" which is similar to "Madagascar Wood Rail" but the different is Tsingy wood rail is a little bigger and the differ in colour of throat ,moustache stripe and area around the eye.And as I noticed ,the Tsingy Wood Rail has a little darker colour especially the throat area.The Tsingy Wood Rail (Canirallus beankaensis) is a species of bird in the Rallidae family that only was scientifically described in 2011. It is endemic to areas with dry deciduous forest and limestone karst in the lowlands of west-central Madagascar ,especially in Grand Tsingy ,that's why they gave this name.They forage on ground around leaf litter area or near edge of pond or marsh.
Kirindy reserve is in Menabe protected area of 125,000 ha.At the beginning this place's purpose was to be the trees harvesting area ,.After the area getting more green ,many wildlife follow, so now it become a natural protected area. I wanted to come here to see 2 of the rarely seen animals which are giant jumping rat and the fossa.
From Belo Sur Tsiribihina river heading south to junction for Kirindy is about 40 km. We''ll see the small sign on our left ,then turn left on the very bad road for about 5 km.And it's about 65 km to Morondava.
The first picture is in front of the restaurant of kirindy.
Picture 2-4 I saw semetry along the main route from Tsingy to Kiridy.The pictures were painted very colourful and very well.
Along the way climbing Grand Tsingy ,I saw this snail shell.I think why this shell are here,so I tried to find out from many source and here are some story...Long time ago ,this area of towering pinnacles used to be some kind roof of extensive cave system below with underground river system.Time pass ..underlying rocks exposed cause by rain ,storm and wind and the ocean 60km away..Many plants and animals were found among sharp edge pinnacles here ,so it can storm ,wind ,animal or even human that may brought these shells here finally.Now spider use these snail shell as their home.. It could be "Olios coenobitus" spider. It's known to live in thorny succulent bushes in Madagascar.Researchers observed the spiders lifting snail shells many times their own weight off the ground using a network of silk threads.The spider will hang it's home on tree branches above the ground to avoid their predator which is ants,but this couldn't avoid human predator.Local children collected spiders in the shell to feed their chicken so now if we see this shell which aren't hanging on the tree branch ,It probably no more spider inside.
After descending down from sharp rock pinnacles ,we have to climb through some small cave or narrow hole between rocks,like in the pictures.Now it's the time for lunch,each guide will find some nice shady area for us to have lunch,for me the lunch was included in the package but I have to tell the hotel in advance what I need .Bekopaka hotel is in remote area so they don't have much food for customer to choose ,they have only sandwich with cheese or omelette.I chose omelette because I have to be careful about food poisoning and diarrhea,we are in remote area without hospital and very little drinking water, so if we lose body liquid too much ,it must not be good.So I don't choose cheese cuz I don't know if they chill it well and how long they already bought it.At least omelette is newly cook each day,so even I'm so fed up with omelette already but now look like I have only 1 choice.
In the 4th picture ,that's the cave only for us to have lunch.I shared some of my omelette to guide cuz he seems to have nothing to eat.We talked a lot and find out more that my guide Roddy is a nice and smart person.He told us that we are one of the best customer he met .Umm...thank you.. Roddy
More pictures to share.
1 .. A lemur...!!.... Oops..!! no......it's me.
2.We have to walk through it.
3.The heat was getting more intense, so it's time to descending to the bottom.
4.Look up to the pinnacle's peaks, .. still amazing.
5.We have to climb down through narrow channel,deep down and down.
At the beginning of the walk of Grand Tsingy,I saw a group of Decken's sifaka.They are in a group of 5.This type of sifaka is a little known and it used to be considered as a sub species of Verreaux's sifaka which look very similar.It's fur is typically creamy white, which forms a stark contrast against the black, hairless face. The neck, shoulders, back and limbs are occasionally tinged with yellow, silvery-grey or pale brown. In some other areas they have a dark brown to black head, and light brown to silver grey on the upper arms ,shoulder and upper back.
To be easy to remember which one is Decken or Verreaux ,I can tell you the quickest way to see the diffference is ..Verreuax sifaka has some kind of " headband" on the head which can see clearly in black colour stripe, whatever we can say.. " headband" "stripe" or "crown" but decken's sifaka don't have that.
For the species of lemur or sifaka,I like these 2 types so much ,I think they are beautiful,may be because of the more white fur of them that look alike panda a little bit.(it's only private fantacy : )
And one of the most adorable species I dream and longing to see most is Diadem sifaka.They are not in this area but more to the eastern side of the country which is more dense and greener forest.
We can find Decken's sifaka only in western part of Madagascar and they are diurnal.It's in endandered red list.I just really hope for them to have opportunity to live longer.I hope no more cutting the forest.I hope human share some forest for animal too,..not only for oneself.
As I mentioned before in the other tip that walking here is safe enough for almost all age of visittors,because they constructed some boardwalks ,step,steel ladders,cable rope and suspension bridge to see closer to the rocks and deeper into the park.
This suspension bridge is my highlight of this walking.If someone still in doubt how much safety or how strong the bridge is..,you can see it from the first picture.It looks solid right?
I can say..it's very safe,but the one who has acrophobia(height fear) or vertigo should be more careful.I think you can do,but just walk slowly and don't look down,the more you look the more you feel unstable and fear.This bridge is about 15 metre long.What is under us is the sharp pinnacles like you can see some part of them in picure 2,3,4.
This is an example of what I said "everybody can do it" This gentleman from Belgium was so brave ,his age is around 70 something travel around in Madagascar with his wife.I met him along walking here .He walked his own pace and seemed to enjoy everything around him a lot.He was lucky that got a very very good and kind guide,only him in the group .His wife has hight fear,so she didn't do this walk,she prefer to wait at the parking area.It means he got very private guide.I noticed that this guide keep petient of his customer of how slow and how much he has to encourage his customer,he took very good care of his customer very well.(same as my Roddy ...is also the very good one )You can see in the picture he hold his hand,and still be good mood.It's a pity I forgot his name.I recommend this 2 guides for you all...Roddy and this one.
There are about 2 view points platform ..on top of the rocks.Everybody took turn to go up to see view of Grand Tsingy ,to see how amazing it is from the top.It's really great and beautiful.The platform made from wood and can carry only 5 people at a time.If you see people are waiting,please consider that it's very hot and still people waiting without any shade,so please don't have long conversation up there.If we just enjoy the view and take pictures.. that'll be fine.
I have some nice picture to show you ,from my camera they may looked so and so ,but in real..they are so amazing and beautiful.