Illustration by Dawn Cooper
1. Fossa, Kirindy Forest
Fossa © Shannon Wild / VW Pics / UIG / Getty
Fossas are Madagascar’s apex predator, a large mongoose-like carnivore that can grow to nearly 1.5m long (if you include the tail). Elusive and hard to spot, but Kirindy is said to offer better odds than other locations.
2. Aye-aye, Nosy Mangabe
Aye-aye © Frans Lanting / Getty
The extraordinary aye-aye was introduced to Nosy Mangabe, which it was hoped would develop an ‘ark’ population. If you want to see any aye-ayes, you’ll have to stay the night.
3. Giraffe-necked weevil, Ranomafana NP
Giraffe-necked weevil © Nick Garbutt / Getty
These famously bizarre bugs are only found in rainforest on the east side of Madagascar. In the mating season, look out for males fighting for a female using their necks.
4. Indri, Andasibe-Mantadia NP
Indri © Andy Rouse / Getty
The indri is the largest-living lemur and, with its black and white, luxuriously thick coat, unmistakable for any of its relatives. Also renowned for their extraordinary calls, there are some habituated groups within the park.
5. Verreaux’s sifaka, Berenty Reserve
Verreaux’s sifaka © Anup Shah / Getty
This lemur is renowned for its elegance, whether it’s leaping through the trees or bounding along the ground with its arms in the air. There are habituated groups at Berenty.
6. Ring-tailed lemur, Isalo NP
Ring-tailed lemur © Robert Harding / Getty
If there is such a thing as the archetypal lemur, the ring-tailed lemur is it, even though it can only be found in the south. It feeds on the ground in groups of up to 30 individuals.