13 DAYS BIRDING TOUR
Day 1 : ARRIVAL IN ANTANANARIVO
Welcome to Madagascar!
We will start the tour with an overnight stay at a hotel in Antananarivo.
Your airport transfer will be arranged by the hotel.
Your guide will meet you that evening at the hotel and brief you about the next day’s plan.
The following morning we will all meet for a trip briefing over breakfast!
Day 2 : ANTANANARIVO- FORT DAUPHIN –BERENTY
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport and catch the Air Madagascar morning flight to Toloagnaro (formerly called Fort Dauphin). From here we continue by road to Berenty Reserve. This world famous reserve is situated only 80 km west of Tolagnaro, but due to the state of the roads the journey is often slow going – the drive there being all part of the experience, of course!
Berenty is an active sisal estate, part of which has been conserved in its original state. The habitat comprises spiny forest, frontage on to the Mandrare River, and most importantly, a one hundred hectare patch of deciduous gallery forest. The combination of spectacular birds and lemurs, comfortable accommodation and the tranquillity of Berenty’s forest trails makes this the abiding Madagascar memory for many visitors to the island. We’ll stay at the chalets within the Berenty Reserve itself, with the start of the trails just a short stroll away.
Day 3 : BERENTY RESERVE
At dawn, a birding expedition with a specialist bird-guide at approximately 05.30 inside Berenty Private Reserve, where 100 bird species have been recorded. You will visit both aspects of the forest during your stay here: the idiosyncratic south-western spiny forest and the denser, greener gallery, semi-dry forest. After lunch, guests are free to explore by themselves along the reserve’s substantial forest trails. As dusk falls, you make a night-time foray into the reserve to seek out the plethora of nocturnal creatures, from White-footed lepilemurs and Grey mouse lemurs to birds such as White-browed owl, Madagascar scops owl and Madagascar nightjar.
Day 4: BERENTY- FORT DAUPHIN-ANTANANARIVO
After another wonderful morning’s birding and lunch at Berenty today, we bid a reluctant farewell to the Ring-tails and return to Toloagnaro. Here we catch the late afternoon flight back north to ‘Tana, arriving there, transfer to your hotel.
Day 5: ANTANANARIVO – ANDASIBE
After a leisurely breakfast we leave ‘Tana and travel east to Andasibe (formerly named Perinet), a wonderful rainforest site that lies 136 km east of the capital. The drive will take around 3-4 hours, with a stop along the way to look for Madagascan Pratincole. Andasibe will be our base for a four-night stay.
En route, we visit Lac Alarobia, an oasis for waterbirds in the middle of the bustling city. Here we will search for the rare Madagascan Pond Heron amidst throngs of other breeding herons and egrets. The place is quite a sight to behold, as large numbers of buff-plumed Squacco Herons display to each other, with Great White, Black and Cattle Egrets all around. Brilliant Madagascan Kingfishers shoot across the open water and waterfowl here can include Madagascan Little Grebe, White-faced Whistling-duck, and Red-billed and Comb Ducks. White-throated Rails and Madagascan Swamp Warblers skulk and clamber about the reeds, while at another wetland on the edge of the city we may find the attractive African Pygmy Goose.
After arrival at Andasibe, we will settle in and enjoy some introductory birding around about, with the exciting prospect of two full days to explore this spectacular area.
Day 6 – 7: ANDASIBE /MANTADIA NATIONAL PARK
We spend two more nights in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, birding the beautiful primary and secondary forests of the area. We spend the whole day on Day 2 and the morning of Day 3 in the Mantadia National Park section, while returning to the Analamazoatra section in the afternoon of Day 3.
We should find Velvet Asity, Common Sunbird-Asity, Benson’s Rock Thrush (Forest Rock Thrush), Madagascan Flufftail, many vangas including Blue Vanga and Nuthatch Vanga, Madagascan Blue Pigeon, Madagascan Cuckooshrike, several endemic warblers such as Rand’s Warbler, and more. We have stakeouts for Madagascan Grebe, the rare Meller’s Duck, and Madagascan Rail. We expect our first couas, Red-fronted Coua being a likely candidate. We should also see a few new lemurs such as ruffed lemur. We certainly don’t ignore other non-avian wildlife and often see giraffe weevil, tree boa, and many chameleons.
Day 8: ANDASIBE – ANTANANARIVO
After enjoying a final morning birdwalk and lunch at Andasibe today, in the afternoon we return to the capital ‘Tana. We spend the night at a hotel in ‘Tana so as to be on station for our flight to Mahajanga, at the western of Madagascar, first thing next morning. Night Antananarivo (‘Tana).
Day 9: ANTANANARIVO –MAHAJANGA- ANKARAFANTSIKA
We will leave the hotel after breakfast, take our flight to Mahajanga, and eventually drive directly to Ankarafantsika (about 4 hours’ drive), heading for the Ampijoroa dry deciduous forest. A three-night stay should allow us to spot most of the key birds of the area. En route to Ankarafantsika, we plan to stop at Lake Amboromalandy and at rice fields to try to find birds like Madagascan Jacana, Malagasy Pond Heron, Humblot’s Heron, the strange Black Heron, and others.
Time-permitting, we can spend time at Lake Ravelobe, scanning for the critically endangered Madagascan Fish Eagle and many other birds. Beware of crocodiles, please, and don’t walk too close to the lake! We then return to the rustic accommodation, checking the trees around the “lodge” for spectacular birds, including Sickle-billed Vanga, Madagascan Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Lovebird, and many others. If we’re not too tired, we might do a night walk tonight (otherwise the next evening), and this might generate Madagascan Nightjar, owls, chameleons, and nocturnal lemurs.
Day 10-11: ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK
We have another early start to visit the various sections of Ankarafantsika. Here we need to find mega-amazing birds such as White-breasted Mesite, Van Dam’s Vanga, Rufous Vanga, the incomparable and spectacular Schlegel’s Asity, Red-capped Coua, Coquerel’s Coua, Crested Coua, and lemurs like the spectacular Coquerel’s sifaka. One afternoon we plan to do a boat trip on the lake for species mentioned previously that might have been missed.
Day 12: ANKARAFANTSIKA –MAHAJANGA-ANTANANARIVO
After final “cleanup” birding in the dry forests of Ankarafantsika, we will drive back to Mahajanga (Majunga) – a very lively town with plenty of rickshaws. Then we’ll eventually fly back to Tana where we spend the night.
Day 13: ANTANANARIVO
This morning we will depart for our flights back home. End of Service.
|Tour Price (Per Person) (Minimum group of 04 pax)||EURO (€)||US DOLLAR (US $)|
|Single Supplement||€820||US $935|
Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Internal flights are € 285 per person in 2018 and in in 2019. All prices and fares are quoted in Euro and subject to change. Contact us for more information.