Kirindi National Reserve

 

Nocturnal Lemur escaping hot borrow

Nocturnal Lemur escaping hot borrow

Kirindi National Park, just South of the Tsiribe River, is overlooked by most fellow travelers, when rushing through to get to the Alley de Baobab in time for sunset.  It is arid and dry, but has its own beauty and tranquility and is teaming with wildlife.

Shifakas in tree tops

Shifakas in tree tops

As expected, our shit-wagon needed bush mechanic repairs on suspension and I was hoping it would make it all the way. Along the way, I had the first opportunity to take close up shot of the Boab tree or in Malagasy, Baobab. I heard some time ago that its ‘fahdy’ to touch a baobab tree, but had no choice as the branches and trunk reflected beauty fully in the sun.

Sun reflecting baobab tree under blue skies

Sun reflecting baobab tree under blue skies

We arrived at Kirindi lodge around sunset and as soon as the car stopped, I chipped my tooth…just like that. I wasn’t chewing on anything, nor had I noticed anything before… things that make you go.. mhhhh?

We checked in and went on a night tour, to spot nocturnal Lemurs and other creatures of the night. The poor things got blinded by flashlights and torches…
I was told that a few Fossa hang around the camp and saw one some time after… I stayed up a while in hope to get a good shot, but no such luck.

Early morning impressions

Early morning impressions

I woke up early and went on exploration for the Fossa, last moon light and sunrise…again, no such luck.. I just got back to bed, as the call came, that a Fossa was spotted in the camp… I took a few shots, and noticed that he kept looking towards me.. he then came close… very close… in fact, he was interested in my crocs.  I drew some blood from my boots after yesterday’s hike and he liked that…what happened next, can only be described a the ‘Fossa’ dance… he tried to bite into my crocs, I shushed him off, still trying to get a close up shot… but that wasn’t easy, looking thru my lens and keeping an agile predator at bay. They have sharp claws and teeth and most locals are afraid.

Fossa

Fossa

Meanwhile the whole camp was around me, like an audience for a show… which it was…. this went on for a good 5/10 minutes, no joke…
After breakfast, we set of for a 4 hour day tour thru the Forrest. Our guide Jean Claude Babtiste spoke good English, which was a welcoming change… not only did we see the elusive Shifaka Lemur and red/brown lemur,

Sifaka outpost

Sifaka outpost

Jean-Claude explained all about the boababs,and other trees. Ebony is one of them,and well sought throughout the world. Then there is the wassa tree, that peels thin bark in reddish colours

Wassa tree peeling

Wassa tree peeling

Like a paperbark. Wassa, is what Malagasy call Caucasians, as they peel red skin as well, after spending too much time in the sun.

Wassa tree close up

Wassa tree close up

We came to a mound in the forest, where a baobab tree had decayed, leaving only bits of faserige wood and combined with dried out boabab flowers and fruits, it was the perfect ingredient to get creative, laid under shiny bamboo leaves.

Baobab fruit and flowers, sun dried

Baobab fruit and flowers, sun dried

It really was interesting,and peaceful, sitting in the shade

A peaceful break with Ninah Clara, and local tour guide Jean Claude Baptiste

A peaceful break with Ninah Clara, and local tour guide Jean Claude Baptiste

and watch the shifakas resting in the midday heat. A mother kept an eye out for potential danger for her baby. We didn’t appear to be a threat.

Don’t mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

I took so many photos that my neck muscles almost cracked.

Mother love

Mother love

Back at camp, another, or the same Fossa, was relaxing in the midday heat, another great opportunity for a close up.

Mother love

Fossa close up

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