Quest for the Aye Aye and Undiscovered Masoala
Experience a beautifully wild region of Madagascar, well away from the beaten track on this exciting tailor-made itinerary to Madagascar’s largest rainforest. A particular focus and highlight of this itinerary is the excellent chance to see the most mysterious, charismatic and extraordinary of all Madagascar’s lemurs; the wonderful aye aye truly in the wild.
The aye aye was once described by Gerald Durrell as resembling a Walt Disney witch’s black cat with a touch of ET thrown in for good measure. They are sadly very rare throughout much of Madagascar and still sadly persecuted as certain tribes believe they represent an ill omen.
The Farankaraina Reserve visited at the start of this itinerary however offers excellent chances to see this most elusive of all nocturnal lemurs. At least eight aye aye live within the forest here and during August, September and October particularly they can reliably be seen feeding on fruit bearing Canarium trees. At this time we have had close to a 90% success rate with aye aye sightings over a two night stay in the last three years.
After hopefully some very memorable aye aye sightings, move on to explore the vast virgin rainforests of the pristine Masoala National Park. Masoala supports some Madagascar’s greatest biodiversity with species new to science still being discovered here most years. Much of the fauna and flora is also highly localised and found nowhere else in Madagascar. Lemurs include the attractive red-ruffed, white-fronted brown and Northern bamboo, while bird highlights include the helmet vanga. This mossy forest also supports numerous leaf-tailed geckos, colourful chameleons and fascinating insects. During August and September breeding humpback whales add to the wildlife spectacle.
For those looking for a greater level of comfort and more reliable charter flights, we recommend upgrading accommodation in Masoala to the excellent Masoala Forest Lodge.