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Birds of Madagascar

From 4 to 10 people

Malagasy aviary is unbelievable! Not because of the density of birds, it has 107 endemic species of the 294 species found on the island. This makes Madagascar’s birding so extensive you may never want to leave.

Nowhere else but here will you encounter the Fitatrala (Copsychus albospecularis), the Firasa (Accipiter madagascariensis), the Akohonala, the crested Ibis (Lophotibis cristata), and many others in their natural habitat!

Availability: October – November
Effort Level-1
Comfort Level-4

  • A qualified and passionate leader
  • Emblematic Parks of Madagascar
  • Slow trip on purpose
  • An itinerary to rich and different biotopes
Day 1
Antananarivo / Andasibe (B)

Meet your guide and get briefing before heading to Andasibe. We drive to east direction by the road 7, the route to Tamatave where the big port of Madagascar is. It is though a busy road but could give us the opportunity to observe or to see a few species of birds during the drive.

Birds check list: Dimorphic Egret, Madagascar Red Foudi, Madagascar Kestrel, Madagascar Crested Drongo.

Day 2
Analamazaotra Reserve (B/L)

We will have an early start today, traveling to the rainforest, and there are many types of birds and a few endemics. In every park we visit during the trip, a local birder guide will be ready to assist our tour leader. We have a packed lunch for you to enjoy in the forest to maximize your birding time. We will be back at the hotel in the late afternoon.

Birds check list: Madagascar crested Ibis, Madagascar Buzzard, Madagascar turtle Dove, lesser Vasa Parrot, greater Vasa Parrot, Madagascar lesser Cuckoo, blue Coua, Madagascar Coucal, Madagascar Scops Owl, Madagascar Long-eared Owl, Madagascar Kingfisher, Madagascar Flufftail, Broad-billed Roller, Rufous-headed Ground Roller, Madagascar Cuckoo Roller, Common Sunbird Asity, Madagascar Cuckooshrike, Ward’s Flycatcher, Red-tailed Vanga, Chabert’s Vanga, Madagascar Blue Vanga, Nuthatch Vanga,Hook-billed Vanga, Madagascar Starling, Madagascar Magpie Robin, Malagasy Stonechat, Long-billed Tetraka, Spectacled Tetraka, Madagascar Brush Warbler, Dark Newtonia, Common Newtonia, Common Jery, Green Jery, Stripe-throated Jery, White-throated Oxylabes, Madagascar Wagtail, Nelicourvi Weaver, Madagascar Red Foudi, Forest Foudi, Madagascar Green Sunbird, Brown Emutail.

Day 3
Mantadia National Park (B/L)

We discover another part of the forest with our guide, much more difficult access but certainly more interesting for being less visited! It is possible to observe several species with some very rare ones in Mantadia National Park.

Bird check list: Little Grebe, White-throated rail, Madagascar Spine-tailed Swift, Short-legged Ground Roller, Scaly Ground Roller, Pitta-like Ground Roller, Cryptic Tetraka, White-headed Vanga, Tylas

Day 4
Forest of Mitsinjo (B/L)

Start always early with the bird guide in the same area, visit of Antorotorofotsy and Mitsinjo which have slight different biotopes. The same species as listed above can be observed here with some very rare ones.

Birds check-list: Kittlitz’ Plover, Hottentote Teal, Velvet Asity, Ptta-like Ground Roller, Madagascar Wagtail, Collared Nightjar.

Day 5
Andasibe / Antananarivo / Antsirabe (B)

Today we drive over 200 miles to Antsirabe. We will stop on the way to observe some species living in rice fields along the road. Ride across the Malagasy Highlands to the south.

Day 6
Antsirabe / Ranomafana (B)

We do one more day of driving on Road 7, but only 155 miles today. We join the Betsileo tribe area after Ambositra town. We will stop in Ankazomivady where it is possible to observe some shrubland species of birds. Continuation towards Ranomafana where we go to another rain forest. Several species have been discovered there recently.

Birds check list: Malagasy Stonechat, Long-billed Tetraka, Spectacled Tetraka, Stripe-throated Jery, Common Jery, Madagascar Coucal.

Day 7 & 8
Ranomafana National Park (B/L)

We always walk into the forest always with a local birder form the Park and are going to stay two days in this interesting birding site. It is a dense forest and walking through is sometimes difficult. We are indeed looking for birds but there are also lemurs such as the Greater bamboo lemur and the Golden bamboo Lemur, also insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Birds check list: Slender-billed Flufftail, Grey Emutail, Squacco Heron, Yellow-browed Oxylabes, Velvet Asity, Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity, Pollen’s Vanga, Pitta-like Ground Roller, Rufous-headed Groung-Roller, Short-legged Ground Roller, Grey-crowned Tetraka, Brown Emutail, Forest Rock-thrush, Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Tylas Vanga, Black-crowned Night Heron, Madagascar Brush Warbler, Common Newtonia, Madagascar Spine-tailed Swift, Common Sunbird Asity, Madagascar Scops Owl, Mascarene Martin, Nelicourvi Weaver, Rufous Vanga, Madagascar Turtle Dove, Hook-billed Vanga, White-headed Vanga, Madagascar Mannikin, Madagascar Crested Ibis, Madagascar Bee Eater, Madagascar Wagtail, Madagascar Cuckoo Roller, Brown Mesite, Crossley Vanga, Madagascar Green Sunbird, Souimanga Sunbird, Stripe-throated Jery, Common Jery, Green Jery, White-throated Oxylabes, Spectacled Tetraka, Long-billed Tetraka, Ward’s Vanga, Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Green Pigeon, Madagascar White-Eye.

Day 9
Ranomafana / Ranohira (B)

Back on the main Road 7 and pass through Fianarantsoa town. It is a driving day (220 Miles) with a great change to the landscape, the vegetation and the climate. Starting from rainforest by way of Ihorombe plateau to Isalo wide massif, enjoy the wonderful scenery of the west of Madagascar landscape. It is possible to observe a few species on the way.

Birds check list: Reunion Harrier, Black-shouldered Kite (very rare species)

Day 10
The Birds of the Isalo NP (B/L)

Isalo National Park is not a real birding site but it is though the best place to observe the famous Benson’s Rock Thrush endemic to the Park. Isalo is also a superb site combining geology and botany that taking an important place in the discovery of the area.

Birds check list: Littoral rock Trush, Forest Rock Thrush, Madagascar Kestrel, Madagascar Buttonquail, Madagascar Turtle Dove, Namaqua Dove, African Palm Swift, Madagascar Bee Eater, Broad-billed Roller, Madagascar Hoopoe, Souimanga Sunbird.

Day 11
Ranohira / Zombitse Forest / Tulear (B/L)

Leave the hotel in Ranohira very early, and we will stop in Zombitse, a very rarely visited site. We will be driving 155 miles, stopping for a picnic lunch, and searching for some of the more rare birds of Madagascar. After the visit, we head southwest and continue until we get to Tuléar.

Birds check list: Appert’s Tetraka, Giant Coua, White-browed Owl, Red-shouldered Vanga, Madagascar Buzzard, Madagascar Harrier-hawk, Namaqua Dove, Madagascar Blue Pigeon, Greater Vasa Parrot, Grey-headed Lovebird, Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo, Coquerel’s Coua, Crested Coua, Madagascar Coucal, Madagascar Hoppoe, Madagascar Buttonquail, Broad-billed Roller, Madagascar Cuckoo Roller, Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Crested Drongo, Red-tailed Vanga, Chabert’s Vanga, Blue Vanga, Madagascar Magpie robin, Long-billed Tetraka, Madagascar Spine-tailed Swift, Common Newtonia, Archbold’s Newtonia, and Common Jery

Day 12
Table Mountain and St Augustin (B/L)

Tulear also has its own Table Mountain! Paths have been arranged recently in this site; this offers us an excellent hike to look for endemic species of the region. We will also explore the surroundings down to Baie de St Augustin. Apart from bird watching, enjoy the breathtaking landscape overlooking the Mozambique Channel, Ifaty Lagoon, and Anakao.

Birds check list: Running Coua, Red-capped Coua, Verreaux’s Coua, Sub-desert Messite, Red-shouldered Vanga.

Day 13
Tulear / Ifaty (B)

Leave Tulear behind to head to Ifaty, passing by Belalanda Lakes. We walk in the mangrove and discover the avifauna in this aquatic region. In the afternoon, we will head back to the hotel to relax and enjoy the amenities after the heat of the spiny forest.

Birds check list: Black-winged Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone, Madagascar Plover, Pied avocet, Common Sandpiper, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Hottentot Teal.

Day 14
Birds in the Dry Forest (B/L)

Visit the spiny forest for bird watching with a local specialist birder. The interest is more than only birds today; we will also explore extraordinary vegetation in a world of spines: aloe, euphorbia, and didieracea. Ifaty Lagoon is also superb with its majestic turquoise water and the beautiful sails of the fishing people of Vezo. We will have a picnic lunch today.

Birds check list: Madagascar Buzzard, Madagascar Harrier-hawk, Madagascar Kestrel, Madagascar Buttonquail, Subdesert Mesite, Common Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt, Ruddy Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Madagascar Plover, Lesser Crested Tern, Madagascar Turtle Dove, Namaqua Dove, Madagascar Green pigeon, Greater Vasa Parrot, Lesser Vasa Parrot, Grey-headed Lovebird, Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo, Red-fronted Coua, Running Coua, Green-caped Coua, Crested Coua, Madagascar Coucal, Madagascar Nightjar, Madagascar Black Swift, Madagascar Kingfisher, Madagascar Bee Eater, Long-tailed Ground-roller,Madagascar Hopooe, Madagascar Cuckooshrike, Red-tailed Vanga, Hook-billed Vanga, Lafresnay’s Vanga,Sickle-billed Vanga,White-headed Vanga, Chabert’s Vanga, Madagascar Magpie Robin, Long-billed Tetraka, Subdesert Brush Warbler, Subdesert Tetraka, Common Newtonia, Archbold’s Newtonia, Common Jery, Madagascar Mannikin, Sakalava Weaver, Madagascar Red Foudi, and Madagascar Lark.

Day 15
Ifaty / Tulear / Antananarivo

Morning at leisure and transfer to the airport organized by the hotel.
Fly to the capital, a 1h15 flight

  • Meet and greet on arrival at Airport.
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
  • Entrance fees where applicable.
  • Tours as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Professional English-speaking guide/driver guide.
  • Transfers
  • Travel Protection is offered on all packages at an additional cost.