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Join Portland Audubon on a trip of a lifetime to Madagascar: land of lemurs, chameleons, and many odd endemic birds! We will visit the strange Didierea woodland, or “spiny forest”, an awe-inspiring botanical wonderland. We will search for the elusive Brown Mesite with its strange dueting call in Ranomafana National Park and spend time observing the Perinet Reserve’s most famous residents: the huge, singing lemurs known as the Indri. Finally, with some luck, we will find the majestic Madagascar Serpent Eagle, one of the rarest raptors in the world.


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We will start in Antananarivo from where we will take a domestic flight to Tulear. We will target Banded KestrelRunning and Red-capped CouasArchbold’s NewtoniaThamnornisLafresnaye’s Vanga, the mythical Subdesert MesiteLong-tailed Ground RollerSickle-billed VangaSubdesert Brush Warbler and the flashy Chabert Vanga. A boat trip out to Nosy Ve should yield Red-tailed Tropicbird, and maybe a Crab Plover roosting on the sand bars.

Then we will slowly work our way back to Antananarivo via the Zombitse Forest (where we will search for the dainty Appert’s Tetraka) and Isalo National Park where we will look for Madagascar IbisMadagascar Harrier-Hawk, Giant and Crested Coua, raucous Cuckoo Roller displaying high overhead, Madagascar CuckooshrikeLong-billed BernieriaMalagasy Paradise FlycatcherRufousBlue and Red-tailed Vanga and Madagascar Starling. The highly elusive Fossa, Madagascar’s largest mammalian predator, occurs here as well but requires a lot of luck to see.

We will then spend 3 days in Ranomafana National Park. In the lower elevation forest near our lodge, we hope to find Henst’s Goshawk, the elusive Brown Mesite with its strange dueting call, Grey-crowned TetrakaForest Rock ThrushWedge-tailed Jery, and Rufous and Pollen’s Vanga. The delightful Pitta-like Ground Roller is also fairly common here. The higher elevation forests and swamps around the village of Vohiparara are home to some birds not encountered on our trip. Foremost amongst these is the highly localised Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity – this is the most accessible place to see this endangered and very elusive species. We will concentrate our searches in some stunted ridge-top forest where we may also locate the scarce Madagascar YellowbrowRed-fronted Coua, the elegant Rufous-headed Ground Roller, the creeping Brown EmutailRand’s and the recently discovered Cryptic WarblersCommon Sunbird-AsityPollen’s Vanga and, if we are lucky, Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk.

Our final stop will be Perinet Reserve and Mantadia National park where we will look for ground rollers, White-headedChabertBlueRed-tailedHook-billed or the bizarre Nuthatch Vanga and, with a lot of luck, the Madagascar Serpent Eagle. Whilst in the Perinet area, we will make a special effort to see the reserve’s most famous residents: the huge, singing lemurs known as the Indri. Other attractions at the beautiful national park include the vocal Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, the elusive Diademed Sifaka and Parson’s Chameleon.

Trip Details

  • Trip Leader: Stefan Schlick and local guides
  • *Fee: $6,495 members / $6,795 non-members
  • Deposit: $3,200 required to secure your space
  • Single supplement: TBD
  • Group size: Limited to 14 participants

* Internal Flight for $350 not included.


November 2
November 16
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Erin Law