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N-W Safari Birding: an ecotourism revolution

Key attractions


This tour is an “off-the-beaten-track” birding adventure in search of some of the world’s rarest birds, allowing birders to connect with some of the most range-restricted, and endangered species on the planet. We will explore a number of this island’s most awe-inspiring habitats – from the bird-rich sites of the eastern rainforest to the deciduous woodlands of the north-west and Kinkony-Mahavavy wetlands - as we search for our quarry. Not only is the birding spectacular, but so too is the scenery and the variety in the fauna and flora that one picks up along the way.

Key infomration

Price on request
Duration 24 days
Transport 4WD, boats, jet
Distance ~ 1950 km on the land
Camp 8
Difficulity difficult access
Regions Northwest; Antananarivo and around

Day by day

Arrival at Antananarivo

Tongasoa aty Madagasikara! Dear friends, welcome to Madagascar! We will do our very best to make your trip in Madagascar unforgettable! Our bureau's team will be at the airport to welcome you from your international flight. Your special tour will begin in Antananarivo, where we will go by car, but before getting to a hotel we will visit the Ivato crocodile farm, also called “Croc Farm”. Spanning three hectares, this lush green oasis is ideal for you to relax, we know that having an international flight is tiring.

Afterwards, we will go by car to your nice hotel, where a prepared-room with a comfortable bed will be available for you to have a rest. Discover the City of a Thousand as you are taken to hotel where you will stay overnight. And in the evening after dinner, over a cocktail we discuss our program.

From the first day to the last day our experienced and professional guide and the driver will be next to you, they are near to make sure you have everything you need, so don’t worry about it. Tomorrow we are leaving the capital city.

Arriving in Tana;

Visit in the Ivato crocodile farm, also called “Croc Farm”, lunch and cocktails;

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast;

Dinner and discussion our program.

Antananarivo – Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area

During the course of the morning you travel to Tsarasaotra which means bird‘s island, a small green oasis in the north of the city. The park is a refuge for many birds that can be easily watched and photographed here – among them 14 endangered species that only occur in Madagascar.

After visiting Tsarasaotra Park, we will drive along a scenic road to Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area (2 h). Here the adventure really starts. Anjozorobe-Angavo offers you the simplicity of harmonious communication with nature. Your visit will be a unique experience. The Protected Area allows the followers hiking to admire an exceptional fauna and flora, through thematic circuits, adapted to all the rhythms. After lunch, we will walk for around 3 – 4 hrs, to admire an exceptional fauna and flora – the pace is not too fast and the hiking path is good...

Tonight, we will make Night tour: 1,2 km to 1 hour of walk. During your visit, you’ll see the nocturnal lemurs, like the Lepilemur mustelinus or “Tsidy” and the Avahi laniger or “Fotsife” in Malagasy. In the forest night life, it’s possible to meet others nocturnal animals: chameleons (Calumma brevicornis, Calumma globifer and Calumna gastrotaenia); Frogs (Mantidactilus and gypheromantis).

Distance: about 100 km;

Drive time: about 2 hours;

Visit in the Tsarasaotra Park;

Walks in the Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area;

Night tour;

Accommodation at the Saha Forest Camp Hotel, Full Board.

We will be accommodated in elegant bungalows, in the heart of a humid and tropical forest. Equiped with private bathroom with hot water and mobile heating in winter, each bungalow has a large balcony opening to a green landscape. The restaurant and its raised balcony are as much invitations for relaxation and serenity.

Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area

This day will be fully devoted to the discovery of Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area. The unusual tranquility and beautiful scenery, where numerous birds live, invite you to explore the forest. You will also see a multitude of lemurs, reptiles, and batrachians which live together in a rich vegetation. The Anjozorobe forest is part of a branch of the eastern rainforest that runs along the Angavo scarp.

Eighty species of birds are known from the site, of which 50 are endemic to Madagascar. Most of the species that are restricted to humid forest can be found.

It will be a truly remarkable experience and we hopefully will have the opportunity to see some of the indigenous species living in this area.

Walks in the Anjozorobe-Angavo - Protected Area;

Click here for more information about IBA trigger species of birds;

Night tour;

About meals: 3-meals are served; picnic baskets during walks. The crossed cooking is with local products: rice, meat, chicken, vegetables, seasonal fruits. Kitchen staff honours to enhance spices and products from Fanamby’s protected areas (cashew nut, vanilla, wild pepper, pink pepper, red rice);

Accommodation at the Saha Forest Camp Hotel, Full Board.

Anjozorobe-Angavo – Ambohitantely Special Reserve

After morning bird watching and breakfast, we will drive along a scenic road to Ambohitantely Special Reserve. Here the adventure really starts. Ambohitantely Special Reserve protects the last of the original highlands forest. It is covered with natural forest and grassy plains and is known for its astonishing populations of palms. It is a great location to see birds – with over 48 species including the Madagascar crested Ibis.

Among the birds, 48 species are reckoned. Most of them are endemic to Madagascar but none is endemic to Ambohitantely. Two threatened species are observed such as the Madagascar harrier (Circus macroscles) (VU), the Henst's Goshawk (Accipiter henstii) and the Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata). Ambohitantely special reserve is the only protected areas which inhabit Circus macrosceles.

This afternoon we will spend the time hiking through this special reserve.

Distance: about 240 km;

Drive time: about 4 hours;

Walks in the Ambohitantely Special Reserve;

Night tour;

Accommodation at the Camp in the reserve, Full Board.

Ambohitantely SR – Maevatanana - Ankarafantsika NP

We will spend the morning trekking this reserve again before heading back to our car for our transfer to Ankarafantsika NP. We will cross the beautiful hilly landscapes. The rice fields are still numerous and the traditional pise houses well established. There are plenty of lakes, many waterfalls, fed by the rains of the moment. We will arrive at the country Sakalava.

Along the journey, we will make stop in Maevatanana for lunch and some visits. "The beautiful village, the village where life is easy". Ancient buildings of the beginning of the 20th century are very pleasant. Here we will visit the Antanimbaryo market. Gold seekers tend to come together at this market on the south of the city, where purchasers coming from Tana, but also from the United States and from Thailand negotiate on the sale of this precious metal. Do not forget to bargain if you want to buy souvenirs for your loved ones. After a gold fever we will commit the less lucrative but surely not less thrilling activity to watch the crocodiles from the river. The area of Maevatanana was once a favorite place for hunting crocodiles (up to 5000 skins per year), today this hunting is forbidden.

In addition we will stop in the village Kandreho. This small village is renowned for the manufacture of raffia fabrics using special printing techniques ("lay masaka" that recall those of the Sunda Islands). To get some stunning photos, we will stop at the bridge over the Betsiboka Rapids. The red waters masses of the Betsiboka River at a place where some tumultuous rapids form. During the wet season foam usually reaches the bridge.

In the evening we will arrive in the Ankarafantsika NP. Here you are able to take night walks to see some of the nocturnal species which are particularly prevalent in this park (including mouse lemur – the smallest primate in the world).

Distance: about 385 km;

Drive time: about 6 hours;

Walks in the Ambohitantely Special Reserve;

Visit to the Antanimbaryo gold market;

Watch the crocodiles from the river;

Visit to the manufacture of raffia fabrics;

Stop at the bridge over the Betsiboka Rapids;

Night tour;

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast:

Blue Vanga Lodge - Exclusive place and haven of peace.

Gite de Ampijoroa has seven basic lakeside bungalows - these are set discreetly in the forest and face Lake Ravelobe. They are clean, comfortable and simple, and are ideal for us to get an early start in the forest tomorrow (being a 2 min walk from the park entrance). Across the road at the campsite and research station is the simple, open-air restaurant La Pigargue. (The food is very good).

Ankarafantsika National Park and The Ampijoroa area

Ankarafantsika National Park, set on Lac Ravelobe, is a mixture of deciduous forests and wetlands. This is major ecotourism site. It is known for its lakes and for being a haven for lemurs and endemic birds. It is the home to the beautiful Coquerel’s sifaka as well as 7 other species of lemurs (including western woolly, fat tailed dwarf lemur, mongoose lemurs) and exceptional birds (including roufous vanga and fish eagle). In all 115 species of birds have been recorded, of which 41 are endemic to Madagascar (BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet on 19/03/2018) or 129 species of birds have been recorded, of which 75 are endemic (Madagascar’s National Parks (2016).

At least five pairs of Madagascan Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides) breed at the site. Ankarafantsika is one of only two sites known for Van Dam's Vanga (Xenopirostris damii), and one of only six sites known for White-breasted Mesite (Mesitornis variegate). The total population of the latter species at the site has been estimated at between 6,000 and 26,000. Madagascar Grebe (Tachybaptus pelzelnii) and Humblot's Heron (Ardea humbloti) are regular non-breeding visitors, and about 20 pairs of Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idea) breed at Lake Ravelobe. Madagascar Crested Ibis (Lophotibis cristata) and Schlegel's Asity (Philepitta schlegeli) are both fairly common, the latter being restricted to humid valleys. Madagascar Blue-pigeon (Alectroenas madagascariensis), normally a species confined to the East Malagasy biome, is sometimes recorded here. There have been recent records of Nuthatch Vanga (Hypositta corallirostris) which, if confirmed, would be the first record of this species outside the east.

Walks in the Ankarafantsika National Park. We will set off to explore this forest on foot, to see a superb fauna; we will have a rich day excursion. We will take a picnic lunch to have on the trails in the national park.

Click here for more information about IBA trigger species of birds;

Picnic lunch;

Night tour. After dinner, we will have the option of setting out on a night hike again to see some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the forest.

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast.

Ankarafantsika National Park and The Ampijoroa area

Another day to explore this forest on foot, to spot a superb fauna. We will have a rich day in the Ampijoroa area.

Easy species include Blue, Sickle-billed, Chabert’s, Rufous, Hook-billed, and White-headed Vangas and both Greater and Lesser Vasa Parrots, White-breasted Mesite, Coquerel's and Red- capped Couas and Van Dam's Vanga (we are not sure who Van Dam was or why it came to have a Vanga named after him, but we guess it wasn't our old friend Jean Claude) and Madagascar Green Pigeon. Schlegel's Asity is present but harder to find. Birds of prey include Madagascar Fish Eagle, Madagascar Harrier Hawk, Madagascar Buzzard, Madagascar Sparrowhawk and Frances's Sparrowhawk.

Lake Aboromalandy and Lac Ravelobe and other wetlands may turn up Madagascar Fish Eagle, Humblot’s Heron and the shy Allen’s Gallinule is a good place African Pygmy Goose, Madagascar Jacana Madagascar Crested Ibis, White-throated Rail, Humblot's Heron, Madagascar White Ibis, Madagascar Pratincole and Madagascar (Bernier's) Teal, Banded Kestrel, Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher and Purple Heron, Red capped Coua, White-breasted Mesite, Schlegel’s Asity. On Lake Ravelobe views may be had of Madagascar Fish Eagle and White-throated Rail.

Walks in the Ampijoroa area;

Picnic lunch;

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast.

Ankarafantsika NP – Bealanana

Early morning departure for car 4×4 to Bealanana, to a specific destination, Bemanevika Special Reserve to find the local endemic fauna and especially wild duck with white eyes (Madagascar Pochard) and red owl. Bealanana is a small village, near to which is the last remaining site for the critically endangered Madagascar Pochard.

7 hours driving for a duck! Still, it will certainly worth it, and we would recommend more travellers make the pilgrimage to Bemanevika for two reasons. Firstly, you’ll get some amazing birds on your list and have a great time. If you spend some decent time up there, you may even make some crazy discoveries. There hasn’t been a Madagascar Serpent Eagle seen for a while here now, not since the radio tagged bird died. They are probably still in the general area though.

Maybe you will be the last tourists to see this particular bird, but the researchers there do hope and intend to catch another Eagle to tag. No guarantees though. Secondly, the more travellers that go, then the more publicity and money can be put into promoting, protecting and researching the site and its birds.

Distance: about 450 km;

Drive time: about 7 hours (access difficult; off road). We will start the long drive north to Bemanevika. The journey will the long, tiring and long. Along the way we will pass through villages and animated markets so there is always something to look at en-route. The road would get progressively worse as we got nearer Bemanevika, but the track we will ended up late in the afternoon could hardly be described as a road!

Lunch en-route in the Antsohihy;

Overnight in the camp in the reserve or guesthouse in the Bealanana, full board.

Bemanevika Special Reserve

In the morning, we will head to hike to admire the nature of the reserve, to meet with local endemics of fauna. En-route we will be aware of roadside birds like Olive Bee-eater, Malagasy Kestrel, Madagascar Cisticola and perhaps the occasional Madagascar Buzzard. Continental wetlands of Bemanevika are composed of permanent and intermittent freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, permanent and seasonal streams, marshes, permanent freshwater ponds. A matrix of dense rainforests with altitude, characteristic of the area, ensures connectivity between different wetland ecosystems. Three big lakes are dominating this beautiful reserve and landscape.

On arrival, our camp staff will welcome us to the pristine environment that we will conduct research in. After setting up camp, which will be our base for the next three nights, we will start exploring the different habitats of this exciting place and will be looking out for White-throated Rail, Madagascar Lark and other species. On one of the small lakes we will be looking for Meller’s Duck and Malagasy Kingfisher, and in the forested area we set out to seek one of the main targets of this trip, Red Owl, by far the most uncommon of the owls the island has to offer and one which very few world birders have laid eyes upon.

The Madagascar Pochard was rediscovered in 2006 at Bemenavika, but life remains incredibly tough for them. Restricted to just one or two tiny crater lakes, the entire population of about 20-30 individuals is at risk of extinction at any one point. There is now a successful captive breeding population instigated by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the Gerald Durrell conservation trust, but productivity in the wild is dangerously low.

Discovery of Bemanevika Special Reserve. The crater lakes at Bemanevika are not all equally used either. One of them is now a marsh, with no open water at all. Most of the Pochards use just the one small lake of about 20 hectares in extent. This species was once found at several sites in the northern half of Madagascar, but mainly on Lake Alaotra.


Overnight in the camping, full board.

Bemanevika Special Reserve

We will have two full days to search for the very special birds this area has to offer. Our main targets, of course, are the sought-after Madagascar Pochard, Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Red Owl, and Slender-billed Flufftail and there is an excellent chance that during these two days we will be able to lay eyes on all – or most – of them.

In addition, there will be many other fascinating species. In the grasslands and nearby wooded areas we will be on the lookout for Malagasy Harrier, Madagascar Mannikin, Madagascar Starling, Madagascar Cuckoo, Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk, Malagasy Coucal, Common Quail, Lesser Vasa Parrot, Madagascar Lark, Mascarene Martin, Malagasy Bulbul, Madagascar Buzzard, Malagasy Kestrel, and Olive Bee-eater, in the wetlands and adjacent habitats we will keep our eyes open for Madagascar Partridge, Grey Emutail, Madagascar Harrier-Hawk, Lesser Vasa Parrot, Blue Coua, Malagasy Black Swift, Malagasy Brush Warbler, and Malagasy White-eye, while marshy areas could yield Madagascar Flufftail, at lakes we could find Madagascar Grebe, Madagascar Swamp Warbler, and Madagascar Rail, and night outings will provide opportunities for Madagascar Nightjar, Rainforest Scops Owl, and Madagascar Owl.

Discovery of Bemanevika Special Reserve. Bemanevika is famous amongst birders as the only place you are likely to see the incredibly rare and elusive Madagascar Red Owl. They are undertaking studies of the owls here, and one individual is fitted with a radio tag, so they are able to find this bird on demand. This of course, is a very helpful scenario for lazy birders! Following the guides through the dense forest and down the near vertical slopes of the crater-lake, we eventually will greet by the sight of the Red Owl.


Overnight in the camping, full board.

Antsohihy and Anjiamangirana Special Reserve

This morning we will back to Antsohihy. Immediately upon arrival we will make an excursion around the town and visit the handcraft manufacturer of decorative items. Then we will visit the house of the first President of Madagascar and learn about its hidden stories.

After lunch, we will continue to drive for the discovery of the secrets of Anjiamangirana/Manasamody 50km from Antsohihy, through alleys Satrana we can discover a field of “pachipodium” very interesting in the middle of nowhere. We will rise to the Manasamody viewpoint for a photo of the panoramic view.

Next we will continue our walk downhill to enter the Anjiamangirana Special Reserve, where we among other animals will see such as Coquerel's sifakas, bats and if we are lucky the Anjiamangirana sportive lemur. This forest is the only confirmed location for the Anjiamangirana sportive lemur (Lepilemur grewcockorum). Later we'll stroll in the Baobab forest.

Distance: about 220 km;

Anjiamangirana Special Reserve. Depending on the season, we can make bivouac in the reserve for nights to watch the Aye-Aye.

Tonight we will sleep in bungalows in the Antsohihy.

Return to Ankarafantsika NP and the Ampijoroa area

So thrilled about what happened yesterday, Anjiamangirana and Manasamody are such a great experience! What next? Today, we return to Ankarafantsika NP and the Ampijoroa area.

After lunch, we will have another beautiful day and the next day morning to explore this natural wealth. On arrival we should encounter numerous “park residents” such as the gaudy Broad-billed Roller, screeching Lesser Vasa Parrot, Crested Drongo, Madagascar Magpie-Robin, Sakalava Weaver, Madagascar Hoopoe, Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Green Pigeon and Malagasy Turtle Dove, before birding the dry semi-deciduous forest. There will also be an optional pre-dinner night walk this evening in search of the large range of reptiles and mammals that occur in these faunal and floral rich woodlands.

In evening, you can explore the lodge and its surrounding. The nightlife around the lodge would prove to be very interesting.

Distance: about 230 km;

Drive time: about 4 hours;

Walks in the Ankarafantsika National Park;

Night tour;

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast:

Blue Vanga Lodge or Gite de Ampijoroa

Ankarafantsika NP - Mahajanga

After a final morning’s birding, lemur watching and photographing - breakfast at the hotel at 07-00 and departure until 08-00. Today we will leave to Mahajanga on the north-west coast of Madagascar, for the next leg of our birding adventure. We will wind our way through Marovoay, which has a distinctly East African feel about it. Markets full of fresh tropical fruit and vegetables, and spice, dominate the town. Marovoay means: "where there are many crocodiles”. Indeed: the rivers abound many Nile crocodiles and can be easily seen. Hunting of crocodiles was in the early twentieth century an important activity in the region, but fortunately for these big reptiles this practice is no longer in use.

The landscape opens up rather starkly after we leaving the town and we will pass cashew nut sellers and ladies washing and drying their laundry next to the many small streams that we pass along the way to Mahajanga. En route, we may encounter Purple, Striated, Squacco and Malagasy Pond Herons, as well as flocks of Black Herons performing their bizarre “umbrella-feeding” routine in the roadside water-bodies. We plan to stop at Lake Amboromalandy and at rice fields to try to find birds like Madagascar Jacana, Malagasy Pond Heron, Humblot’s Heron, the strange Black Heron, and others.

We plan to arrive at the hotel at 14-00. Let’s enjoy it and discover this amazing place. Welcome cocktail, then we will head to small beach and Grand Pavois. Beach, bathing, sunbathing and lunch at the Grand Pavois Barracuda Hotel. Siesta in the shade on the beach and stroll to the Red Circus (30 minute walk). It is an eroded hill with its amphitheater shape showing all the shades of colors between red and white. The best time to visit is a sunset.

Distance: about 125 km;

Marovoay town. A trip plan: The market zebu (Friday and Thursday); Town tour and visit various markets (crafts, vegetables, fish); Climbing to a lookout site for a great view of the plains and rice fields; Simple lunch in a local inn (hotel Anjara).

Lake Amboromalandy;

Beach, bathing, sunbathing;

Lunch at the Grand Pavois Barracuda;

Walk in the Red Circus in the sunsetting and return to the Barracuda to 18-00 to return to the hotel until 18.30-19.00. Later on, presentation of the hotel and the restaurant, dinner will be served at your hotel, and you will stay there overnight;

For your accommodation on the Mahajanga, we suggest you hotels and lodges, which will meet your expectations, Bed & Breakfast:

L’hôtel du Phare from 18 euros; Fishing Residence à Mahajanga from 36 euros; Coco Lodge Majunga 3* from 49 euros; Blue Bay Hotel from 60 euros; Karibu Lodge from 66 euros.

Betsiboka Delta and NEW PROTECTED AREA ANTREMA-Katsepy

After yesterday's relaxing day, in the morning we’ll birding the mangroves at the Betsiboka Delta for rare species such as Malagasy Sacred Ibis and Bernier’s Teal, along with a host of tropical shorebirds, terns, and more.

Our leaving in the early morning provides us with enough time to take a motorized boat ride up the Betsiboka Delta. This seldom-visited region is home to two of Madagascar’s rarest and most endangered birds, Bernier’s Teal and Malagasy Sacred Ibis, and we have an excellent chance of finding both of these specialities during our morning’s outing. Other noteworthy birds we may encounter on this journey are Humblot’s Heron, African Openbill, Greater Flamingo, African Spoonbill (a very rare bird in Madagascar), Madagascar Harrier-Hawk, Terek Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Sand Plovers, Crab-plover and Lesser Crested and Saunders’s Terns.

Then we continue our trip to New Protected area Antrema. After lunch, prepared by the local community, we will discover this area.

We will cross of a bridge over the mangrove and stroll to the beach for Katsepy lighthouse and a ride to the fishing village down with the Blue circus, nestled between sandy beaches that invites guests to a complete idleness. Apart from walking to the lighthouse (where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Bombetoka Bay) or visiting the nearby Bay Boeny for a different landscape, there is nothing more to do here than laying on a hammock, swimming and enjoying the excellent meals prepared by Ms Chabaud, who is supposed to be one of the best cook in the region.

The Betsiboka Delta;

Click here for more information about IBA trigger species of birds;

Click here to learn more about «Visit in the New protected area Antrema». Visit plan: The sifakas of the village of the Prince and the arboretum; Mangrove Restoration Area; Sahariaka lake in the heart of the palm savanna, it is an ideal place for the bird watcher; the fishing village of Ambanjabe; Visit of the mangroves of the marine park.

Snack and lunch will prepare by the local community;

Snack, drink and overnight at the rustic cabins of Ms Chabaud on the beach.

Antrema NPA – Mitsinjo (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D1)

We’re so happy you enjoyed yesterday. After final “cleanup” birding in the Antrema, this morning is another opportunity to wander around and enjoy the sea, the sun and swimming.

After lunch, we’ll take the off-road vehicle and head to Mitsinjo to reach the Lake Kinkony, which is part of the Mahavavy-Kinkony complex, a unique and exceptional area, with the amazing opportunity to watch staggering landscape all along the way. The site is ideal for watching rare birds of Madagascar. Nevertheless it can be a rough journey, the transfer to Mitsinjo takes from 2 to 3 hours, really an adventure trip depending on the road condition.

En-route we will be able to encounter birds, like Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Madagascar Harrier, Hotentot Teal, Kittlitz’s plover, African Openbill Stork. A seven-night stay should allow us to spot most of the key birds of the Complex.

We should reach to overnight at a very basic accommodation (private local house, having electricity, sharing shower including the toilet).

Distance: about 70 km;

Drive time: about 2-3 hours on a bumpy road;

Click here for more information about IBA trigger species of birds;

Dinner and overnight at the simple private local house.

The river trip to Lake Kinkony (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D2)

Today we head to Lake Kinkony, the one of the world’s “birdwatching spots”. After breakfast, we are loading all the bags on a zebu-cart to get to the Mahavavy's river and we will have at least 6 hours (upstream) of ride on a metal local pirogue (seat on the floor).

On arrival to the local community Association by 15-00, local guides will welcome us to the pristine environment that we will conduct research in. After setting up camp, which will be our base for the next two nights, back to the lake, we will start exploring the different habitats of this exciting place and will be looking out for the target species and locally endemic Sakalava Rail. A very good possibility to spot fresh water birds: Madagascar Swamp Warbler, Madagascar Jacana, Reed Cormorant, African Darter, Sacred Ibis; African Spoonbill, Yellow Billed Stork, Pond Heron.

Ride time: about 6 hours;

Trip the Mahavavy river;

Lunch-picnic, beverages, drinks;

Discovery the Lake Kinkony (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex);

Overnight at the camp, full board.

Kinkony's lake (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D3)

Are you keen to explore the Kinkony's lake? Today we will make amazing discoveries. Trust our tour guide. We will spend another full day exploring the lake and the picturesque environs of the lake which are rich in both birds and plants life. Just enjoy birding around, don’t think about dinner. We’re taking care of it at the camp where you will stay overnight.

The amazing Mahavavy-Kinkony complex presents great ornithological diversity, especially in aquatic avifauna. And it’s not just birds. We are likely to encounter spectacular lemurs such as Crowned Sifaka (Propithecus coronatus) and Decken’s Sifaka (P. deckeni).

Target species: African Spoonbill, Crested Coua, Crested Drongo, Madagascar Hoopoe, Black Winged Stilt, Green Backed Heron, White Faced Whistling Duck, Squacco Heron, Turtle Dove, Comb Duck, Madagascar Sandgrouse, Malagasy King Fisher, Knobe Billed Duck, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Reed Cormorant, Common Moorhen, Madagascar Teal, Hottentot Teal , Sakalava Rail, Common Sandpiper, Madagascar Magpie Robin, Green Pigeon, Paradise Flycatcher.

Discovery the Lake Kinkony (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex);

Lunch-picnic, beverages, drinks;

Overnight at the camp, full board.

Kinkony – Namakia (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D4)

Today early in the morning we will go way back all in the same pirogue, but downstream, so the return journey will be much faster. Along the way, we will also have excellent chances to meet a variety of birds.

After lunch in Mitsinjo and after a small digestive break, we will drive the way to Namakia on our jeep for a relatively short time depending on the state of the road.

Ride time: about 5 hours;

Lunch en-route;

Excursion to a sugar factory in Namakia;

Dinner and overnight at the private house, colonial building, basic accommodation is possible.

Mahavavy Delta (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D5)

After breakfast, we will go the harbour in outskirts of the town and ride a local pirogue with a small engine 20 CV for birding toward Ampitsopitsoka fishing village, which is the place for shore bird; and the endemic Bernier's Teal. This village is a favorite place to observe migratory birds and pink flamingos (September December).

During our slow 4-hour descent along the delta of the Mahavavy Delta, we will track down birds, especially near villages such as Tsiandrora, Belovo and Vavan'Ampitsopitsoka.

We will land in Ampitsopitsoka at about 15-30 in the heart of the very hospitable local population, to immerse ourselves in the country of Sakalava. Lunch and it's time to enjoy a well-deserved rest on a beautiful beach.

Approximately at 19-00 we will have dinner and animation.

Target species: Bernier’s Teal, Namaqua Dove, Turtle Dove, Love-birds, Madagascar Sandgrouse, Comb Duck, Bee- Eater, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Sand Piper, Crab Plover, Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Madagascar Harrier, Hotentot Teal, Kittlitz’s plover.

Ride time: about 4 hours;


Lunch in the Ampitsopitsoka;

The village community will provide us with food, full board, drinks, booze;

Accommodation in the family, in tents in the camp or in the bungalows of Madame Paulette located on the beach;

Animation (traditional dances, singing, ball).

Taboos (fady): It is strictly forbidden to bring pork and peanuts.

Click here to watch photo about Ampitsopitsoka.

Ampitsopitsoka village (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D6)

After breakfast, at about 8-00 we will visit the Ampitsopitsoka village to learn more about the daily life of these hospitable people of Sakalava.

After lunch, no later than 12-30 we will go on a bird watching near the villages of Vavan'Antsatra / Betaintsamaka, Doany Kassimo, Aranta Be/Mangadrabo, where the birds abound. We plan to come back to 16-30, after you will have free time to relax on the beach.

Dinner and animation at 19-00.

Visit to the village Ampitsopitsoka;

Bird watching;

Animation (traditional dances, singing, ball);

Full board

Antsoheribory & Boeny Aranta (Mahavavy-Kinkony complex D7)

After breakfast at 8-00 we set off on a trip to Port Namakia by a pirogue. The trip takes 1 hour. We get into our jeep and drive straight to Antsoheribory and Boeny Aranta.

Antsoheribory, a small sandy islet, an oasis of freshness - is a small corner of paradise. Although it is home to many tourist attractions, this island measuring 2 kilometers long for 70 meters wide is still unknown. It is rich in fauna and flora, among others, the birds and marine fish and vegetation marked by the dominance of the baobabs. The ruins of the former home of Arab sultans erected on the island also include culture to immortalize the scene attractions. All this is very beautiful! Let's explore this island!

This unique destination still deserves to be discovered, its rich flora and fauna. The local vegetation is, indeed, dominated by the presence of the baobabs. The two most identified varieties are: the za Andansonia, as well as the large Pachypodium rytenbergianum Digitata. There are countless species of birds and fish common and endemic.

The diversity of marine fauna is also one of the attractions of Antsoheribory. Actually, the waters have wonderful coral reefs, so favourable for the practice of diving and snorkeling. In the northern part of the island, the seabed is particular: we will meet different fish - the Mutts, sardines, parrotfish, rays, red mullet, moray eels, exocets, etc.

Antsoheribory Island;






Trolling or spearfishing

Snack and drink;

We again sit in our car and go down to Katsepy until 18-30;

Dinner and overnight at the rustic cabins of Ms Chabaud on the beach.

Mahajanga and Flight to Tana

Today we fly back to Tana for our final night. Our flight at 17-55 (Fri, Sat, Mon) provides us with enough time to do some more activities. After a very early breakfast we will go to the bay at 7-00 to cross the Bombetoka Bay by ferry. In Mahajanga we have 3 options for you:

Option 1: A city tour. The photographic motifs are extraordinarily plentiful: trading posts, sculpted wooden doors, all remnants of the Arabic origins of the city, old colonial houses with ochre facades show some relics of a gone glory, narrow streets with small gardens planted with bugambilia plants…

Option 2: Visit the Sacred lake of Mangatsa with its exceptionally large carp and eels, white lemurs and crocodiles in captivity, charm guaranteed… This sacred lake with transparent waters is the home of some of the biggest goldfish you will ever see. Lake Mangatsa is a sacred place and even politicians come usually here to seek the advice of the ancestors. We will observe and attract the fish at the lake with a piece of bread that you will throw in the lake. As soon as we get hungry, we will enjoy the nice food at the lake’s restaurant.

Option 3: We can head out to a nearby seasonal pan which often harbours a variety of shore birds that usually includes Black-winged Stilt and Kittlitz’s Plover and, if we are very fortunate, the rare, endemic Madagascar Plover may also be in attendance. Depending on water levels, the far end of the pan may be blanketed in water lilies and if this is the case we will almost definitely be rewarded with rafts of beautiful African Pygmy Goose and perhaps the odd Greater Painted-snipe. The adjacent scrub and thickets also usually support good numbers of Madagascar Cisticola, Olive Bee-eater, Madagascar Mannikin and Red Fody.

Then we’ll take a flight back to Tana, where this epic Safari Birding and wildlife adventure around the North-West of Madagascar will conclude. Goodbye-dinner in the cozy atmosphere of Le Restaurant «La Varangue».

Click here to learn more about «Discovery the Sacred lake of Mangatsa»;

Flight to Tana;

Distance: about 400 km;

Flight time: about 1 hour;

Botanical and Zoological Park of Tsimbazaza. Before dinner, if you want, we will be able to make an excursion to Tsimbazaza Park to see the mythical Aye-Aye. Of course, there are tours that will take you to the natural habitat of the aye-aye. But these animals are nocturnal and live in the trees, so spotting them in the dark up in high branches is practically impossible.

Goodbye-dinner in the Le Restaurant «La Varangue»;

Accommodation at the hotel, Bed & Breakfast: The Sakamanga Hotel 3* or De France Hotel 3* or Colbert Hotel 4*  or Hotel La Varangue or Maison Gallieni.

Flight Home

Today your tour ends. A transfer back to the airport Ivato. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Madagascar. Experienced travelers are used to goodbyes, but that doesn't mean they get any easier. When the time comes to depart the wonderful Madagascar, we wouldn't be surprised if you were already planning a return trip!

Transfer to the airport Ivato.

Extend this tour:

The Baly Bay (Baie de Baly) National Park is very rich in terms of biodiversity since it includes both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, such as dense dry forests, mangroves, rivers and lakes, white-sand beaches, dunes and impressive coral reefs.

The Tsingy de Namoroka have been protected since 1966 and belongs to the same protected complex as Baly Bay National Park. Tsingy de Namoroka offers a wide range of landscapes and ecosystems.

To shift from a classic holiday place to a real ecotourism destination, Majunga focused on promoting new sites and especially Antsanitia beach. 30km north of Mahajanga are authentic fishing villages on the edge of a huge unspoiled beach. The site allows you to take full advantage of the wilderness area: canoeing, catamaran, the Morira river, discovery of a mangrove inhabited by birds, walks in small forest massifs and their endemic fauna (lemurs, chameleons ...), hiking through the savannah punctuated by majestic "satrana" (palm trees) and crossing villages, traditional fishing or "sportive"...  The sea is king there. Add ecotourism to the picture, with the Morira River trip, the river’s mangroves and the discovery of endemic medicinal plants, with the participation of local villagers.

First time visitors to Madagascar should spend at least two nights in Andasibe, and go to the Mantadia National Park. The Park is home to the loudest and most famous animal the Indri (Indri indri) jumping through the treetops, whose calls reach far away through the forest and awake many guests in the morning.

After spending the time at Mantadia National Park and Analamazaotra chasing lemurs through the gorgeous rainforest you are thought that you had already seen too many lemurs for one day… You are wrong… There is no such thing as too many lemurs for one day. Andasibe has enough to do that you can fill a day or two before, after, or in between visiting Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

Included in price

*Domestic flight

*Pick up and drop off;


*Food: full board D2-3, D9-11, D15-18, D20-22; B+D in D4, 8, 19, 23; Breakfast D6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 24; Lunch D1;

*Car 4x4 with a driver;


*Services a personal guide-escort (English or French or Russian language);

*Entrance fees to parks and reserves and the services of local guides;

*Camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags);

*Picnics in the stipulated places at the program;

*Goodbye-dinner in the Le Restaurant «La Varangue» D23;

*All excursions according to the program;

*Domestic airfare;

*All transfers, including water transport;

*Government taxes and fees, including TVA and tourist tax at hotels.

Not included in price

*International air travel;

*Your medical insurance;

*Personal items and expenses;

*Soft and alcoholic drinks in hotels;

*Lunches en-route;

*Additional activities outside the program.

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