Sample of Tours : Birdwatching Tour

The hallmark of the malagasy avifauna is not necessarly its diversity but its remarkable endemism.
There are more than 120 endemic species of birds,including 6 endemic families in Madagascar : mesites,vanga,couas,ground rollers,cuckoo rollers and asities.
I have already seen all the malagasy birds.I know the ins and outs about where to go and what to see !

This draft of itinerary suits any birders.
Depending on your level of interests, this tries to give you as most endemic as possible.

Day 1 - Antananarivo.
Arrival at Ivato, Tana International Airport. After custom clearance, I will meet you outside with your name on a sign.
Transfer to the hotel, then mid afternoon visit of the Alarobia Lake. A private property in the middle of the city with a big colony of ducks, herons and egrets. A good introduction to the Malagasy birds.
Possible species: White-faced Whistling Duck, Red-billed Teal, Knob-billed Duck, Common Squacco Heron, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Dimorphic Egret, Swamp Warbler, Manikin, Fody, Kestrel, Madagascar Coucal, Madagascar White-eye, Madagascar Wagtail, Yellow-billed Kite, Mascarene Martin, Madagascar Kingfisher.
Overnight at Sakamanga hotel.

Day 2 and 3 - Antananarivo/Diego Suarez/Amber Mountain.
Fly to Diego Suarez on the northern tip of the island. Then an hour drive to the rainforest of Amber Mountain and on the way you may see your first chameleon (The bright Panther Chameleon).
Target species.
Birds: Pitta like Ground Roller, Crested Ibis, the only sight for Amber Mountain Rock Thrush, Cuckoo Roller, Souimanga Sunbird, Madagascar Buzzard, Blue Vanga, White-headed Vanga, Chabert Vanga, Tylas Vanga, Red-fronted Coua, Blue Coua, Pygmy Kingfisher, Spectacle Greenbull, White-throated Rail, Crested Drongo, Blue Pigeon, Lesser and Greater Vasa Parrot, Rainforest Scops Owl.
Reptiles: Blue-nosed Chameleon, Leaf-tailed Geckos, Big Madagascar Day Gecko, Madagascar Tree Boa and different varieties of Malagasy Tree Frogs.
Lemurs: Sanford’s Brown Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Pale Fork-marked Lemur.
Overnight at Nature lodge.

Day 4, 5 and 6 - Amber Mountain/Diego Suarez/Tana/Perinet.
Leaving Amber Mountain we drive back to Diego Suarez and fly back to Tana.
We then drive eastward to Perinet raiforest where you will spend 3 Nights.
We will try to complete the list of birds that we missed up north, get a better view of some species and new birds such as Nelicourvi Weaver, Short-legged Ground Roller, Rufous-headed Ground Roller, Scaly Ground Roller, Velvet Asity, Common Sunbird Asity, Tylas Vanga, Hook-billed Vanga, Frances and Madagascar Sparrow Hawk, Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Bee-eater, Madagascar Flufftail, Long-eared Owl, Collared Nightjar and more.
We will bird in the morning as well as nocturnal.
Reptiles: Parson’s Chameleon, Short-horn Chameleon, Pale-bellied Chameleon, different varieties of Malagasy Tree Frogs and Madagascar Tree Boa.
Lemurs: Indri the largest of all lemurs, Common Brown Lemur, Bamboo Lemur, Woolly Lemur, Diademned Sifaka, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, Brown Mouse Lemur, Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur.
Overnight at Feon'ny ala hotel.

Day 7 - Perinet/Tana.
Morning expedition in the Perinet Rainforest and in the afternoon we will return to Tana.
Overnight at Sakamanga hotel.

Day 8 - Tana/Ampijoroa.
Fly to Majunga and then drive straight to Ampijoroa.
Arriving at the camp area you can easily bird with a good chance to see Sickle-billed Vanga, White-headed Vanga, Blue Vanga, Grey-headed Lovebird, Hoopoe, Banded Kestrel, Sakalava Weaver, Magpie Robin and more. During the nightwalk you will look for Western Scops Owl, Madagascar Nightjar, Golden Mouse Lemur, Western Woolly Lemur, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, Milne Edward's Sportive Lemur and Rhino Chameleon.
Overnight at Gite of Ampijoroa

Day 9 - Ampijoroa.
Birding in the morning we will look for Shlegel’s Asity, White-breasted Mesite, Van Dam’s Vanga, Rufous Vanga, Red-capped Coua, Coquerel’s Coua, Cuckoo Roller, Madagascar Sparrow Hawk, Madagascar Buzzard, Crested Coua, Madagascar Button Quail, Madagascar Green Sunbird, Longbilled Greenbull, Banded Kestrel and more.
Returning you can enjoy the Coquerel’s Sifakas dancing by the campsite.
In the afternoon we will bird Lake Ravelobe looking for Madagascar Fish Eagle, Madagascar Jacana, Allen’s Gallinule, White-throated Rail, Glossy Ibis, African Darter, White-faced Whistling Duck, Purple Heron, Humblot’s Heron and more.
Overnight at Gite of Ampijoroa.

Day 10 - Ampijoroa/Majunga.
In the morning we will bird for the ones we missed and check out a nearby lake looking for Pygmy Geese and probable Painted Snipe. We then drive to Majunga spending the afternoon by the hotel.
Overnight at Antsahanitia Resort.

Day 11 - Majunga/Betsiboka/Tana.
Morning boat trip to the Betsiboka Delta to get the scarce Bernier’s Teal and White Ibis along with other shore birds such as Terek Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Sanderling, Lesser Crested Tern, Sandwich tern and more.
Returning to Majunga we catch the evening flight to Tana.
Overnight at Sakamanga hotel.

Day 12 - Tana/Tulear/Ifaty.
We will catch a flight to Tulear at the southeast coast and then drive to the spiny forest of Ifaty home of the Long-tailed Ground Roller, Subdesert Mesite, Running Coua, Green-capped Coua, Thamnornis Warbler, Lafresney’s Vanga, Archbold Newtonia, Madagascar Plover, Green Pigeon, Madagascar Harrier Hawk and more.
Overnight at la Mira Hotel.

Day 13 - Ifaty.
We will spend the day in the spiny forest to get the target birds and to admire this unique spiny forest with its astonishing vegetation such as Baobabs, Pachypodium, Didiera and Octopus plant.
If you want to you can go snorkelling, when it gets hot in the forest or go strolling in the nearby fishing village.
Along the coast at low tide you can get all sea birds such Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Kitlitzi’s Plover, Crab Plover, Green-backed Heron and more.
Overnight at la Mira Hotel.

Day 14 - Ifaty/Tulear/Isalo.
Leaving Ifaty we have about 6 hours drive to Isalo with a stop at Zombitse Forest looking for Appert’s Greenbull, Giant Coua, day roost of White-bowed Owl, Lesser Cuckoo, Common Neatonia and Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur.
Overnight at Isalo ranch.

Day 15 - Isalo.
In the morning we will try to find Madagascar Partridge and Forest Rock Thrush.
We will then visit the Maky Canyons looking for Ring-tailed Lemur and the Verraux Sifaka in their natural habitat.
Overnight at Isalo ranch.

Day 16 - Isalo/Tulear.
Returning to Tulear in then afternoon we will bird the bush shrub of laTable looking for Redshouldered Vanga and Verraux Coua.
Overnight at Chez Alain.

Day 17 - Tulear/Anakao.
If we missed the Red-shouldered Vanga we will try again before taking a speed boat to the isolated sacred islet fo Nosy Ve (1h30 by boat) where you will see the Red-tailed Tropicbird resident colony. At low tide, shore birds like Lesser Crested and Greater Crested Tern, Sandwich Tern, Saunder's Tern, Crab Plover, Sanderling and Black Egret.
Returning to the fishing village of Anakao on the mainland, you will enjoy a close up view of the Littoral Rock-thrush at our hotel's backyard and later relax on the beach.
Overnight at Safari Vezo.

Day 18 - Anakao/Tulear/Tana.
Leave Anakao after breakfast, sail back to Tulear and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Tana.
Overnight at Sakamanga hotel.

Day 19 - Anakao/Tulear/Tana.
Transfer you to the international airport for your flight home and end of trip.

N.B:For those who are very keen,any extension to get the rarest birds such as SAKALAVA RAIL,HELMET VANGA,BERNIER’S VANGA, MADAGASCAR POCHARD …can be arranged but they require some hardship because of the location where they occur.