Comoros and Mayotte Birding Tours (and custom tours to other Indian Ocean islands)

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The Comoros is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, comprising the islands of Grande Comore, Mohéli, and Anjouan. These islands are located off Africa’s east coast, at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. Geographically and from a fauna/flora point of view, Mayotte is also part of this archipelago, but politically this is a French department – contested by the other islands.

With 17 endemic bird species and a large number of endemic subspecies, these islands have much to offer as a birding destination. In addition they are a wonderful travel destination, set in rugged volcanic landscapes fringed by idyllic tropical beaches and linked by good air and road infrastructure.

The endemic owls of the Comoros are charismatic, and from time to time we enjoy running a very successful owl-specific tour that also includes nearby Madagascar. The targets are Karthala Scops Owl, Anjouan Scops Owl, and Moheli Scops Owl, three beautiful little denizens of these paradise islands (along with Red Owl and other amazing Madagascan birds). On our birding trips to the Comoros and Mayotte we of course also target all the other endemic bird species, Comoros Green Pigeon, Comoros Cuckooshrike, Grand Comoro Drongo, Grand Comoro Bulbul, Moheli Bulbul, Anjouan Brush Warbler, Grand Comoro Brush Warbler, Moheli Brush Warbler, Karthala White-eye, Kirk’s White-eye, Humblot’s Flycatcher, Comoros Thrush, Humblot’s Sunbird and Anjouan Sunbird. The southern subspecies of Persian Shearwater (Moheli Shearwater) also breeds in this part of the world (the northern subspecies being Middle Eastern).

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Two of the Indian Ocean Islands’ endemic bird families are also possible to see here on our birding tours of the Comoros and Mayotte, even though Madagascar is generally the better-known place to find them. These are Cuckoo Roller and the superb, jewel-like Blue Vanga. Several other Malagasy species also occur on these islands.

Birding sites we visit on our Comoros birding trips to find the endemics (which are spread between the lowland and montane forests) include the likes of Djando Forest, Lac Dzianlandzé, the active volcano Mount Karthala,  and various others.

This is a good place to also mention that we are easily able to operate bespoke birding tours to many of the other Indian Ocean Islands in the Malagasy region. Please contact us here. The Seychelles are absolutely amazing. These idyllic tropical islands have some luxurious accommodation, so birders wanting a more comfortable and easy birdwatching holiday might want to seriously consider the Seychelles (perhaps after our rougher Comoros and Mayotte birding tour, to get some relaxation and to unwind a bit). The Seychelles should not be underestimated as a birding destination in their own rights, though. The Seychelles is comprised of 44 islands with some of the more important islands to visit for birding including: MahéPraslin, La Digue, Cousin Island and Cousine. Twelve endemic bird species lurk here, and it is also one of the famous sites for the charismatic White Tern (Fairy Tern). So if you care for Seychelles Scops Owl, Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles Swiftlet, Seychelles Blue Pigeon, Seychelles Black Parrot, the beautiful Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Warbler, Seychelles Magpie-Robin, Seychelles White-eye, Seychelles Fody, Seychelles Sunbird, and a very wide variety of tropical seabirds then ask us to put together a tailor-made birdwatching holiday to the Seychelles for you.

And then of course there’s Mauritius with the lesser-known Rodrigues Island, yet another idyllic tropical paradise that offers some rare endemics, probably the most famous being Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel, but also including Mauritius Cuckooshrike, Echo Parakeet, Mauritius Fody, Rodrigues Fody, Mauritius Olive White-eye, Mauritius Grey White-eye, Mauritius Bulbul and Rodrigues Warbler. Gerald Durrell helped make Mauritius and the plight of its rare fauna famous, and for example the Gerald Durrell Endemic Wildlife Sanctuary in the forested Black River Gorge region is pivotal in a conservation success story initially led by Durrell.

We highly recommend combining a visit to any of these endemic-rich tropical archipelagos with a visit to the vast island of Madagascar, to which we run a great many tours.  And/or if you want to combine your visit with one of our mainland Africa birding tours that’s also a great plan!

Download Comoros Itineraries

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