Our 'off the beaten track' Madagascar tour caters to dedicated birding enthusiasts, especially those who have already explored the classic Madagascar birding circuit and encountered roughly 80 percent of the island's endemics.
Discover Madagascar, a unique island brimming with unparalleled biodiversity! Immerse yourself in a world of lemurs, endemic birds, and exclusive wildlife.
Madagascar’s allure lies in its exceptional diversity, featuring five unique bird families—ground rollers, cuckoo-rollers, couas, asities, and mesites—with 117 breeding endemics and 248 resident species. Alongside these avian wonders, iconic lemurs and an exclusive array of wildlife define Madagascar’s distinctiveness. From fascinating chameleons to peculiar plant families like baobabs, octopus trees, and elephant’s foot trees, this island boasts an astonishing variety of life found nowhere else on Earth.
Exploring Madagascar’s habitats, from grasslands to lush rainforests and the fascinating spiny forest, highlights its incredible biodiversity. Lemurs steal the spotlight, from the tiny mouse lemurs to the majestic sifakas and the haunting calls of the large Indri echoing through the forests.
Our birding tours in Madagascar birding tours promise unforgettable encounters, seeking out sough-after species such as the Long-tailed Ground Roller, Pitta-like, Scaly, Short-legged, and Rufous-headed Ground Rollers, the Subdesert Mesite, Giant Coua, Velvet Asity, Madagascar Fish Eagle and the elusive Madagascar Ibis, along with the many Vanga species.
At Sustainable Birding, our approach to birding tours in Madagascar is far from off-the-shelf. We specialise in crafting deeply personalised experiences, meticulously designing each tour from scratch to suit your distinct preferences. From the captivating landscapes of the Andasibe rainforests to the unique habitats of Isalo National Park and Ankarafantsika, our professional team use comprehensive knowledge to make a birding holiday tailored specifically to you.
Our Madagascar birding tours are expertly guided by passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced local leaders who are among the finest guides in the region. Their expertise ensures an enriching and unforgettable exploration of Madagascar’s diverse birdlife and unique habitats. So, give us a call or drop us an email and let’s talk Madagascar!
Reasons to go on a Tailor-made Birding Tour
• Select the exact dates that suit your schedule.
• Choose the ideal time of year for your birding adventure.
• Travel alongside your preferred companions—be it family, friends, or fellow birders.
• Set your pace—whether fast or brisk.
• Customise within your personal budget, from luxurious to budget accommodations or a mix.
• Craft a tour that matches your specific interests—whether intense birding, leisurely exploration, photography, culture, music, wine, botany, butterflies, herpetology, geology, diving, hiking, and beyond.
• Our team is here to cater to your interests and ensure a fulfilling birding holiday.
Explore our selection of Scheduled Group Birding Tours in Madagascar. These groups tours have been designed to fit different birding preference and time restraints. Typically, our group tours are more affordable, and allow people to meet up and make lifelong memories with fellow birders. All our group tours are small and come with an expert Tour Leader, having groups no bigger than 6 individuals, so you still get that intimate feeling and the full attention of the Tour Leader.
Please refer to our Birding Calendar for tour schedules, dates, and fixed prices.
For an optimal visit to Madagascar, we recommend planning your trip between mid-September and early December, especially when covering the eastern rainforests where most endemic birds, lemurs, and chameleons reside. During this time, four of the five ground rollers are easier to locate due to their breeding season, signalled by distinct calls. The elusive Helmet Vanga, often sought on the Masoala Peninsula or Andasibe/Perinet/Mantadia, is more reliably spotted in the southern spring (mid-September through early December).
The island’s climate can heavily impact wildlife viewing, with tropical storms occurring from mid-December through April, potentially disrupting exploration. While rainy conditions facilitate spotting the world’s tiniest chameleon, venturing in the dry season, although viable, might yield fewer sightings. Specific species, like the Slender-billed Flufftail and Madagascar Serpent Eagle, necessitate careful timing due to breeding restrictions.
Due to this narrow window for optimal visits (September through early December), accommodations often fill up quickly. Planning individual trips can be challenging due to Madagascar’s complexities, leading many to opt for an organised birding tour rather than navigating the island independently, despite potential cost savings.
Madagascar’s weather highlights diverse climates across the island, influenced by its size and geographic features. The eastern side experiences a tropical climate, characterised by significant rainfall and lush vegetation, especially in the rainforests. This area encounters heavy rains from November to April, attributed to the Indian Ocean’s moisture-laden winds. However, the southern and western regions tend to be drier due to the rain shadow effect caused by the island’s central highlands, leading to more arid conditions and sparse vegetation.
The island’s weather patterns are marked by distinct seasons. From May to October, Madagascar encounters its dry winter months, with cooler temperatures and clear skies prevalent across much of the island. Conversely, from November to April, the wet summer season brings higher temperatures and heavy rainfall, especially along the eastern coast. Tropical cyclones pose a risk during this period, primarily from mid-December to April, occasionally impacting the island’s weather and travel conditions. Understanding these seasonal variations is crucial when planning a visit to Madagascar, particularly for birding.
Preparing for a birding tour in Madagascar requires packing essentials tailored to its diverse landscapes and unique wildlife. Lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for warm weather, including long-sleeved shirts and lightweight trousers for insect protection, are essential. A waterproof jacket or poncho is advisable for potential tropical downpours during the rainy season (November to April). Sturdy footwear, such as hiking shoes or boots, is vital for navigating various terrains, while a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and high SPF sunscreen offer protection from the sun.
Additional essentials include insect repellent, a basic first aid kit, and a headlamp or flashlight for night walks or dimly lit areas. Travel adapters, reusable water bottles and all necessary travel documents complete.
Equipment such as high-quality binoculars tailored for birdwatching is essential and if you have a good working camera and lens, then please bring it with you! A comprehensive field guide specific to the country’s birds, such as Birds of Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands would be recommended.
*Remember that when you book a Madagascar birding tour with us over 14 days, we will send you a new complementary field guide!
The Sustainable Birding Company is a subsidiary of Far and Wild Travel, a tailor-made tour company based in Cumbria, UK. Far and Wild Travel offer sustainable, luxury, tailor-made tour itineraries throughout Africa and around the world.