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Camp among Lemurs at Tsarasoa Camp

Ambalavao, Madagascar


Added by Cat Ekkelboom-White

Stay at this unique eco-lodge in Madagascar and wake up to the calls of ring-tailed lemurs

As with everything in Madagascar, the best places are found after the hardest drives. And this was no exception.

Tsarasoa Camp is an eco-camp located towards the south of Madagascar. As you start to get this far south, you quickly notice that things are hotter and a lot drier.

After you leave the relative comfort of the tarmac road, you turn onto a dirt road where the rest of your journey continues. From here it was only supposed to be about 35km until the camp, however in Madagascar, it's not unusual for that kind of distance to take around 1.5 hours, as you get thrown around in the car.

As you drive through a number of small villages, children run out smiling and waving, usually running along the side of the car and asking for gifts and sweets. We were warned in advance that whilst it can seem harmless to give them things, in some areas, they are actually kept home from school and sent begging in areas where there are tourists, so it's best not to give them anything. Instead, we were advised to give back to the locals by supporting local companies, using local guides and drivers etc, which is what we did.

Even though the journey was hard, arriving at Tsarasoa Camp was breathtaking. The camp has been made to fit in with the traditional Malagasy huts, and sits beneath the incredible rock face Tsaranoro (which, incidentally, has been climbed by some of the world's most famous professional rock climbers). Each of the huts is unique, and has been built using material sourced from the local villages.

Around the camp there are some lovely walks. We went out with a local guide early in the morning to go searching for the ring-tailed lemurs. We could hear them from the camp as their calls were pretty loud, but trying to spot them wasn't as easy! I definitely recommend going on an early walk with a local guide, as they know where the lemurs like to congregate. And they can also show you some other really interesting local sites too, like a beautiful hidden pool and burial site.

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