Andasibe rainforest is the prime location to search for the Indri lemur - a highlight of any trip to Madagascar. Andasibe is within easy reach from Antananarivo and makes a nice first stop on your road trip in Madagascar. Its a 3,5 hours drive on the RN2 - a lovely smooth, but windy asphalt road.
With it's surprised teddy-bear face, the Indi Indri looks more like a gone-wrong panda than a lemur. If you don't see them ( 99% chance you will), you will for sure hear them. They call out to each other with a high-pitched eerie, wailing sound wail that vibrates right through your core. Each Indri Indri only cries up to three times a day as it cost them so much energy. It is really mind blowing to be a witness of this ritual!
You can do between 2 - 4 hour walks in Andasibe to search for the lemurs. It is not strenuous. Mantadia National Park is 20km further up north, much bigger and more for the hiking enthusiast. The park entrance cost € 14 per person, plus € 15 for the guide for a group up to four. All proceeds go to the guide, but a tip is expected.
On our hike with guide Hermann, whom we had to pick because of his Dutch name :) we saw the following animals and birds: Indri indri, Diadeem Sifaka, Brown lemur, Pandanus frog, Elephant ear chameleon, Green day ghecko, Paradise fly cather, Red fronted cova. Many of these species are only found in Madagascar!