The author and naturalist Gerald Durrell put the town of MANANARA on the map in 1992 in The Aye-Aye and I, his account of capturing two male and four female aye-ayes for a breeding programme at Jersey zoo.

The Parc National de Mananara Nord is aye-aye country, but you need to stop at Antanambe (where one of the park offices is located) and hike far into the hills, or take a taxi brousse from Mananara to Sandrakatsy, and then hike for several hours, to find good aye-aye habitat in more or less undisturbed rainforest. Offshore lies the marine parcel of the park, with superb coral around the islet of Nosy Hely.

Aye-Aye Island

For the best chance – though as ever no absolute guarantee – of seeing wild aye-ayes, stop in Mananara town for a day or two, stay at Chez Roger, and spend an evening visiting Île Mon Désir, or Aye-Aye Island, a 30-hectare island in the Mananara River, just 5km upstream from the town centre, that was formerly a plantation but is now covered in secondary forest. It belongs to Roger, the owner of the hotel, who introduced aye-ayes here in the 1990s. They continue to thrive and breed.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Madagascar features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Passport to write: the runners-up!

Passport to write: the runners-up!

After weeks of deliberation, we're thrilled to announce the results of the Rough Guides and Journeys are made @gapyear.com writing competition. The winning p…

03 Jul 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Incredible forests of the world

Incredible forests of the world

Spiny Forest, Madagascar On an island filled with weird and wonderful living things, the spiny forest has to be Madagascar's most unusual ecosystem. Endemic…

03 Oct 2014 • Alison Roberts camera_alt Gallery
The world's most epic cycle routes

The world's most epic cycle routes

Life on two wheels is a beautiful thing, and travel on two wheels can be epic. Here are a few of the world's greatest cycle routes to consider for your next bi…

15 Apr 2014 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook