BIRDWATCHING

The itinerary takes in some of the best of Malagasy birding localities in different floristic zones: the humid eastern rainforests, the tropical dry deciduous woodlands, the semi-arid spiny-desert, and the last remaining wetlands.

Antananarivo – Andasibe national park- Antananarivo – Ankarafantsika national park- Antananarivo – Ranomafana national park - Isalo national park - Zombitse national park - Ifaty Forest - Anakao (Nosy Be Island) - Tulear - Antananarivo

DAY 1 / Driving from Tana to ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK (Rain Forest)

Departure to Perinet reserve to the east in the morning (Andasibe-Mantadia National Park)
Birding on the way, stop at the ridge of the Mangoro River : with chance , Madagascar Prantincole, Eleonora’s Falcon, Sooty Falcon. 
Lunch in a restaurant.

First immersion in forest: Madagascar pond heron, Madagascar coucal, Madagascar hoopoe, Madagascar wagtail, Madagascar red fody and Madagascar white-eye, among others.
Half board accommodation at VAKONA FOREST LODGE or INDRI LODGE

After dinner, night walk to look for Madagascar long-eared owl and Rainforest scops owl. We should see many herps (reptiles and frogs), notably various chameleons, geckoes, Mouse lemurs, Eastern woolly lemurs, Boa and tree frogs…

DAY 2 / Visit of Analamazaotra national park 

Breakfast at the hotel then visit of Analamazaotra national park.

Red-fronted couas, Cuckoo-roller, Madagascar blue pigeon, Madagascar spinetail, Common (wattled) Sunbird-asity, Long-billed and Spectacled greenbuls, Crossley’s babbler, various Vangas (notably the local ‘special’, the Coral-billed nuthatch Vanga) and Ward’s flycatcher.
The reserve is the sanctuary of the famous BABAKOTO ( the biggest lemurs existing ) or the Indri lemurs, as well as Grey bamboo and Brown lemurs
Full board accommodation at VAKONA FOREST LODGE or INDRI LODGE

Day 3 / Early breakfast and drive to Mantadia National Park

37km from Perinet, Mantadia is one of Madagascar’s prime sites for rainforest birding.

All the rainforest-dependent Ground-rollers are present, as are other sought-after rainforest specials like Brown mesite, Collared nightjar, Grey-crowned greenbul, White-throated and Yellow-browed oxylabes, Velvet asity, Brown emutail and Red forest fody. The unusual Helmet Vanga is also known to occur here and the nationally rare Pollen’s Vanga is regularly seen.
On the way back , Madagascar flufftail and White-throated rail.

Full board accommodation at INDRI LODGE

DAY 4 / Back to Antananarivo and visit of the zoological garden and the museum.

Lunch in a restaurant
Half board accommodation at the hotel LES 03 METIS

Day 5 / ANTANANARIVO AMPIJOROA, with lunch in the road

Early breakfast. 440km
Overnight in bungalows or camping in the reserve: Half board 
Night Walk: Grey Mouse lemur, Sportive lemur

Day 6 / FULL DAY VISIT AT ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK

– Full day in Ankarafantsika National Park
The reserve is one of Madagascar’s most impressive remaining examples of tropical dry deciduous forest. All the island’s western forest endemics are here, and we will aim to find White-breasted mesite, Coquerel’s coua, Schlegel’s asity and the extremely localised Van Dam’s Vanga. They represent just a fraction of what there is to see in Ampijoroa, a site often regarded by wildlife enthusiasts as the highlight of the trip. A night walk into the woods should reveal Dry forest scops owl and Madagascar nightjar, as well as a variety of nocturnal lemurs and many reptiles. Near the simple and locally-run Gite of Ampijoroa, is a lake where Madagascar fish eagles are resident. Today this critically endangered eagle is one of the world’s 6 rarest raptors
– Overnight in the bungalows or Camping : Full Board

Day 7 / FULL DAY VISIT AT ANKARAFANTSIKA NATIONAL PARK

– Full day visit around the lake and in the forest
– Overnight in the bungalows or Camping

Day 8 / DRIVING TO MAJUNGA and flight to ANTANANARIVO 

We take an early morning excursion by boat on the wide, red Betsiboka Delta where we will look for rare endemics such as Madagascar white ibis and Madagascar (Bernier’s) teal, which frequent small oval shaped islets clad in mangroves.

Lunch in restaurant
Then drive to Majunga, 120km
– Visiting the tallest Baobab tree in the World

Half board accommodation at the hotel LES ROCHES ROUGES

 Day 9 / flight to ANTANANARIVO 

– Flight to Antananarivo

Lunch in restaurant
Half board accommodation at the hotel LES 03 METIS

Day 10 / ANTANANARIVO –RANOMAFANA national park 430 km (8 hours)

– Full day driving from Tana to Ranomafana National Park.

– Lunch in restaurant
– Meeting the Local Guide
Half board accommodation at the hotel LE GRENAT

Day 11 / FULL DAY VISIT AT RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK

– Starting early in the morning to bird watch in the rain forest
Ranomafana is one of Madagascar’s richest sites for rainforest wildlife, particularly birds. It is excellent for rarities like Madagascar crested ibis, Henst’s goshawk, the beautiful rainforest-dependent ground-rollers (especially the Pitta-like, which is reasonably plentiful in the park), Velvet asity, Common sunbird asity, various Vangas (notably Blue, Rufous, Hook-billed, Chabert’s, Red-tailed and Pollen’s), Forest rock-thrush, Green Jery, Brown Newtonia and the Cryptic warbler.

At higher elevations, Rufous-headed ground-roller and Yellow-bellied sunbird asity are present in fair numbers, making Vohiparara the best place to seek these species. As in Périnet (and the other places we visit), we are bound to see plenty of mammals, reptiles, frogs and fascinating invertebrates. Remember, nearly everything you see and touch in Madagascar is found nowhere else.

Lunch in restaurant
Half board accommodation at the hotel LE GRENAT

Day 12 / DRIVING FROM RANOMAFANA PARK TO ISALO NATIONAL PARK 358km

– Full day driving from Ranomafana National Park to ISALO National Park.

Stop at Ambalavao, visit of the Antaimoro rice paper workshop.

15 km far from Ambalavao, Ny Anjà associative villager’s park. Home of many ring-tailed lemurs (the catta) the visit allow you to close these sympathetic “monkeys”

Large variety of typical plants of Madagascar. Lunch in restaurant
Half board accommodation at ISALO RANCH

Day 13 / FULL DAY VISIT AT ISALO NATIONAL PARK

– Morning visit at Isalo National Park
– Isalo NATIONAL PARK is not a recommended place fro birding but it’s where we can spot the Benson’s Rock thrush and it is the most visited NATIONAL PARK in the country because of its amazing landscapes and canyons.
Full board accommodation at ISALO RANCH

Day 14 / RANOHIRA ZOMBITSE FOREST

Departure before daybreak for Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, which protects the last transition forest where western and southern habitat types merge. Birders come from around the globe to seek the locally endemic Appert’s greenbul, as well as Zombitse’s many other specials. We will look for Madagascar partridge, Madagascar buttonquail, the stately Giant coua, Crested coua, Madagascar green pigeon, Madagascar sandgrouse, Madagascar hoopoe, Greater and Lesser vasa parrots, Grey-headed lovebird, Madagascar lesser cuckoo, various Vangas (particularly White-headed, Blue, Hook-billed and Rufous), Madagascar cuckoo-shrike, Thamnornis warbler, Common newtonia and Common jery.
– Pic nic lunch. Driving back to Isalo NP
Half board accommodation at ISALO RANCH

Day 15 / DRIVING FROM ISALO NATIONAL PARK TO IFATY 254 km

– Driving from Isalo NP to Ifaty, stop at Tulear for lunch 
– Meeting the local guide to plan the following day Birding
Half board accommodation at IKOTEL

Day 16 / VISIT IN THE IFATY SPINY FOREST

– Early visit in the forest
– NB : This site, is definitely be included in any itinerary, as it is the only easily accessible area for a number of very rare endemics.
In the early morning, we visit the bizarre, unprotected Ifaty Spiny Forest to seek various highly localised endemics. It is easy to see why the vegetation here has been referred to as ‘Nature’s Botanical Lunatic Asylum’ – it is a tangled mass of bloated and/or thorny, drought resistant trees and plants, including Baobabs, Pachypodiums and Moringas. The two star attractions here are the Sub-desert mesite and Long-tailed ground-roller, both declining in numbers in their narrow range.

We will also look for Lafresnaye’s and Sicklebill vangas, Archbold’s newtonia and Sub-desert brush-warbler, which are abundant. Afterwards, we can swim and snorkel among colourful coral reefs off the sandy beach.
pic nic lunch and overnight at hotel : Half Board

Day 17 / IFATY ANAKAO 

DRIVING TO TULEAR THEN FERRY TO ANAKAO
– Early morning driving to Tulear to catch the speed boat to Anakao.
– Once in Anakao, check the Hotel then take the speed boat to visit NOSY VE Island to see the endemic Red tailed Tropic birds
– Lunch at the Hotel then RELAX ON THE BEACH.
Half board accommodation at the hotel LE SAFARI VEZO

Day 18 / ANAKAO

RELAX ON THE BEACH.
Full board accommodation at the hotel LE SAFARI VEZO
Day 19 / Ferry to Tulear, drive to airport to fly to Antananarivo
Lunch in a restaurant

Half board accommodation at the hotel LES 03 METIS

Day 20 / ANTANANARIVO –PARIS

Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of the park of Tsarasaotra and flight to Paris.

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