Located on the southwestern coast of Madagascar is the tiny Kirindy Mitea National Park. The park is a mere 722 km² (280 miles²) in size and is far enough from the capital city of Antananarivo that is does not get high volumes of visitors. Kirindy is a lemur-lovers delight. Those wishing to see lemurs such as the Verraux sifaka (dancing sifaka), red-tailed sportive, ring-tailed and the red-fronted brown lemur will be happy to know they all reside here. Kirindy is even home to the world’s smallest primate—Berthe’s mouse lemur—but this cinnamon-colored little guy is endangered and will most likely be hard to spot. The only predator of the lemur (aside from humans) also resides in Kirindy. The fossa is a cat-like in appearance but is a relative of the mongoose. It has a long tail nearly the length of its body and is primarily a nocturnal hunter. Unfortunately, the fossa is also an endangered species and is rarely seen in the wild.
Due to the park’s small size, there is no lodging within the park and most people get an early start to their day and come from neighboring towns. The absence of large animals in Kirindy and its small size mean tours are done on foot, with a local guide. The tours can be as short or as long as desired, and an early start is recommended.
There are two distinct seasons for Kirindy: a hot, rainy season and a dry season. The dry season can see temperatures soar and the land become parched. Despite the heat, travel during this time is easier as the roads are passable and the foliage is reduced. The dry season runs for about nine months and starts in March. During the hot, rainy season, the foliage becomes green and dense and the animals become more active, but the roads are more difficult to manage.