Trip report: Madagascar custom photo and nature tour (October 2012) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Charley Hesse. This was a custom tour with a longer itinerary than our set-departure photo tour.

This aim of this custom tour was not to try and find every endemic bird species, but to see many different groups of animals and plants, maximize our photographic opportunities, and enjoy the Madagascar experience. Despite this we still recorded 170 species of birds including members of all the regional endemic bird families; namely the mesites, ground-roller, asities, cuckoo-roller, vangas and Malagasy warblers. Of course the lemurs were an important part of this tour and by including 2 new sites on the itinerary, we managed to see an astounding 34 species, most of which were photographed! We also did well on other mammal groups, seeing 2 species of tenrecs, 4 endemic rodents (including the amazing Giant jumping Rat), and 4 Malagasy carnivores (including Madagascar’s biggest, the Fosa – twice!). We experienced the vastly different climates and habitats and saw first-hand their rapid destruction. We also witnessed the way of life of the Malagasy people who share this island with such amazing wildlife.

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