Dec 20, 2019: Leeches

This morning, Anita opted to stay home. I went with Patrice, our guide, and Huby, our driver, about 20 km along a very bumpy dirt road. We passed the gathering point for workers at the Canadian owned nickel and cobalt mine. We saw the site of the closed graphite mine and passed wonderful views of the primary rain forest

Patrice and I started at the far end of the farthest circuit and saw five different species of lemur. We saw the ultra rare red fronted lemur, as well as rare-for-here black and white ruffed.  Some brown, some sifaka and some indri rounded out our list. 

Most notable, however, were the leeches. One attached itself through my shirt to my belly. Another latched on above my waist on my lower back. I didn’t feel them come or go, but I did have big blood stains on my shirt. 

The forest was lovely. The ground was rolling hills and the canopy was forty or fifty feet high. The undergrowth was steady, and not particularly dense or sparse. The trail was easy to follow, although one thing I’ve learned is that in Madagascar, guides always go off the marked path in search of lemurs eating or resting wherever they felt most comfortable. 

We took a second walk, staying on the path, to see a small waterfall one kilometre from the road. This was easy walking and pleasant viewing. 

IMG_1650

A male and female giraffe beetle.

IMG_1652

The primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park.

img_1660.jpg

Diademed Sifaka, high in the trees.

IMG_1658

The forest floor, under feeding lemurs. They like fruit and flowers.

IMG_1670

Riansoa Waterfall in Mantadia National Park.