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 leaflet below.
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 moretestimonials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maximum ten participants on the 17-day tour and 6-day Masoala extension.
A good standard of hand-picked guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
We run all our tours from late September to mid December, catching
early summer before the main rains.
Hot in the western lowlands, where we bird mainly in the early
morning, and cool in the eastern highlands, especially at night.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.