We only got one day in Ranomafana National Park, a place renowned for its incredible biodiversity but we opted for the longest possible trek hoping to photograph and film as many of the key and endangered species as possible.
It’s a popular place for wildlife watching but the crowds never spend more than 2-3hours in the park in the morning before heading back to their accommodation. We spent around 8hours (the maximum allowed) and pretty much had the whole place to ourselves from 11 am.
This place is host to an amazing biodiversity and we got to see a range of Malagasy wildlife.
Golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus) can be found in the park. This species was discovered by American lemur expert Patricia Wright when she came down to this area, over two decades ago, searching for the greater bamboo lemur. This discovery along with the confirmation of the presence of the greater bamboo lemur triggered the creation of what is now Ranomafana National Park.
They are critically endangered with a total population estimated to be ~600 individuals.
The largest lemur found in the park is Milne-Edwards’ sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi). The incredible orange eyes were mesmerizing. You can see that it was raining which made for a tough shoot with the very low light available and the dense forest! They feed mostly on seeds and leaves and can live up to 35 years. They are listed as Endangered and are found only in a narrow band of rainforest in the southeast of Madagascar.
I was really hoping to see a satanic leaf-tail gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus), an incredible reptile that many herp enthusiasts come here to find and that I did not get to see the previous year! Our guides found us a tiny juvenile (~5cm length). The dead leaf mimicry is insane !
Watch the video below to see how I captured these images in Ranomafana National Park and hear more about the lemurs living in this area.