Birding Africa
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Madagascar Birding Tours

Nowhere else on Earth can compare to Madagascar. Its island wildlife, with 5 unique bird families and 5 unique lemur families, is without parallel. Add to this the giant chameleons, orchids and famous Spiny Desert.

We have designed 3 tours to allow seeing the most birds and lemurs, depending on the time that you have available.

On the 12 or 13 day tours, we visit the mega-diverse Eastern Rainforests at Andasibe, Mantadia and Ranomafana National Parks, home to most of the endemics, as well as the Spiny Desert of the south-west, dry deciduous forests at Zombitse NP and grasslands of Isalo NP.

On the 17 day tour we also visit Ankarafantsika NP and the wetlands of the north-west, and on the comprehensive 22 day tour we add to this the forested Masoala Peninsula. See our day-by-day itinerary.

5 endemic bird families: our top tours recorded 124 of 127 possible endemics and near-endemics in 21 days, and 122 of 123 in 16 days.

our top tours saw 31 lemur species in 21 days and 26 species in 16 days, inluding Indri and Ring-tailed Lemur.

"Thanks must go to Birding Africa ... what has to be the definitive three-week Madagascar itinerary. ... it is difficult to think of how things could have been more successful; we have actually seen every available resident endemic species! The transport was all very good and accommodation excellent..." IM, Leicestershire. See more testimonials.

Featured Leaders: Callan & Deirdre

Callan & Deirdre recommend: This tour is well suited to world listers, because we see a very high proportion of endemic birds, as well as wildlife enthusiasts because we make a special effort to see lemurs, chameleons and special plants on our walks.

Callan Cohen founded Birding Africa 14 years ago and has written two books on birding in Africa, including the definitive birding site guide to southern Africa and Madagascar. Callan has over 20 years of birding experience in the region.

Deirdre Vrancken is a former primatologist whose expertise in lemurs will add an extra dimension to the tour. She has studied Pronghorn Antelopes in Montana, African Elephants in East Africa, and our closests living relatives, Bonobos, in the jungles of the Congo.

Callan and Deirdre lead bird and primate tours together to Madagascar, Uganda, Rwanda, Gabon and Tanzania.

Callan also leads to tours to Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Cameroon, Mali, Ethiopia, and Ghana.


2017 Tour dates and cost

Birding Africa Tours 2017

Dates 2017
(in country)

Days

Cost*

Single**

Detailed Itinerary Tour report
Madagascar Natural History
November
13 enquire enquire please email us info@birdingafrica.com click here
Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion
Leader: Michael Mills
20 - 31 October  11 enquire enquire enquire enquire
Masoala
Leader: Michael Mills
1 - 6 November  6 £2470 includes local flights

$2980 includes local flights
£475

$570
Download leaflet
GBP
USD
click here
Endemic Birds & Lemurs:
Main Tour
Leader: Michael Mills
6- 22 November 17 £5960 includes local flights

$7250 includes local flights
£770

$980
Download leaflet
GBP
USD
click here
Madagascar
8 - 19 November
12 enquire enquire please email us info@birdingafrica.com click here


* Included:
tips
soft drinks
bottled water in the vehicle
full board accommodation
Birding Africa tour leader
Birding Africa printed booklet with species lists
activities as indicated on the itinerary
guide fees, entry fees for the parks, reserves and botanical gardens
road transport
local flights as indicated on the itinerary

* Not included:
other drinks, laundry, telephone calls, entry visa


What participants say

For all our Madagascar testimonials, please click here.

"Excellent itinerary; just right, just enough time at each site. Excellent pace & length." AD, Sheffield

"Excellent tour leaders and office staff. Excellent value. " FH, Cape Town

"Stupendous, superb, brilliant etc... The whole tour from start to finish was virtually perfection." SR & JR, Liverpool

"Callan and Deirdre were excellent - a great team." MB, UK

"Wouldn't have seen anything without you both." PF, UK

"It far exceeded my expectations." CD, Guernsey

"Comfortably in the top three of trips I’ve done. Such a superb tour..." CM & CU, Gloucestershire


Participants on a Birding Africa Madagascar Tour © Callan Cohen www.birdingafrica.com
Participants on a Birding Africa Madagascar Tour
© Callan Cohen www.birdingafrica.com


Short-legged Ground Roller on a Birding Africa Madagascar Tour © Callan Cohen www.birdingafrica.com Short-legged Ground-Roller on a Madagascar Tour
© Callan Cohen
www.birdingafrica.com

Subdesert Mesite photographed by Ian Merrill on a Madagascar Birding Tour.
Subdesert Mesite on a Birding Africa Madagascar Birding Tour © Ian Merrill


Practical tour information

Focus For keen birders and mammal enthusiasts. The 17 day tour and 6 day Masoala extension are designed to see as many as possible endemic birds and lemurs, while en-route we also look for other unusual wildlife such as the myriad of chameleons, geckos, frogs and interesting plants. The 17 day tour and 6 day Masoala extension may appeal more to keen birders and the shorter tours more to the wildlife enthusiasts.
Photography Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers. When we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
Fitness A moderate level of fitness is required. The walks are generally in relatively flat areas with occasional inclines. At Ranomafana, one of the areas involves steep walks, although at the moderate pace. This walk can be treated as optional.
Group Size Maximum ten participants on the 17-day tour and 6-day Masoala extension.
Accommodation A good standard of hand-picked guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
Timing We run all our tours from late September to mid December, catching early summer before the main rains.
Climate Hot in the western lowlands, where we bird mainly in the early morning, and cool in the eastern highlands, especially at night.
Clothing Comfortable, light, casual clothing to suit the hot temperatures in the spiny desert and the cool nights in the highlands. It may rain in the eastern rainforests, so bring a poncho or rainjacket and waterproofing for your equipment. There may be an opportunity to swim. Good sturdy footwear for walking on sometimes muddy mountain trails, and lighter footwear such as sturdy sandals for walking in the desert and travelling. A walking stick may prove useful in the steep eastern forests, but can be made locally.
Optical Equipment If you like to always have a scope around then we recommend bringing one. On our set-departure group tours, our tour-leaders often carry a scope while birding and when hey do, they're excellent at providing everyone scope views as best as possibly can. However, they sometimes don't take their scope, especially in the forest. We've found that some participants who bring scopes prefer to leave them in the hotel or the bus when a hot day or sloping forest trail makes them difficult to carry. Nevertheless, if you like to watch birds in close-up for longer amounts of time, or if you like to always have a scope handy, then it's best to bring it.
Top birds Helmet Vanga, Berniers Vanga, Red-breasted coua on the Masoala extension. Long-tailed ground Roller, Short-legged Ground Roller, Rufous-headed Ground Roller, Schlegelís Asity, Velvet Asity, Yellow-bellied Sunbird Asity, Cuckoo Roller, Van Dam's Vanga, Lefraysne's Vanga, Sickle-billed Vanga, White-breasted Mesite, Sub-desert Mesite
Top mammals Red-ruffed Lemur and White-fronted Brown Lemur on the Masoala Extension. Indri, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Diademed Sifaka, Ring-tailed Lemur, Greater Bamboo Lemur, Golden Bamboo Lemur, Ring-tailed Mongoose, Fosa
Booking Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.



Many of the birding sites on this trip are described in detail in the Southern African Birdfinder
which is widely available in South African bookshops and on the internet.
(e.g., www.netbooks.co.za or www.wildsounds.co.uk).

About Birding Africa

Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides' knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC Natural History Unit.

For feedback from our guests, please see our Client Comments. Please also browse our Latest News and Trip Reports.

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Please do not use any text, images or content from this site without permission.
Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
© Birding Africa 1997-2016 info@birdingafrica.com

[African Tailorbirding CC (CK2003/020710/23) trading as Birding Africa]
P.O. Box 22727, Scarborough, 7975, South Africa.