Our first destination is a journey to the bird- and animal-rich sites of Perinet and Mantadia National Park in the eastern rainforest zone. The unforgettable song of the Indri drifts through these forests, and we will take time out to find a family group of these, the largest lemur species. Some of the brilliant birds we will look for include several highly sought-after forest birds, including Pitta-like, Rufous-headed, Short-legged and Scaly Ground Rollers, Red-breasted, Red-fronted and Blue Couas, the stunning Velvet Asity, Cuckoo Roller, Crossley’s Babbler, Madagascar Owl, Rainforest Scops Owl, Madagascar and Collared Nightjars, Madagascar (Crested) Ibis, Madagascar Wood Rail, Nuthatch Vanga, Madagascar Blue Pigeon, Brown Emutail, White-throated Oxylabes and Nelicourvi Weaver. Other attractions in this scenically beautiful region are the vocal Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur and the elusive Diademed Sifaka, considered by many to be the world’s most beautiful lemur.
The next leg of this adventure takes us to Ifaty and Tulear for their spiny deserts and coastal habitats. Here we look for the beautiful Red-tailed Tropicbird on a uninhabited island, as well as exploring the bizarre, Tolkienesque landscape of multi-stemmed succulents, squat baobab trees and thorny scrub for such spectacular endemics as Banded Kestrel, Running and Red-capped Couas, Archbold’s Newtonia, Thamnornis, Lafresnaye’s Vanga, the near mythical Subdesert Mesite, Long-tailed Ground Roller (an elusive ground dweller best located by its low, hooting call), flocks of noisy Sickle-billed Vangas, Subdesert Brush Warbler and the attractive Chabert’s Vanga.
Our final destination is Berenty, the most famous of Madagascar’s lemur reserves. This is home to no less than six lemur species and the south’s largest colony of Madagascar fruit bats (sporting 1.25 metre wingspans!). The easiness with which to observe and photograph Ring-tailed Lemurs and ‘dancing’ Verreaux Sifakas in particular has turned this small protected area into one of Madagascar’s prime wildlife destinations. Some of the birding highlights here could include Giant Coua strolling along the well-cleared paths, Madagascar Buttonquail scurrying through the leaf litter, Madagascar and France’s Sparrowhawks, and the smart-looking Madagascar Sandgrouse.
Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo.
Day 2: Antananarivo to Perinet.
Day 3 to 6: Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park.
Day 7: Perinet to Antananarivo.
Day 8: Antananarivo to Ifaty via Tulear.
Day 9: Ifaty.
Day 10: Ifaty to Tulear.
Day 11: San Augustin and Nosy Ve.
Day 12: Tulear to Berenty via Fort Dauphin.
Day 13: Berenty Lemur Reserve.
Day 14: Berenty Lemur Reserve to Fort Dauphin to Tana.
Day 15: Tana and departure.
Madagascar Highlights I
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Madagascar Nature & Wildlife Birdwatching Wildlife Viewing