We later travel south via the Tolkenesque Isalo NP and Zombitse Forest (for Appert’s Tetraka), to the astonishing Spiny Desert around Ifaty. Nowhere in the world looks anything like this region of bulbous baobabs and weird spiny pinnacles, with its plethora of peculiar endemics. Whilst here, we will also visit the specialized coral rag scrub of the southwest, home to the recently discovered Red-shouldered Vanga. Other targets include Long-tailed Ground Roller, Sub-desert Mesite, Madagascar Plover, Thamnornis and Sickle-billed Vanga. Our final days on this incredible island will be spent enjoying the natural riches of Berenty, most famous of Madagascar’s lemur reserves, before we reluctantly return to a more normal world!
Besides the birds we experience up to 27 lemurs (including the world-famous dancing sifakas), other mammals from civets to strange tenrecs (the planet’s most primitive mammals), dozens of species of chameleons, cryptic leaf-tailed geckos and other bizarre reptiles and amphibians, and even some of the world’s most outlandish insects (such as the celebrated Giraffe-necked Weevil)!
Join us for a truly comprehensive birding and wildlife tour of this otherworldly land!
- Tour Price (Per Person): €6,990 * £5,120 * USD 7,750 * ZAR 107,050
- Single Supplement: €950 * £700 * USD 1,050 * ZAR 14,510
- Flights (Approx. cost): US$1,250.
Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo (Tana)
Day 2: Tana to Perinet
Days 3-5: Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park
Day 6: Perinet to Tana and flight from Tana to Fort Dauphin
Day 7: Fort Dauphin to Berenty Lemur Reserve via Manangotry (Andohahela National Park)
Day 8: Berenty Lemur Reserve
Day 9: Berenty Lemur Reserve to Fort Dauphin, fly to Tulear and drive to Ifaty
Day 10: Ifaty
Day 11: Ifaty to Tulear, boat trip to Nosy Ve and San Augustin and excursion to La Table
Day 12: Tulear to Isalo via Zombitse Forest Reserve
Day 13: Isalo National Park to Ranomafana National Park
Days 14-15: Ranomafana National Park
Day 16: Ranomafana National Park to Tana
Day 17: Tana fly to Mahajanga and drive to Ampijoroa Forest Station
Day 18: Ampijoroa Forest Station
Day 19: Ampijoroa to Mahajanga
Day 20: Boat excursion to Betsiboka Delta and flight from Mahajanga to Tana
Day 21: Tana and departure.
- Top Birds: Subdesert, Brown & White-breasted Mesite, Cuckoo Roller, Long-tailed Ground Roller, Blue & Red-breasted Coua, Schlegel’s & Velvet Asity, Nuthatch & Sickle-billed Vanga, Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity, Forest Rock Thrush, Appert’s Tetraka, Madagascar Plover, Thamnornis, Madagascar & Madagascar Sacred Ibis, Madagascar Fish Eagle, Henst’s Goshawk, Bernier’s Teal , Madagascar Wood Rail, Brown Emutail
- Top Mammals: Indri, Ring-tailed Lemur, Diademed & Verreaux’s Sifaka, Golden & Greater Bamboo Lemur, Golden-brown Mouse Lemur, Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur, Fosa
- Habitats Covered: rainforest, riparian forest, deciduous woodland, spiny desert, mudflats, wetlands
- Expected Climate: warm to very hot, cooler evenings in highlands, some rainfall possible
- Max Group Size: 8 and 1 leader
- Tour Pace & Walking: moderate to brisk
- Accommodation: basic but comfortable hotels and lodges
- Ease of Birding: mostly unchallenging but several difficult rainforest skulkers
- Number of Species Expected: 190 - 200
- Other Attractions: spiny forest, Berenty, strange herbs and insects, coral reefs, shopping, culture
- Photographic Opportunities: incredible
Single Supplement: The single supplement cost for this tour will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. If RBT cannot provide you with a rooming partner for these nights although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share.
- Due to constantly fluctuating exchange rates, we now quote our tours in 4 currencies (see website for all 4 currencies). The tour price is however fixed only in the currency printed in bold (US$), and the actual cost in the other currencies listed will be adjusted according to prevailing exchange rates at the time of final invoicing (usually 4 months before the tour.) Approximate flight and single supplement rates have been converted to US$ but are also subject to exchange rate movements.
- Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration a small party supplement will have to be charged.
- Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.
- Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary and / or the designated leader/s at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will attempt to adhere as close to the original program as possible.
Tipping: As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc) are included on this tour. However, this does not include your leader. If, therefore, you feel that he has given you excellent service, it is entirely appropriate to tip him.
- It is important for the comfort of your fellow travellers that you do not over-pack. Kindly stick to 20 kg (44 lb) for check in luggage and 8 kg (+-18 lb) for hand luggage.
- Fitness: This Madagascar comprehensive tour requires a reasonable level of fitness and participants should be in good general health as most of the birding will be done on foot, and may require walking for several hours at a time. Some trails in the rainforest can be quite steep and slippery, especially after rain, and a few longer walks will be made in an attempt to locate some of the more localised species. Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of departure.
- Accommodation throughout the trip is of a generally good standard, and the hotels and resorts that we make use of are clean and comfortable. Some of the accommodations however are basic and less comfortable from than what you have come to expect from the developed world; we will however make efforts to make this tour as comfortable as possible. There is no camping on this trip.
- Please note that the seas during the boat trip to Nosy Ve Island can be rough, and it is advised that you carry a suitable rain jacket and protection for photographic/electronic gear aboard the boat (a thick waterproof plastic bag is very useful in this regard). Also, tidal variation may require us to walk (in water) across potentially sharp substrate when accessing and/or leaving Nosy Ve. In this regard, it is advised that you carry a pair of shoes that you do not mind getting wet (plastic sandals are very useful). If you have any medical conditions or physical limitations relating to balance and mobility please do let the RBT office know.
- In some areas it can be hot to very hot, especially at midday. We will thus make a number of early starts in the morning to maximize the most pleasurable time in the field. In addition, some of the days are long and fairly demanding. If you are a more relaxed birder preferring a more even-tempered tour then our Highlights tour is a suitable alternative to this tour.
Arrival and Departure Details: This tour does not include any airfares. Day 1 has been set aside as an arrival day. If you arrive in the morning then a short afternoon visit will be made to Lac Alarobia in Antananarivo. If you arrive in the evening or afternoon on this day then you will unfortunately not take part in this activity. Further meeting details in this regard will be forwarded to you in due course. The tour will conclude on the morning of day 21 in Antananarivo. If you wish to arrive early and/or depart late and would like assistance in this regard, kindly contact the office.
Flights: All internal flights will be taken with Air Madagascar. Please note that internal flight delays and last-minute flight schedule alterations are an inherent risk in any tour to Madagascar and we may have to re-arrange the tour itinerary around the internal flight schedule. However, we will still visit all the scheduled sites and will take all reasonable precautions and actions to ensure the tour follows the advertised itinerary as closely as possible. For international flights the main port of entry is Antananarivo and is serviced with regular flights from Johannesburg operated by Air Madagascar and from Paris operated by Air France. As our guests come from all over the planet we do not include international flights in our tour prices. We have the capacity to advise you on the best route according to your preferences but your local travel agent will best be able to book these flights for you. We can, however, book the internal flights for you, and also the flight from Johannesburg to Antananarivo. If you would like further assistance kindly contact the office, and we will happily help you plan your route. However, please do not book your international flights until you have consulted the office for confirmation on the status of the tour.
Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.
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