Birding Tour Madagascar: 8-day Northwest Pre-tour


Dates and Costs

 

06 – 13 October 2025

Price: €3,133  / $3,510 / £2,818 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants, plus about €650 for the domestic flights, which we will book for you

Single Supplement: €459 / $515 / £413

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 8 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Tour Start: Antananarivo (Tana)
Tour End: Antananarivo (Tana)


Price includes:

Meals
Accommodation
Guiding fees
Entrance fees
All transport while on tour
Bottled water throughout the tour

Price excludes:

All flights
Return flight Tana/Mahajanga (Majunga)/Tana
Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts
Drinks
Laundry
Personal insurance
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

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Madagascar Birding Tour: 8-day Northwest (Ankarafantsika/Betsiboka Delta) Pre-tour
October 2025

 

This northwest Madagascar pre-tour is designed around seeing several range-restricted Madagascar bird endemics that are not possible on the standard eastern and southern Madagascar birding itinerary. To find many of these northwestern specials we will be concentrating our time in Ankarafantsika National Park which has an impressive bird list of 129 species, more than half of them endemic to Madagascar. Some of the standout specials include White-breasted Mesite, Van Dam’s VangaSchlegel’s Asity, Madagascar Ibis, the elusive Banded Kestrel, and the more easily observed Madagascar Fish Eagle, which can often be seen at Ravelobe Lake, where the endangered Humblot’s Heron can also be seen.

Northwest Madagascar birding tourMadagascar Fish Eagle is one of the special birds we will be looking for on this tour.

 

This pre-tour to our Best of Madagascar: 14-day Birding and Wildlife Tour can also be booked as a stand-alone tour. It can also be combined with our following 6-day Masoala Peninsula Pre-tour and, following the main tour, with our 6-day Berenty Reserve Extension.

Northwest Madagascar birding tourHumblot’s Heron is regular at Lake Ravelobe.

 

Itinerary (8 days/7 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Antananarivo

You can arrive in Madagascar’s capital at any time today, after which you will be transferred to the hotel.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux, Antananarivo

 

Day 2. Antananarivo – Mahajanga (Majunga) – Ampijoroa (Ankarafantsika National Park)

We will leave the hotel after breakfast, take our flight to Mahajanga, and eventually drive directly to Ankarafantsika (about four hours’ drive), heading for the Ampijoroa dry deciduous forest. A three-night stay should allow us to spot most of the key birds of the area. En route to Ankarafantsika, 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.

Time-permitting, we can spend time at Lake Ravelobe, scanning for the Critically Endangered Madagascar Fish Eagle, the Endangered Madagascar Jacana, and many other birds. Beware of crocodiles, please, and don’t walk too close to the lake! We then return to our accommodation, checking the trees around the “lodge” for spectacular birds, including Sickle-billed Vanga, Crested Coua, Madagascar Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Lovebird, and many others. If we’re not too tired, we might do a night walk tonight (otherwise the next evening), and this might generate Madagascar Nightjar, owls, chameleons, and nocturnal lemurs.

Overnight: Asity Lodge, near Ankarafantsika National Park

Northwest Madagascar birding tourThe unusual Sickle-billed Vanga should be seen on this tour.

 

Days 3 – 5. Two more nights at Ampijoroa

We have another early start to visit the various sections of Ankarafantsika. Here we need to find mega-amazing birds such as White-breasted Mesite, Van Dam’s, Hook-billed and Rufous Vangas, Madagascar Ibis, the incomparable and spectacular Schlegel’s Asity, Red-capped, Coquerel’s and Crested Couas, and lemurs like the spectacular Coquerel’s Sifaka. One afternoon we plan to do a boat trip on the lake for species mentioned previously that might have been missed.

Overnight: Asity Lodge, near Ankarafantsika National Park

 

Day 6. Ampijoroa to Mahajanga

After final “cleanup” birding in the dry forests of Ankarafantsika we will drive back to Mahajanga (Majunga) – a very lively town with plenty of rickshaws. Then we’ll take a boat trip into the Betsiboka Delta, where we’ll bird the mangroves for rare species such as Malagasy Sacred Ibis and Bernier’s Teal, along with a host of tropical shorebirds, terns, and more.

Overnight: Roche Rouge, Mahajanga

 

Day 7. Flight to Antananarivo, Tsarasoatra Lake

Today we will take a flight to Antananarivo. After arrival we will have a birding excursion to Tsarasoatra Lake and then transfer to our hotel.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux, Antananarivo

Northwest Madagascar birding tourThe shrike-like Hook-billed Vanga is one of the many vanga species we can see on this tour.

 

Day 8. Flight home or beginning of the Masoala extension (following day)

Either your international flight will leave for home today or you will fly to Maroatsetra the following day for the start of the Masoala extension.

 

Please note that the accommodation on this pre-trip is simple (24-hour electricity, but cold showers only), however, it is comfortable and tidy.

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

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