Tuesday, April 9, 2013

March 27th – Birthday Girl With The Lemurs in Madagascar

Tracy couldn't have wished for nicer friends to have spent her birthday with today – not just our new found friends onboard, but the beautiful lemurs of Madagascar. These incredibly beautiful and gentle animals have got to be the most cute animals that we've ever encountered, and any time up close with these fascinating creatures is always a delight.

From the port in Tolagnaro, we took the ship's tour to the Nahampoana Lemur Reserve, bouncing along one of the worst public highways that I've been on – basically just a dirt track. But, all that bouncing was definitely worth it, because the lemurs didn't disappoint.

As we walked around the reserve, the first place we went to, where one group of lemurs normally hang about, was disappointingly devoid of lemurs. At this point I was getting worried that the lemurs were going to be shy today. However, as we walked a couple more minutes further, we came to a copse, where the guide spotted some white and brown lemurs lurking around in the trees.

I had come prepared, so I had brought some lemur-attracting bananas with me – one sniff of those bananas, and the lemurs came leaping down the trees to play. They were shy at first, but soon they were leaning over towards me, grabbing hold of my hand gently with their long velvety fingers, and delicately nibbling the mushy banana off my finger.

The ring-tailed lemurs that we came across next were braver and friendlier as they scarcely seemed bothered that there were so many of us gawking at them in such close proximity. It was a wonderful experience to be face-to-face with them and look directly into their soulful goggly eyes, and then to have one of them put my banana-smothered finger into his mouth as he carefully scraped the mush off my fingers with his teeth.

Tracy was on cloud nine, with our close encounters of a lemur kind, and followed it up with close encounters of a champagne kind once we were back on board for her birthday. A wonderful day spent in lemur heaven.