The intimate Berenty Reserve, nestled at the southern extremity of Madagascar, stands as one of the island’s most renowned and frequently frequented nature reserves. Spanning the Mandrare River, it encompasses deciduous riverine gallery forests alongside a compact area of spiny forest, characterised by plants adorned with thorns.
While celebrated for its dense lemur population – especially the most famous of them all – the Ring-tailed Lemur, the reserve is equally exciting for avid birders, with numerous endemic species, which will be our main targets. Notable species include the sough-after Madagascan Sandgrouse, the colourful Madagascan Green Pigeon, the elusive Torotoroka Scops Owl, and possibly even the striking Madagascan Cuckoo-Hawk, enhancing the allure of this unique reserve.
We’ll spend a leisurely six days here, taking our time so we don’t miss out on any target species.
*Please see our 15-Day Best of Madagascar – Birds & Wildlife, which can be added as an extension before or after this tour.
On arrival at Ivato International Airport, a Sustainable Birding representative will meet you at arrivals and do a quick meet and greet, before transferring you to your hotel in Antananarivo, so you can relax and get some sleep ready for a great adventure ahead.
Where you will be staying: Au Bois Vert Lodge
The next morning, we’ll be taking a domestic flight to Fort Dauphin. Upon arrival, we will transfer to Berenty Reserve, taking approximately two hours. Once we reach the lodge, and have some lunch we’ll get our first glimpse of this special reserve.
Where you will be staying: Berenty Lodge
We’ll spend a further three days at the lovely Berenty Reserve. Exploring and taking our time to get our target species. We’ll be searching for the elusive Madagascan Sandgrouse, vibrant Madagascan Green Pigeon, diminutive Madagascan Buttonquail, serene Malagasy Turtle Dove, agile Madagascan Sparrowhawk, and a variety of Couas including the Giant, Crested, Running, and Red-capped species. Furthermore, we hope to see the Chabert, Hook-billed, and Sickle-billed Vangas, the elusive Grey Emutail, the charming Grey-headed Lovebird, the skulking Subdesert Brush Warbler, and the elusive Humblot’s Heron. If fortune favours us, we may also catch a glimpse of the elusive Madagascan Cuckoo-Hawk, although its sighting remains a challenging pursuit. Berenty’s allure extends to the unique calls of the fantastic Red-capped Coua, adding to the rich experience of this birding tour. Our nocturnal excursions are dedicated to seeking out the Rainforest Scops Owl, White-browed Hawk-Owl, and the Torotoroka Scops Owl under the night sky.
Along with the birds, we’ll be entertained by the antics of the Ring-tailed Lemur and the elegant Verreaux’s Sifaka. As night falls, we might be fortunate enough to encounter the elusive White-footed Sportive Lemur, the diminutive Grey Mouse Lemur, and the enchanting Grey-brown Mouse Lemur, adding an element of suspense and excitement to our night activities.
Where you will be staying: Berenty Lodge
In the morning, we will catch a flight back to the capital from Fort Dauphin where this tour will sadly be coming to an end. On arrival in Antananarivo, you will be met by a Sustainable Birding representative who will help you connect to your international flight home.
*Please see our 15-Day Best of Madagascar – Birds & Wildlife, which can be added as an extension before or after this tour. Our scheduled group tour runs directly before on 1st – 7th October 2024.
Slow– this tour has been designed to go a steady pace, leaving plenty of time to get all the target species at Berenty Reserve. Anyone who has been birding in Madagascar knows that sightings do not come ‘thick and fast’ compared to mainland Africa, although the rewards are much higher.
Easy– lots of on-foot birding in difficult terrain, but nothing overly enduring. Accommodation in this region of Madagascar is scarce, so please do not expect luxury.
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.