Madagascar:

Schlegel's Asity by Andry Falimanantsoa

Unique Birds, Lemurs, and Baobabs

September 23 - October 15, 2024

Baron's Mantella by Andry Falimanantsoa

This tour combines excellently with the following Extensions:
Masoala National Park Pre-trip
Enigmatic Birds Extension (post-tour)
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 12 participants.
 

Cost of Madagascar Tour: $7,200 per person from Antananarivo: Includes: All ground transportation throughout, airport transfers on tour dates, all accommodation (mid-range) and meals, boat rides as noted in itinerary, 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, local flights, excess baggage fees, visas for Madagascar, alcoholic and other beverages, gratuities, laundry, medical and travel insurance, and other items of a personal nature. Local flight costs should be around $300-400, economy via Air Madagascar; we will book these, but will need copies of tour participants’ passports.

This incredible venture that is sure to surpass expectations consists of 21 unforgettable days of birding and lemur watching in Madagascar, a bucket-list location for any serious wildlife enthusiast. During this trip we will search for birds, lemurs, and other unique species at celebrated locations like Analamazoatra and Kirindy Reserves, as well as Andasibe, Ankarafantsika, Ranomafana, and Isalo National Parks. In addition, we’ll also experience a sunrise and sunset at the spectacular Avenue of the Baobabs, and search for Long-tailed Ground-Rollers and Three-eyed Lizards among spiny Octopus Trees, bottle-shaped Baobabs, and Elephant’s Foot plants in the arid, spiny forests of southwest Madagascar. The variety of ecosystems we’ll encounter will give us excellent opportunities see a wide range of endemic bird species (covering all the endemic bird families), while we will also see several adoring lemurs and chameleons that call “the Eighth Continent” home. The September/October timing of the trip maximizes our birding enjoyment as will be right in the breeding season, so most birds will be active. It’s worth noting that the excitement never stops in Madagascar: while birding is best in the early morning and late afternoon, many lemurs are active throughout the day, while we’ll also do several night walks to explore the nocturnal wildlife that keeps the forest awake at night.

We start our Malagasy adventure by heading from the capital city of Antananarivo to the unique arid subdesert landscapes of southwestern Madagascar. After a morning visit to Andatabo Forest to look for Red-shouldered Vanga and Verreaux’s Coua, we’ll embark on a relaxing boat ride to Nose Ve to enjoy a colony of Red-tailed Tropicbirds. Then it’s off to Madagascar’s famous spiny forests to look for a skulky Subdesert Mesite and secretive Long-tailed Ground-Roller, amongst many others. We follow this excitement with a visit to the dramatic semi-desert landscape of Isalo National Park with its eroded sandstone mountains, and then the lush endemic-rich rainforests of Ranomafana National Park. On the second leg of our tour, we visit the spectacular Avenue of the Baobabs, which we traverse at sunset, sunrise, and in the middle of the day. We’ll also spend some time at nearby Kirindy Reserve, perhaps the best place in the world to see the Fossa (Madagascar’s largest carnivore) in the wild; this reserve is also home to the world’s smallest primate, the Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur. The third leg of the tour sees us visiting the forests around Andasibe National Park on Madagascar’s eastern escarpment where we’ll have great opportunities to see the Indri (the world’s largest lemur), as well as even more rainforest-dependent endemic bird species. We will also do night walks to look for owls, nocturnal lemurs, chameleons, and the eccentric Giraffe-necked Weevil, a tiny red and black insect, which, as the name implies, has a disproportionally long neck. On the last leg of our tour, we head towards the Betsoboka Delta to look for the critically endangered Madagascar Fish-Eagle (as few as 40 pairs remain) and Endangered Bernier’s Teal. We’ll also search the dry deciduous forests in the area for the highly restricted and endangered Van Dam’s Vanga, while we’ll also hopefully stumble into an Oustalet’s Giant Chameleon (which can get up to a meter long) during our search.

Join Johnny for this unforgettable tour of one of the most unique nations in the world.

Some of the Birds We Hope to See:

Meller’s Duck, Madagascar Partridge, Madagascar Grebe, Malagasy Sacred Ibis, White-breasted Mesite, Brown Mesite, Subdesert Mesite, Verreaux’s Coua, Blue Coua, Red-breasted Coua, Collared Nightjar, Madagascar Wood-Rail, Madagascar Rail, Madagascar Flufftail, Malagasy Harrier, Henst’s Goshawk, Madagascar Fish-Eagle, White-browed Owl, Madagascar Owl, Cuckoo-roller, Short-legged Ground-Roller, Scaly Ground-Roller, Long-tailed Ground-Roller, Velvet Asity, Schlegel's Asity, Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity, Common Sunbird-Asity, Archbold's Newtonia, Dark Newtonia, Red-shouldered Vanga, Nuthatch-Vanga, Sickle-billed Vanga, Pollen’s Vanga, Lafresnaye's Vanga, Van Dam's Vanga, Green Jery, Subdesert Brush-Warbler, Gray Emutail, Brown Emutail, White-throated Oxylabes, Long-billed Bernieria, Wedge-tailed Jery, Thamnornis, Yellow-browed Oxylabes, Appert's Tetraka, Littoral Rock-Thrush, and many more.

Some of the Mammals We Hope to See:

Fossa, Ring-tailed Vontsita, Ring-tailed Lemur, Indri, Verreaux’s Sifaka, Coquerel’s Sifaka, Diademed Sifaka, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Common Brown Lemur, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur, Greater Bamboo Lemur, Golden Bamboo Lemur, Red-bellied Lemur, Milne-Edwards’ Lemur, Gmelin’s Woolly Lemur, Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, Rufous Mouse Lemur, Gray Mouse Lemur, Goodman’s Mouse Lemur, Hubbard’s and Weasel Sportive Lemur, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Madagascar Flying Fox, and many more.

Some of the Other Weird and Wonderful Creatures We Hope to See:

Fossa, Ring-tailed Vontsita, Ring-tailed Lemur, Indri, Verreaux’s Sifaka, Coquerel’s Sifaka, Diademed Sifaka, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Common Brown Lemur, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur, Greater Bamboo Lemur, Golden Bamboo Lemur, Red-bellied Lemur, Milne-Edwards’ Lemur, Gmelin’s Woolly Lemur, Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, Rufous Mouse Lemur, Gray Mouse Lemur, Goodman’s Mouse Lemur, Hubbard’s and Weasel Sportive Lemur, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Madagascar Flying Fox, and many more.