Kirindy, a privately managed dry deciduous forest, is home to several species of lemur—including the exotically beautiful Verreaux's sifaka—as well as numerous endemic reptiles. With easy walking and wildlife viewing, Kirindy is one of the crown jewels of Madagascar.
Where: The Kirindy Forest is located in western Madagascar, about 50 km northeast of the town of Morondava (which has an airport, making it a convenient base to explore the general area). There are only two nearby lodging options: there is lodging within the forest which is fairly basic, and just outside the forest is Relais du Kirindy, which is more comfortable than the forest lodge but still somewhat basic.
When: The cooler dry season generally takes place from April to November every year. Visiting Kirindy is more pleasant during the dry season, but reptiles and amphibians are less active. Kirindy is often inaccessible from January through March due to rain. Photography: Early mornings when the lemurs are most active are typically better for wildlife photography. You'll definitely want a long telephoto zoom lens as well as a mid-range zoom; sometimes lemurs and sifakas are in the tops of the trees, but they often come down lower and are sometimes quite close. Sifakas are a top reason to photograph in Kirindy. These beautiful white lemurs can be difficult to photograph when it is sunny out, so be especially careful to avoid overexposing their fur. Kirindy is also famous for fossa, which is a slender, long-tailed, cat-like predator endemic to Madagascar. A number of fossa used to come to the lodge to eat discarded food, but they stopped coming when tourism dwindled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you aren't lucky enough to spot a fossa, you'll likely encounter a diverse number of species while exploring Kirindy, including a few owl species that rest in the forest during the day, such as the white-browed owl featured below.
Night walks are very productive in Kirindy. You'll likely see a number of species, including diminutive mouse lemurs (below). Your guide will bring a bright flashlight to illuminate any animals you encounter, which works surprisingly well for photography.
There's also a number of baobab trees that you can easily find and photograph at the edges of the forest. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of slash-and-burn farming around the forest, so although the baobabs are stunning, the surrounding terrain isn't very attractive. It's probably best to photograph the trees when the sun is behind them, rendering the trees and their surroundings in silhouette.
Learn more: Your Madagascar tour company can help you book a visit to Kirindy. The following site also has some basic information about Kirindy Forest: https://www.wildmadagascar.org/conservation/parks/Kirindy.html