Madagascar Pochard by Frank Vassen

‘Enigmatic Birds’ Extension

October 13-23, 2024

Madagascar Red Owl by Mikael Bauer

This tour combines well with our Madagascar: Unique Birds & Baobabs tour, Sept 23-Oct 15, 2024
Your place on this Venture is reserved when your completed registration form and deposit of $700/person has been received. Deposit may be made via the ‘book now’ button above, or by contacting the Ventures office. We accept credit cards for an additional fee (2.9% for MC, Visa, & Discover; 3.9% for AmEx), but you may also pay by bank transfer, cash, check, or money order (payable to ‘VENTURES BIRDING’) sent to PO Box 1095, Skyland, NC 28776. This Venture is limited to 8 participants.

Cost of Madagascar, Enigmatic Birds Extension: $3,350 per person from Mahajanga. Price includes: All ground transportation throughout, airport transfers on tour dates, all accommodation (note some tented accommodation is included—see itinerary for more details), all meals, entrance fees and permits, bottled water, trip information packet & eBird checklists, drivers, and service of at least 2 guides (one Ventures; one local). Not included: Round-trip airfare to Madagascar, baggage fees, visas for Madagascar, alcoholic and other beverages, gratuities, laundry, medical and travel insurance, hotel costs in Tana on Oct 23, and other items of a personal nature. Local flight costs should be around $200, economy via Air Madagascar; we will book these, but will need copies of tour participants’ passports.

Please join us for this ‘Enigmatic Birds’ extension, a truly unique opportunity not often offered by many other tour companies. During this extension we will focus on finding some of the most endangered, enigmatic, difficult, and sought-after birds that call Madagascar home. We start this extension with a trip to Kikony Lake and Ampitsopitsoka Wetland, the best locations on Earth for Sakalava Rail, Madagascar Jacana, Bernier’s Teal, and Malagasy Sacred Ibis. We then spend two full days and two partial days in the incredible Bemanevika Forest, home to the legendary Madagascar Red Owl and endangered Madagascar Serpent Eagle (once thought extinct, as few as 50 individuals may remain). We’ll also spend the better part of a day on the scenic Matsaborimena Lake where the Critically endangered Madagascar Pochard lurks; this species was also once thought extinct until its rediscovery here in 2006. Our visit to the lake also gives us access to the incredible Marotaolana Swamp that is home to the enigmatic Slender-billed Flufftail, while we’ll also have addition opportunities for the elusive and Endangered Malagasy Harrier. Our last stop of this tour is at the incredible Amber Mountain National Park in northern Madagascar. One of the most biologically diverse locations in all of Madagascar, our main targets here would be the Amber Mountain Rock-Thrush and local distinct subspecies of the Spectacled Tetraka (more work will almost certainly recognize it as distinct), while we’ll also hopefully see some of the endemic lemur species present here. Unfortunately, it will then be time to head back to Antananarivo to celebrate the end of an incredible time in endemic-rich Madagascar. Please note that this extension requires a sense of adventure: our accommodation at Kinkony Lake and in Bemanevika Forest will be in basic though still comfortable tented camps, while the roads getting to these destinations are usually rough and dusty, and require patience to navigate!

Some of the Birds We Hope to See:

Madagascar Red Owl, Madagascar Pochard, Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Madagascar Fish-Eagle, Malagasy Harrier, Slender-billed Flufftail, Madagascar Flufftail, Sakalava Rail, Madagascar Jacana, Madagascar Pond Heron, Madagascar Sacred Ibis, Madagascar Crested Ibis, Madagascar Grebe, Malagasy Coucal, Cuckoo-Roller, Madagascar Owl, Madagascar Nightjar, Cuckoo-Roller, Common Sunbird-Asity, Amber Mountain Rock-Thrush, Gray Emutail, Spectacled Tetraka, Schlegel’s Asity, White-breasted Mesite, Red-capped Coua, Madagascar Blue Vanga, Red-tailed Vanga, and many more.