The discover tour through Madagascar’s famous wildlife habitats, from rainforests to dry forests, and see the creatures especially the different kind of the bird that live there up close and in action:
AMBRE Mountain National Park
FOREST TYPE:Central Domain
Year-round, but difficulties may be encountered along the last seven kilometers preceding arrival at the Roussettes Forest Station in the rainy season. The park is 39km (1hr) from Antsiranana and is connected by a good road to Ambohitra (joffreville).
There is a good net work of marked footpaths; their condition varies depending on the maintenance they receive at various seasons of the year.
AVIFAUNA:73 species have been listed in the park to date .Star attractions are the endemic subspecies of the Forest-rock-thrushand the spectacled greenbul.The Madagascar crested ibis, the Pitta-like ground-roller, the Dark newtonia, and the White-throated oxylabes are commonly seen. The Madagascar fish – eagle and the Madagascar little grebe may be spotted on the lakes in the forest.
RANOMAFANA National Park
ACCESSIBILITY: Year-round. The site is easily reached from Fianarantsoa by paved road (65km, 2hrs).
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES:There are no readily discernible footpaths. It is strongly recommended that visitors engage a guide at Ranomafana or Vohiparara.
AVIFAUNA: 98 species have been recorded in Ranomafana Forest ,including numerous rare species such as Henst’s Goshawk ,the Brown Mesite ,the Slender-Billed Flufftail ,the Madagascar Snipe ,the Short-Legged Ground-Roller ,the Ruffous Headed Ground-Roller ,the Gray-Crowned Greenbul ,the Brown Emutail ,the Gray Emutail ,the Yellow-Browed Oxylabes ,and Pollen’s Vanga
BEZAHA-MAHAFALY Special Reserve
FOREST TYPE : Southern Domain
ACCESSIBILITY : Year-round.the reserve can be reached from toliara (190km,5hrs) by paved and dirt road.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES :there is a network of well-marked footpaths
AVIFAUNA :63 species have been listed, including some typical of the southern domain,such as the running coua, the thamnornis warbler, Arhbold’s newtonia, and lafresnaye’s vanga , as well as the Madagascar sparrowhawk, the Giant coua , and the white-browed owl.
BERENTY Private Reserve
FOREST TYPE :Southern Domain.
ACCESSIBILITY :Year-round ,the reserve can be reached from Fort Dauphin (90km, 2hrs and 30mn ) by paved road.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES :There are numerous very well laid-out and marked footpaths, even suitable for nocturnal birding walks.
AVIFAUNA :98 species have been listed in this reserve ,including several species exclusive to the Southern Domain,such as the running coua,White-browed owl, Humblot’s heron ,Malagasy scops- owl……
ACCESSIBILITY : Alaotra Lake lies at 160 km (4hrs) from Moramanga by dirt road. Road access is almost impossible during the rainy season. There is daily rail service from Antananarivo via Moramanga (275 km, 9 hrs) .
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES:Observation is possible from the shore, particulary from the paved road northwest of the lake, but it is preferable to rent a canoe so that one can approach the islands of vegetation. The best lacustrine sites are near the villages of Ambatosoratra, east of lake, and Anororo, west of the lake.
AVIFAUNA : 88 species have been listed, including two rare species know only at this lake, the Alaotra little grebe and the Madagascar pochard. Other endemic or regionally endemic species observed here include Meller’s duck, The Malagasy pond heron, Humblot’s heron, The réunion harrier, the Madagascar rail, and the Madagascar snipe. During the austral summer ,Eleonora’s falcon and the Sooty falcon are common sights.
VISITOR INFORMATION: The lake is the property of the Ranarivelo family. Visitors should conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to a bird sanctuary. The lake is in the Alarobia area, at the end of the route des Hydrocarbures, and can be reached by taxi.
AVIFAUNA : 49 species have been listed around lake Alarobia. The main attraction, as in the case of Tsimbazaza Park, is a heronry, which in this case supports 7 species, including a fairly large population of the Malagasy pond heron .During the hunting season the lake may be frequented by more than a thousand ducks, mostly White-faced xhistling duck and Red-billed teal. Four other species, including Meller’s duck,can be found here as well. Other species, such as the african spoonbill and Red-knobbed coot, have occasionally been sighted. Several raptor species, such as the Madagascar cuckoo-falcon and Réunion harrier, have been recorded regulary and less frequently reported species include the Banded kestrel and the Madagascar buzzard. During the austral summer, sightings of Eleonora’s falcon and the Sooty falcon are common.
VISITOR INFORMATION: Ramena Beach lies 18 km(20mn) by paved road northeast of Antsiranana. It can be reached by taxi . The Southern end of the beach ends in a long spit frequented by many shore species . Next to the spit is a small mangrove whose salt marshes teem with birds at low tide.
AVIFAUNA :27 species have been observed here ,among them the Caspian tern ,Roseate tern ,lesser-crested tern, and Greater-crested tern .A group of Crab plovers resides here year-round,and it is a good place to observe Palearctic shore birds .The White-tailed tropicbird and the lesser frigatebird are regulary observed here.
TULEAR Coastal Mud Flats
VISITOR INFORMATION : The coastal mud flats of Tulear are in the middle of town, just north of the harbor. The best time for observation, which can be conducted from a stone jetty projecting into the sea, is at low tide.
AVIFAUNA : 23 species have been observed, among them a large number of Palearctic migrants, including the Greater sand plover and the Terek sandpiper. Tern roots, primarily of Greater-crested terns, may be established on nearby coral reefs.
ISALO National Park
FOREST TYPE: Central domain
ACCESSIBILITY: Year-round. The park is easily accessible from Ranohira, which is situated at 245km (4hrs) from Tulear and 90 km (1hr and 30mn) from Ihosy.
OBSERVATIONS:There is an extensive network of footpaths, but the use of guides is strongly advised.
AVIFAUNA: 55 species have been listed, including Benson’s rock-thrush, whose range is almost wholly limited to this massif, as well as the Reunion harrier and the White-browed owl.
ANALAMAZAOTRA Special Reserve (Périnet)
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES: There is very good systeme of well-marked footpaths
AVIFAUNA :110 species have been listed ,including such are ones as the Short-legged ground-roller ,the rufous-headed ground-roller , The yellow-bellied sunbird-asity ,the Wedge-tailed jery , and Pollen’s vanga. Other very rare species ,such as the Madagascar serpent-eagle,the Brown mesite ,the slender–billed flufftail, and the Madagascar red owl, have been collected in the past at Analamazaotra or its environs.
AMBOHITANTELY Special Reserve
FOREST TYPE : Central Domain
ACCESSIBILITY :year-round .the reserve can be reached from Antananarivo (120 km,3hrs) by paved road.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES :There is good net works of footpaths in the patches of forest in the southern part of the reserve.
AVIFAUNA :49 species have been listed ,among them the Madagascar crested ibis , Meller’s duck,the Bat hawk, the Pitta-like ground-roller,the Forest rock-thrush, and the Tylas vanga.
AMPIJOROA Forest Station
FOREST TYPE: Western Domain
ACCESSIBILITY:Year-round, the station can be reached from Antananarivo (425 km,8hrs) or from Mahajanga (120 km, 2h30 mn) by paved road.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES: There is a very good network of footpaths in the station, which is directly adjacent to strict Natural reserve 7 of Ankarafantsika.
AVIFAUNA :103 species have been listed ,including some species exclusive to the western Domain,such as the Madagascar fish-eagle,the White-breasted mesite , and Van Dam’s vanga.Other unusual species,such as coquerel’s coua , the Red-capped coua, Schlegel’s asity,the rufous vanga, and the Sickle-billed vanga, have been observed .
North Forest of MORONDAVA
FOREST TYPE : Western domain
ACCESSIBILITY :May be inaccessible for some weeks during the rainy season .The section of forest of interest is situated 30 km(45 mn) north of Morondava on the unpaved road leading to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES: There is a very good network of footpaths within the concession, and the road itself is excellent for purposes of observation, particularly of aquatic species.
AVIFAUNA : 114 species have been listed at this site, including aquatic species frequenting temporary forest ponds, areas subject to flooding, the mangroves, and the coastal strip. The forest species include such unusual birds as Henst’s goshawk, the Banded kestrel, and the White-breasted mesite, as well as more common ones, such as the Giant coua, the Red-capped coua, and the Sickle-billed vanga. The wetlands attract some interesting aquatic species, including the Madagascar little grebe, The African openbill stork, the Greater flamingo, the African pygmy goose, the Madagascar plover, and the Madagascar jacana
TSIMBAZAZA Botanical Garden and Zoological Park
VISITOR INFORMATION :Tsimbazaza Park is open to the public Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Located in the center of town, it is easy to find.
AVIFAUNA :50 species have been observed in the park, which has long been known especially for the heron-ries around its ponds . 9 species of heron are found there , including the Malagasy pond heron ,black-crowned night-heron and Great egret .Other species , such as the darter , Glossy ibis , Madagascar long-eared owl, Madagascar brush-warbler and Common jery can also be observed there.
VISITOR INFORMATION :No autorization is necessary. The lake lies next to the runway of Ivato International Airport, which contains army facilities .It is therefore advisable not to approach the part of the lake near which the army camp is situated .The site is easily accessible on foot from the airport .
AVIFAUNA : 40 species have been recorded here .The number of birds and the variety of species depend on the lake’s water level .The lake attracts such regular visitor as the gray heron, the common greenshank and the Gray-headed gull. It provides a resting-place for ducks ,including Meller’s duck and especially the Red-billed teal ,which congregate in large numbers .A few nesting species ,among them the Whiskered tern, are worth noting. Many domestic ducks feed on the lake .
North Forest of TULEAR
FOREST TYPE : Southern Domain.
ACCESSIBILITY :Year-round, the section of the forest of interest here is one the unpaved road between Tulear and Morombe from the 28 km to the 32 km markers Boundary markings have been set up along the road .The site can be reached in an hour from Tulear.
OBSERVATIONS FACILITIES :At the 32 km point the subarid thorn scrub can be entered by footpath leading east. Other small footpaths can be followed from the road. Some aquatic species can be observed at Andranobe lake a few kilometers northeast of the 32 km point .
AVIFAUNA : 76 species have been observed at this site, among them everal local to southern domain, such as the subdesert mesite, the long-tailed ground-roller, the thamnornis warbler, Archbold’s newtonia, and Lafresnaye’s vanga. Other interesting species, such as the banded kestrel, the Madagascar plover, and the sickle-billed vanga, are easily observable.
Fort Dauphin port
VISITOR INFORMATION : The port is in center of the town.
AVIFAUNA : this site permits easy observation of the kelp gull, and such subantartic of antartic oceanic species as the Southern giant petrel may be encountered during the austral winter.