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BIRDING TOUR

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With around 270 bird species, Madagascar is a great place for ornithologists. Around 40% of these birds is endemic. There are very rare birds, like three kinds of mesites. The most famous endemic bird on the island is the vanga, which is specialized in catching insects. There are several kinds of birds of prey, like the buzzard, the hawk, the owl and some very rare eagles. During our 19-day Birding Tour you visit the best places for birding. Beside lots of birds, you will see a lot of other kind of animals like lemurs, chameleons, spiders, snakes and frogs.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TRIP
  • Find unique experience with untamed wildlife in National parks and private reserves
  • Walk in spiny forest to meet lemurs and endemic tropical birds.
  • Authentic interaction with local people throughout your journey
  • water sport or relaxation on the Mozambique Channel
ITINERARY: Antananarivo – Andasibe National Park (Analamazaotra/Périnet) – Andasibe National Park
(Mantadia) – Andasibe National Park (Mitsinjo) – Antsirabe – Ambositra – Ranomafana National
Park – Anja Park Reserve – Ambalavao – Isalo National Park – Zombitse Forest – Arboretum
d’Antsokay – Ifaty spiny forest – Tulear – Antananarivo – Ankarafantsika National Park –
Antananarivo
PRICE INCLUDES:
  • Airport transfers;
  • Car, including fuel;
  • English Speakig Driver/guide;
  • Hotel for 18 nights;
  • Park entrance fees;
  • All taxes.
PRICE EXCLUDES:
  • Food and drinks;
  • Local guide fees;
  • Tips;
  • Hotel before the tour starts and after the tour has ended;
  • All other expenses

If you are a solo traveler or you travel with more than two persons, please contact us for the price.

The final price depends on your choice of hotels: luxury or mid-range. For hotel suggestions, please check to our recommended hotels.

The tour starts the day after arrival at the international airport. The transfer to the hotel in Antananarivo is included in the price, the hotel is not included

This private tour can be customized according to your style. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations

Day 1

DRIVE FROM ANTANANARIVO TO ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK

The Birding Tour starts with a drive to Andasibe. On the way you visit the reptiles farm. Then you stop at the Mangoro river for birding and in the afternoon you drive to the Vakona Forest Lodge where you take a dugout canoe to visit the island of lemurs. Here you can see different kinds of lemurs, like the brown lemur and bamboo lemur. It is possible to do a nocturnal visit with a local guide in Andasibe NP to see mouse lemurs, frogs and chameleons. Overnight in a hotel VAKONA LODGE.

Day 2

ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK, ANALAMAZAOTRA/PÉRINET

After breakfast you drive to the entrance of the national park, where you meet your local birding guide. With this guide you visit the Analamazaotra/Perinet NP. Andasibe NP is home of the indri indri, the biggest lemur. You can hear its specific sound from far. Besides the indri indri it’s quite easy to see other animals, like other kinds of lemurs, frogs, lizards, chameleons and lots of birds.Birds: Buzzard, Madagascar Harrier-hawk, Vasa Parrot, Madagascar Cuckoo, Blue Coua, Kingfisher, Cuckoo-roller, Wattled Asity, Red-tailed Vanga, Blue vanga, Common stonechat, Greenbul. Overnight in a hotel VAKONA LODGE.

Day 3

ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK, MANTADIA

During the second day in Andasibe you visit the Mantadia NP, which is located 20 km to the north. You visit the park with the local birding guide.

Birds: Cuvier’s Rail, Madagascar spine tail, Short-legged ground roller, Scaly ground-roller, Cryptic Warbler, White-headed Vanga, Tylas vanga.

Overnight in a hotel VAKONA LODGE.

Day 4

ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK, MITSINJO

You go by car from the hotel to the entrance of the national park. With your local birding guide you do the Antorotorofotsy circuit.

Birds: Madagascar Harrier, Kittlitz’s plover, Hottentot Teal. Overnight in a hotel VAKONA LODGE.

Day 5

ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK - ANTSIRABE

Today you drive back to Antananarivo and continue to Antsirabe, the city of the ‘pousse pousse’, located at 1500 meter altitude in the central highlands. You pass rice paddies and drive through the mountains. Along the way, you can visit a craft market and see the tombs of the Merina. Antsirabe means ‘place of much salt’. It’s a nice city with colonial houses and a cathedral.Overnight in a hotel CHAMBRE LE VOYAGEUR

Day 6

ANTSIRABE - AMBOSITRA - RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK

On the way from Antsirabe to Ranomafana you pass the typical highland scenery of rice paddies. You stop in Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar’s woodcarving industry, to visit the handicraft factory. After lunch you continue to Ranomafana NP, on the way you stop to see the biggest waterfall in Madagascar, Rian-Draono Be.
Ranomafana means ‘hot water’. During the colonial era this friendly village was a thermal bath centre. Today people go to Ranomafana to visit the national park, the place where the rare big bamboo lemur lives. You can do a nocturnal walk in the park with a local guide to see mouse lemurs, frogs and chameleons.
Overnight in a hotel CENTR’EST .

Day 7

RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK

About 20 years ago, the golden bamboo lemur was discovered in the forest near the village of Ranomafana. Subsequently, the national park was established to protect this rare lemur. You leave early in the morning for the first day birding in Ranomafana NP with the local birding guide. There are about 96 bird species in the park, some endemic. You can also see the Edward’s sifaka, the golden bamboo lemur and reptiles. In the afternoon you can visit the village or go to the thermal bath and swim in the hot swimming pool. Overnight in a hotel CENTR’EST

Birds: Pollens vanga, Yellow asity, Velvet Asity, Grey-crowned Greenbul, Forest rock-Thrush, Black crowned night-heron, Madagascar Brush-Warbler, Short-legged Ground roller, Common Newtonia, Madagascar spine-tailed Swift, Madagascar White-eye, Tylas Vanga

Day 8

RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK

Today the seceond day birding in Ranomafana National Park Overnight in a hotel CENTR’EST
Day 9

RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK - ANJA PARK RESERVE - AMBALAVAO

Today you continue to Ambalavao, a pretty town in the highlands. Almost all the houses have a typical wooden balcony. You can visit two traditional factories, the Wild Silk factory and the Antaimoro Paper factory. On Wednesday the biggest zebu market of Madagascar is held in Ambalavao.On the way you visit the community-run Anja Park Reserve, where you can see the traditional Bara family tombs, caves and ring tailed lemurs. You can picnic on the top of the rock.Birds: Benson’s Rock Trush, Madagascar Bulbul, Madagascar Corvus albus Crow, Yellow-billed Kite, Souimanga Sunbird, Madagascar Kestrel.

Overnight in a hotel ZONGO.

Day 10

AMBALAVAO - ISALO NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast you drive to Isalo NP. On the way it’s possible to see the Réunion harrier.

Birds: Réunion harrier.
Overnight in a hotel RELAIS DE LA REINE.

Day 11

ISALO NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast you go to Isalo NP. You visit the park with a local birding guide. Isalo is sacred to the Bara tribe. The Bara use the caves as cemeteries. Isalo is dominated by narrow ravines and by wind and water sculptured rocks. In the park you can see de Benson’s rock thrush

Birds: Benson’ s Rock-thrush, Madagascar kestrel, Button Quail, Madagascar turtle-dove, Namaqua dove, African Palm-swift, Bee-eater, Broad-billed roller, African Hoopoe, Madagascar sunbird.
Overnight in a hotel RELAIS DE LA REINE.

Day 12

ZOMBITSE FOREST

Today you leave early to visit the Zombitse Forest. This is the only place where you have the chance to see the very rare Appert’s greenbul. After the visit of the park National we drive to Tulear, overnight in hotel AMAZONE.

Birds: Appert’s greenbul, Red shoulderd vanga, Namaqua dove, Lesser vasa parrot, Grey-headed Lovebird, Madagascar hoopoe, Madagascar buttonquail, Broad-billed roller, Madagascar Paradise-Flycatcher, Crested Drongo, Red-tailed vanga, Chabert vanga, Blue vanga, Madagascar Magpie-robin, Long-billed Greenbul, Madagascar Spine tail, Madagascar fody, Madagascar Sunbird.

Day 13

TO VISIT ARBORETUM D'ANTSOKAY - IFATY

After breakfast you drive to Ifaty. On the way you visit Arboretum d’Antsokay, a botanic garden with an impressive flora and fauna. There are about 900 different plants, from which 90% endemic. There are also a lot of reptiles and birds.

Birds: Giant Coua, White-browed Owl, Red shouldered Vanga, Buzzard, Madagascar Harrier hawk, Green-pigeon, Crested Coua, Broad-billed roller, Cuckoo-roller, Paradise-Flycatcher, Crested Drongo, Red-tailed vanga, Chabert vanga, Blue vanga.

Overnight in a hotel PARADISIER.

Day 14

IFATY

Today you go birding in the Ifaty spiny forest, a unique environment that has adjusted to the heat and the drought. For birders a visit is very worthwhile. You have the best chance to see the endemic birds, like the long-tailed ground roller and de sub-desert mesite, when you visit the spiny forest early in the morning. You can also see reptiles and lemurs.

Birds: Buzzard, Madagascar harrier hawk, Madagascar kestrel, Sub desert Mesite, Green pigeon, Greater Vasa parrot, Lesser vasa parrot, Red-fronted Coua, Green-capped Coua, Crested Coua, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, Long-tailed ground-roller, Madagascar hoopoe, Red-tailed vanga, Hook-billed vanga, Chabert vanga.

Overnight in a hotel PARADISIER..

Day 15

IFATY - TULEAR - FLIGHT TO ANTANANARIVO

You take a flight today from Tulear to Antananarivo. On the airport the driver is waiting to bring you to your hotel.

Overnight in a hotel CHALET DE ROSE.

Day 16

ANTANANARIVO - ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK

The tour goes on to the Ankarafantsika NP, with a 450 km drive over the RN4 through different kinds of landscape. It is possible to do a nocturnal walk with a local guide.

Overnight in a hotel GITE ANKARAFATSIKA.

Day 17

ANTANANARIVO - ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK

Today is the first visit of Ankarafantsika NP with a local birding guide. The Ankarafantiska NP is one of the few areas of protected western deciduous forest. In this park you will see karst peaks, spiny plants and a large number of baobabs. Besides birds you see lemurs and reptiles. Some lemur species occur nowhere else than here. There are 129 bird species in the park, including the Van Dam’s vanga, Madagascar fish eagle and the white breasted mesite.

Birds: Madagascar crested Ibis, Fish-eagle, Harrier-hawk, Sparrow hawk, Buzzard, White-Breasted Mesite, Common Sandpiper, Turtle-dove, Green pigeon, Greater vasa parrot, Lesser vasa parrot, Grey-headed lovebird, Red-capped Coua, Crested Coua, Scoops-Owl, Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Broad-billed roller, Cuckoo-roller, Schlegel’s Asity, Hook-Billed Vanga, Van Dam’ s Vanga.

Overnight in a hotel GITE ANKARAFATSIKA.

Day 18

ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK

On the second day birding in Ankarafantsika NP you will be birding around the lake in the forest.
Overnight in a hotel GITE ANKARAFATSIKA.

Day 19

ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK - ANTANANARIVO

This is the last day of the Birding tour. You drive back to your hotel in Antananarivo  CHALET DE ROSE.