Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean. As Madagascar has been isolated from the main continents for very long time, the species on the island evolved into new species. More than 90% of the plants and animals are endemic species (or sub-species). To nature lovers, this is very attractive and the primary reason to visit Madagascar.
We employed local travel agent to arrange the trip for us. During this trip, we traveled around the central eastern part of the island.
Andasibe Mantadia National Park
We stayed at a lodge near the National Park. It was a hot spot for foreign travelers. The trails were well organized. It was one of the greatest place for butterfly watching in the trip. Unfortunately, flight delays shortened our trip and we could only spend two days in this area.
Anjozorobe is about 1400m above sea level. We stayed at Mananara Lodge. It was a nice place, distant away from the crowd, and certainly great for trekking. While it was still cold during the day and freezing during the night, butterflies were not very active during our stay.
During the Singapore trip in 2011, we met some friends from the Butterfly Circle. They just returned from Malaysia and showed us some great pictures. We then started to plan for the Malaysia trip.
Bukit Fraser (Fraser’s Hill)
We picked Bukit Fraser as our first station. It was situated at about 1000m above sea level. Unfortunately, it may be too early to visit the place during Easter. It was still quite cool. What’s worse, the weather was not good. Despite wrong season and bad weather, we were still able to spot some interesting butterflies.
Ipoh and Cameron Highland
Ipoh was one of the major cities in Malaysia. Around the region, there are quite a number of waterfalls and hot springs. Raja Brooke’s Birdwing (Trogonoptera brookiana), the national butterfly of Malaysia, can be found easily.
Apart from the birdwing butterflies, leeches are extremely common in the region. The local tour information suggested that leeches were in “healthy population”. You can be sure that you will be annoyed by these tiny creatures.
During the Subic trip, Lydia introduced a famous eco-guide, Zardo, to me. It was how we started planning the Mindanao trip during Chinese New Year. During the Mindanao trip, we visited quite a number of butterfly spots around Bislig bay.
Unfortunately, the weather was not very good. The vegetation was not as good as we thought either. The forest around Bislig are mostly secondary forest. While secondary forests may still be good for bird watching, secondary forests are deserts for butterfly watching. There is still a major primary forest in the region. It was a former forest reserve. During our visit, we can see and hear active tree cutting activities.
This year, my friend and I went to Subic Bay of Philippine. There, we joined our friend, Lydia, the local expert in butterfly garden. While the place was occupied as the naval base, the vegetation remained well preserved.
We spent most of the time in the area near the Zoobic Safari.