Look for Lemurs
High up on any list of things to do in Madagascar are the irresistible lemurs. Their ancestors are believed to have floated across to Madagascar some 65 million years ago on natural "rafts" of vegetation, and evolved into over 100 species. The name comes from the Latin 'lemures', meaning ghost, and many Malagasy fady taboos involve lemurs, with some seen as benevolent ancestors, and others as bringers of bad fortune. Different lemurs inhabit different regions, and more are expected to be discovered. Sought-after species include the ring-tailed lemur and the sifaka, which appears to dance around on its back legs. The indri is the largest living lemur, and its eerie, whale-like song sung is by several individuals each morning to communicate with other groups. Take a guided night trek to spot nocturnal species, including one of Madagascar’s most bizarre-looking lemurs – the aye-aye, with its freakish, long, skinny finger.
Sadly, at least 17 species are known to have become extinct since humans arrived on the island – all of them were larger than the surviving lemurs, including some as big as gorillas.
Listen to indris singing in the forests of Madagascar: