Ornithology: Madagascar Kingdom of birds – 15 Days

 

Leap into some of the greatest parks in Madagascar and observe birds you will not see anywhere else:

 

  •  Mantadia National Park: Madagascar Crested ibis,  Velvet Asity, Sunbird-asities, Short-legged Ground Roller,  Pitta -like Ground Roller,  Nuthach Vanga, Cryptic Tetraka, …
  • Ankarafantsika National Park : Madagascar fish eagle, Asity, Banded Kestrel, Rufous Vanga, Madagascar bulbul…
  • Ranomafana National Park : Pitta -like Ground Roller, Rufous-headed Ground Roller, Madagascar serpent eagle, Yellow-browed oxylabes..

 

  • Isalo National Park : Merle Rouge de Benson

 

  • Zombitse Vohibasia National Park: Phylastrephus apperti , Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher, Appert’s Tetraka, Giant coua…

DAY 1 : ANTANANARIVO – ANDASIBE

Departure to Andasibe, the closest park to the capital Antananarivo. Stopover and visit of the Peyreiras private reserve to see the great varieties of butterflies and reptiles such as the endemic chameleons of Madagascar. Possibility of a night visit of the Analamazaotra National Park to observe night lemur, butterflies….

Overnight at the hotel.

Agapornis canus (Grey-headed Lovebird)

 

DAY 2 : ANDASIBE Perinet

Visit of Mantadia National Park which is an ideal spot for the observation of birds endemic as Lophotibis  cristata (Madagascar Crested ibis), Coua, Philepitta castanea (Velvet Asity), Sunbird-asities,  Hartertula flavoviridis (Wedge-tailed Tetraka),  Brachypteracias leptosomus (Short-legged Ground Roller),  Atelornis pittoides (Pitta -like Ground Roller),  Hypositta corallirostris (Nuthach Vanga et Tylas eduardi (Tylas).  We can also see other species such as Tachybaptus pelzelnii (Madagascar Grebes),  Ardeola idea ( Malagasy Pond Heron),  Cryptosylvicola randrianasoloi (Cryptic Tetraka) and  Atelornis pittoides (Pitta-like gGround roller) and  Brachypteracias leptosomus (Short-legged ground rollers) all along the main trail.  Overnight at the hotel

Ispidina madagascariensis

 

DAY 3 : ANDASIBE – ANTANANARIVO

Departure to Antananarivo after breakfast.  Visit of the Tsarasaotra Park; bird island located at the core of d’Antananarivo. 

This park is listed under the Ramsar Convention, it is a breeding place and refuge of many species of birds such as Bulbucus ibis (Héron garde-bœufs),  Ardeola ralloides (Héron crabier chevelu),  Egretta dimorpha (Dimorphic Egret),  Anas erythrorhyncha (Canard à bec rouge),  Dendrocygne viduata (Dendrocygne veuf ),  Sarkidiornis melanotos (Canard à bosse).

Overnight at the hotel.

 

Rufus duck

 

DAY 4 : ANTANANARIVO – ANKARAFANTSIKA

Direction to Ankarafantsika; a national park renowned for being the home of the biggest predator in Madagascar, the Madagascar Fish Eagle also known as Haliaeetus vociferoides. 

On the road, semi-desert scenery throughout the Tampoketsa plateau.

Overnight at the hotel.

Motacilla flaviventris (Madagascar wagtail)

 

DAY 5 : PARC NATIONAL D’ANKARAFANTSIKA : kingdom of birds

Early visit of Ankarafantsika National Park to search different kinds of birds such as Haliaeetus vociferoides ( Madagascar fish eagle),  Philepitta schlegeli (Asity),  le Falco zoniventris (Banded Kestrel),  lSchetba rufa . Back to the camping for lunch. In the afternoon, boat trip around lake Ravelobe, the trail to see the rare birds such as Terpsiphone mutata (Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher), Copsychus albospecularis (dyal malgache), Hypsipetes madagascariensis (Madagascar Bulbul), Greater vasa Parrot and many species of Coua. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Cyanolanius madagascarinus (Madagascar Blue Vanga)

 

DAY 6 : ANKARAFANTSIKA – MAJUNGA

Direction to Majunga “the city of flowers” and cosmopolitan city of Madagascar. Towards the end of the afternoon, sunset and visit the red circus, an observation site of different kinds of sand to create small pretty bottles decorated by different skillful patterns.

Overnight at the hotel.

         Ploceus sakalava (Sakalava Weaver)                                                                                                                                    

 

DAY 7 : MAJUNGA – ANTANANARIVO – ANTSIRABE

Transfer at Majunga airport and flight to Antananarivo.  

Reception at Ivato airport and direction for Antsirabe, the water city of Madagascar. Crossed by the typical landscape road of the highlands strewed with rice fields and traditional houses. Visit of a forging workshop (cooking pots) and confectionery of “bonbon gasy” (local treats) in Ambatolampy. Continuation to Antsirabe and visit the stonecutter,city tour by rickshaw. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Dicrurus forficatus (Crestead Drongo of Madagascar)

 

DAY 8 : ANTSIRABE – RANOMAFANA

Road trip to Ambositra, discover the zafimaniry art and some of the finest marquetry craftsmanship. Showroom visit and light souvenir shopping. Arrival in Ranomafana, a city on the East coast of Madagascar towards the end of the day. Possibility of a night visit of the Ranomafana National Park to observe lemurs, butterflies…

Overnight at the hotel.

Alectroenas madagascariensis (Madagascar Blue Pigeon)

 

DAY 9 : PARC NATIONAL DE RANOMAFANA

Ranamofana is the home of the Ground-Roller. With a lot of effort, we have chance to see Atelornis pittoides (Pitta -like Ground Roller),  Atelornis crossleyi (Rufous-headed Ground Roller) and Brachypteracias leptosomus (Short-legged ground rollers).  

Eutriorchis astur (Madagascar serpent eagle), Accipiter henstii  (Henst’s Goshanwk),  Mesitornis unicolor (Brown Mesite),  Neodrepanis hypoxantha (Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity),  Xanthomixis cinereiceps (Grey-crowned Tetraka),  Crossleyia xanthophrys (Yellow-browed oxylabes),  Dromaeocercus brunneus (Brown Emutail),  Monticola sharpei (Forest Rock-Thrush) et  Xenopirostris polleni (Pollen’s vanga) are easy to see. Overnight at the hotel.

Terpsiphone mutata (Madagascar Paradise flycatcher)

 

DAY 10 : RANOMAFANA – RANOHIRA

Breakfast and direction to Ranohira. lunch and visit of an Anteimoro paper manufacturing workshop which the region is renowned for, and zebu market (preferably on a Wednesday).  Passage by “la porte du Sud de Madagascar” and the vast plateau of Ihorombe. Towards the end of the afternoon, sunset in the window of Isalo where you will have the opportunity to find famous birds Merle Rouge de Benson.

Overnight at the hotel.

Merops superciliosus (Olive Bee-eater)

 

DAY 11 : RANOHIRA – SAKARAHA 

Early departure to join Zombitse Vohibasia National Park. The Park is home to endemic fauna species, with about 60 species of birds including 47% endemic to Madagascar, 24% endemic to the Malagasy region and a local endemic species (source: MNP).  Phylastrephus apperti (Ritikala),  Corythornis  madagascariensis ( Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher ), Xanthomixis apperti (Appert’s Tetraka), Coua gigas (Giant coua) were registered in the Zombitse Vohibasia forest.

Resumption of the road after the visit of Zombitse Vohibasia and direction to Tuléar. Lunch at the hotel and afternoon free. 

Cinnyris souimanga (Souimanga Sunbird)

 

DAY 12 : Saint Augustin 

A whole day dedicated visit of the fisherman village in Saint Augustin. With a lot of chance, you will have the opportunity to see during the visit a Coua verrexi (Verreaux’s Coua), Monticola imerinus (Subdesert Rock-Thrush) in the subarid thorn bush and on the coastal dunes of the Onilahy River.

Overnight at the hotel.

Madagascar Lark

 

DAY 13 : TULEAR – IFATY

At one hour of Tulear city by car, Ifaty is renamed the sea resort of the South of Madagascar island. During your stay and with a lot of chance,  you will have the pleasure to review the endemic species of Madagascar like Falco zoniventris (Banded Kestresl),  Coua cursor (Running Coua),  Nesillas lantzii (Subdesert Brush Warbler),  Thamnornis chloropetoides (Subdesert Tetraka),  Newtonia archboldi (Archbold’s Newtonia ) and Falculea palliata (Sickle-billed Vanga). 

Back to hotel for lunch and afternoon free.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Phaethon rubricauda (Red tailed tropicbird)

 

DAY 14 :  IFATY

Relaxation day at the beautiful Ifaty beach.

Overnight at the hotel.

 

DAY 15 : IFATY  – ANTANANARIVO

Transfer at Tuléar airport and flight to Antananarivo. 

City tour of Antananarivo and visit the royal palace of Ambohimanga classified World Heritage by Unesco in 2001. Towards the end of the afternoon, purchase souvenir at Digue craft market and transfer at Ivato airport for Europe/ Asia …

END OF OUR SERVICES

Entry requirements

The passport must be valid at least six (06) months after the return date. 

 An entry visa is required

 

  • 01 day à 30 days: 115.000 MGA– 35 EURO – 37 USD
  • 31 à 60 days : 135.000 MGA – 40 EURO – 45 USD
  • 61 à 90 days : 175.000 MGA- 50 EURO – 55 USD

Health formalities

Anti-malaria, cholera, hepatitis A and B vaccines are strongly recommended for people wanting to visit Madagascar.  It is also recommended to have basic and personal medications in sufficient quantity for the entire duration of the stay

Hospital and private clinic

Hospitals and private clinics can be found in the country’s major cities.

 

Currency

The local currency is the Ariary (MGA). Nowadays 1 Euro = about 3,800 Mga. It varies from time to time. Banks, car rentals, the main hotels and some shops in the major cities accept credit card.

 

Custom requirements 

It is absolutely prohibited to export protected animals, funeral statues or rare fossils. Certain items require an export authorization that can be obtained upon the purchase of said item (e.g. wood sculptures, gems, carved stones, etc.)

 

Luggage allowance

Each passenger has a 20 kg luggage allowance on domestic flights.

 

Tourist vignette

Tourist vignette price varies depending on the category. The vignette is to be paid at each hotel, or can be directly included in our services, and its price usually is between MGA 1,000 to MGA 5,000. 

Area and climate

Madagascar’s total area is 592,000 km² with other 5,000 km of littoral.  

From December to March: Summer (rainy season).

From April to August: Winter.

From September to November: dry period.

Time difference

The time difference between Madagascar and Europe is:

 

  •  + 2:00 winter time in Europe
  •  + 1:00 summer time in Europe

National holidays

The main national holidays in Madagascar are:

 

  • January 1st  (New Year’s Day)
  • Easter Monday 
  • March 29th (Commemoration of the insurrectionof March 29,  1947)
  • May 1st (Labour Day)
  • Whit Mondy
  • June 26th  (Independance Day)
  • Assumption
  • December (Christmas)

Usually, Saturday afternoons and Sundays are days off.

 

Food

Rice is the staple food of the Malagasy population. It usually comes with a side dish of zebu meat, pork or poultry and is sprinkled with “romazava”, a traditional broth made with zebu meat and leaves.

Only well-off families can afford foie gras.

Products that are usually associated with tropical countries can be found in Madagascar, such as seasonal fruits, seafood, etc.

One can also find all the usual drinks in Madagascar. It is recommended to drink local mineral water and to avoid drinking tap water.

 

Religion

Christianity and traditional beliefs (the cult of ancestors) predominantly cohabit in Madagascar; however, the country also has a substantial proportion of Muslims.

Ornithology: Madagascar Kingdom of birds – 15 Days en photo