15 DAYS BIRDING TOUR
Day 1: ANTANANARIVO (Arrival)
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- ANDASIBE
Early today we embark on a three-to-four-hour drive to Andasibe, one of Madagascar’s premier rainforest sites.
Here the unforgettable call of the indri resounds through the beautiful Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. In the afternoon we will visit its Analamazoatra section. We find the indri with ease, along with other spectacularly beautiful species such as ruffed lemur.
Birding is unbelievable, with four different ground rollers possible, along with two nightjars, including the bizarre Collared Nightjar at its daytime roosts. Madagascan Owl, Rainforest Scops Owl, and a suite of nocturnal lemurs and chameleons await us on a night walk in the area.
Days 3 – 4. 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 5: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 6: 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 7-8: 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 9: 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 10: ANTANANARIVO – MAROANTSETRA
After our night in Tana, we’ll fly to Madagascar’s north-east, where the Masoala peninsula shelters the Baie d’Antongil. We’ll land in the small airport of Maroantsetra and stay the night in this sea-side town before we board our boat to Masoala at daybreak.
Day 11-13: MASOALA NATIONAL PARK
It’s a spectacular journey across the bay. The voyage passes nearby the island of Nosy Mangabe, with the peninsula’s thickly forested mountains as a dramatic backdrop. If we are
lucky, we may see Madagascar Pratincole by the shorelines. One we’ve settled into camp, we’ll start exploring the camp’s idyllic surrounds and its birdlife. The wooden bungalows close to the beach are elegant but quite rustic. We will stay overnight to the sound of the sea and the forest, which both border to our camp.
We have another two full days to explore the wonders of the Masoala Peninsula. The peninsula holds some of the rarest birds in Madagascar, including Helmet and Bernier’s Vanga(see photographs below, taken on our trip). There is also a tiny chance of Madagascar Serpent Eagle and Madagascar Red Owl, but we’ll need to be extremely lucky to find them!
We’ll explore the forest trails looking for bird parties which may hold the vangas. The area holds the largest primary rainforest tract in Madagascar and we’ll reacquaint ourselves
with many of the eastern rainforest specials that we might have seen earlier on the trip. We’ll all be hoping to lift our binoculars and be dazzled by the gigantic electric blue bill of the Helmet Vanga – the focus of our searches. We’ll stand a good chance of encountering one of the most spectacular lemurs endemic to the area: the noisy Red-ruffed Lemur with its orange and black fur. The area also offers fair chances to see the localised and handsome White-fronted Brown Lemur as well as the locally endemic Masoala Woolly Lemur and the Masoala or Scott’s Sportive Lemur.
Day 14: MASOALA –MAROANTSETRA-ANTANANARIVO
This morning we will take the boat back to Maroantsetra to connect with our internal flight back to Tana, where we will spend our final night of this Masoala Peninsula Extension. Depending on the time of our flight we may have some time for some final morning’s birding along the trails around our lodge.
Day 15: ANTANANARIVO & DEPARTURE
This morning, those that are staying on for the Comprehensive tour of Madagascar will begin the tour in Tana, while those not doing the main tour will depart on their flights home.
|Tour Price (Per Person) (Minimum group of 04 pax)||EURO (€)||US DOLLAR (US $)|
|Single Supplement||€916||US $1044|
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.