Photographing wild lemurs in Madagascar Reserves
Difficulty in photographing wild animals in dark thick forest reserves, big challenge for me with my slow and testy 70-200m F4. Not quite successful in having decent lemur shots as most are rather shy creatures often spotted high up in the trees hidden by the various thick branches.
For camera gear, best to bring a longer and faster lens, macro lens, flash, rain cover and bright flood lights/torch light for nocturnal nature walks. I didn’t have all of those as I wasn’t a nature photographer.
Visited a few national reserves, Andasibe-Mantadia , Ranomafana, Isalo etc can be a pricey affair. Guides to all reserves are compulsory and they charge in circuits and hours. The successful ones have additional help, Lemur spotters, young men who spread out in the reserves finding Lemurs for paid tourists. All the guides work together, they communicate with each other through their mobile phones and have become pretty successful in finding the lemurs easily. We tourist get to ‘spot’ our lemurs up high in the dark dense trees within 2 hours of our 4 hour circuits. This is commercial nature tourism for you especially for impatient tourists like us who want everything including those animals fast.
If you want to experience animals up close and personal, best to stick to private reserves where most of the lemurs are semi-tame and pretty use to being with humans. The reserves have less foliage cover and designed for tourists accessibility compared to the thick dense national parks, thus making photographing these amazing lemurs a less frustrating experience.