Gerry Ellis - September 12, 2006 – Nosy Mangabe (Island)


Nosy Mangabe (Nosy means island in Malagasy) is a small rounded triangular lump nestled deep in the heart of Baie D’ Antongil (Bay of Antongil) on the northeast coast of Madagascar. Protected by law and the sea from the forest clearing that has plagued so much of the coastal tropical rainforest, it has become a favorite for visitors hoping to discover a vision of what wet tropical Madagascar once looked like. Several species of lemurs live on the island including the bizarre nocturnal Aye-aye (pronounced eye-eye), as well as chameleons and the cryptic leaf-tailed gecko Uroplatus—a lizard with no clear head or tail.



Unfortunately all those wonderful photo opportunities are a 30 minute boat ride away and like so often can happen in the coastal wet tropics, torrential and wind have swept in and I can only stare across the bay at a faint image of Nosy Mangabe in the grey. Not worth the risk of damaging all the gear with virtually no chance of photographing anything in this downpour. So we wait—a key reason to have the laptop loaded with a copy of PhotoSHop CS2… a chance to catch up on getting photos ready for this blog and other projects. In the wet tropics always come prepared to have rain down time, eventually you will clean all the gear and have time on your hands.

After a few hours the captain gives us the word and we sail for Nosy Mangabe; half hour trip is nearly an hour of rough water—I ALWAYS pack all gear in ziplocks when taxiing by water—water over the bow drenches everything. My main objective is general rainforest images and a few new photos of Uroplatus; lemurs on the island are pretty wild and fleeting, better opportunities elsewhere for the same species.

Nosy Mangabe is famous for these amazing lizards that they even have a trail called Uroplatus trail…