With a long weekend ahead of me and an urge to finally leave Tana for the first time, my neighbor and I decided to go to Andasibe for a quick trip. Andasibe is a small town approximately 3 hours east of Antananarivo located in Moramanga and primarily visited by Vazahas (foreigners) for the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. The rainforest is known for its biodiversity and being home to 11 species of lemurs ( however I believe I only saw two species).
So Saturday morning, with my bags packed, inspect repellent and a couple bottles of water ( including wine) in tow, we set out for my first trip outside Tana. Although excited by the trip, I was a bit nervous as I was traveling with someone I didn’t know very well and her driver. No, I wasn’t worried about being kidnapped or being used for human sacrifice in the Malagasy jungle, more about whether we would get along and if the trip would be fun. Lucky it wasn’t awkward and we bonded over my time in Senegal as she is Senegalese but hadn’t been back for years.
Saturday afternoon, we arrived at Vakona Lodge (which is not in exactly town) but definitely the best hotel in the area and with a car, accessible. After sipping on our welcome cocktails we check into our rooms, grabbed a quick bite and planned our itinerary.
Sunday morning and we opt for the 3 – 4 hour hike option rather than the 6 hour option in the Mantadia National Park to see “animals”. So, for some reason, when they say animals in Madagascar, I expect animals but the reality is that animals usually means lemurs and lizards. They are “animals” but I need more variety.
So after our 3 plus hour hike, we saw two species of lemurs ( not the 11 advertised) as apparently, as the day progresses, the lemurs go somewhere else but come back late in the night. Our lovely guide, suggested that we come back at night to see more species of lemurs but given that we both preferred to be sipping on wine or sleeping, rather than roaming through the rain forest chasing “animals” we politely declined.
With our tour over, we decide to embark on the 10km walk back to our hotel ( just for fun and exercise).
We ended the day by splitting a bottle of wine, grabbing dinner and calling it a night.
Monday arrived and prior to buying fruits and veggies en route to Tana, we decide to be tourists for one last time and we went off to see the crocodiles.
With this final visit, we said Veloma to Andasibe and hit the road. All in all, a great weekend trip with just enough activities to keep us occupied. Never exhausted or bored.