Madagascar’s Endemic Birds
This comprehensive itinerary has been specially designed for those looking to focus on Madagascar’s unique and fascinating birdlife in addition to its wide range of other wildlife. This special route takes in some of Madagascar’s most biodiverse habitats and enables one to see a great range of its most iconic bird and lemur species in their natural habitats.
Starting with the ancient spiny forests of the arid south, a range of localised and specially adapted species can be found. These include the sub-desert mesite, banded kestrel, running coua and the fantastic long-tailed ground roller. From here an exciting journey north commences firstly taking in the transitional forests of Zombitse National Park, before heading into the open plains and rocky canyons of Isalo National Park. Alongside many great birds, family groups of ring-tailed lemurs, Verreaux’s sifakas and the endemic Zombitse sportive lemur may also be seen along the way.
Next comes the lush montane rainforest of Ranomafana National Park; home for some of the most endangered of Madagascar’s birds and lemurs plus a staggering 120 species of endemic frog. This wonderful National Park deserves plenty of time for exploration and offers different forest elevations and niches for wildlife including the attractive yellow-bellied sunbird asity, pitta-like ground roller and the golden and greater bamboo lemurs. The nearby rainforest and lemur research station of Kianjavato can also be explored for a chance to see the most bizarre of all lemurs, the gremlin-like aye aye.
Further north, is the rainforest of Andasibe where a different cast of birdlife, lemurs and other wildlife can be found. The old growth primary rainforests of Mantadia are a highlight with the stunning scaly ground roller and agile black-and white ruffed lemur with the song of the indri often in the background. The recently researched Antavalobe rainforest also now offers the chance to spot the spectacular helmet vanga and rare Bernier’s vanga, both species which until recently were only possible to find in the remote north east.
The last destination is different again with dry deciduous forest in the North West. Here a plethora of exciting birds and different lemurs can be found in the wildlife rich Ankarafantsika National Park, Katsepe Peninsula and nearby Betsiboka River Estuary. This special itinerary is a perfect choice for those looking to experience each of Madagascar’s main ecosystems.