Sprinkled on the tropical seas off East Africa are a series of islands where paradise is defined. Our tour is designed to maximize our experiences of these idyllic isles by visiting those with the richest bird life and most incredible scenery, be it rugged, forest-clad volcanic peaks or white beaches, fringed by warm waters and teeming coral reefs. We can hope to find an incredible 36 regional endemics including some of the world’s rarest and most sought-after birds.
Our tour begins in Mauritius where we are too late to find the unfortunate Dodo, but we will see some prominent birds including Mauritius Kestrel, Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Parakeet, all recently snatched back from the jaws of extinction. Our explorations of Mauritius take us to the dramatic Black River Gorges National Park where the final remnants of Mauritius’ rainforests are protected. Here we will search for Mauritius Cuckooshrike, the aberrant Mauritius Grey White-eye, Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher and lovely Mauritius Fody. Other sites that we visit include a small offshore island where breeding endemics are protected from disturbance and are therefore very approachable. We will also take a boat trip to search for the rare Trinidade (Round Island) Petrel and other tropical seabirds.
The French governed Réunion is a rugged volcanic island, rich in land endemics and some very special sea birds including Barau’s and Mascarene Petrels. Here we will walk stunning forest trails for Réunion Cuckooshrike, 2 endemic white-eyes and Réunion Bulbul. More open areas harbour Réunion Stonechat and Malagasy Marsh Harrier.
The granitic Seychelles are generally acknowledged as being the most beautiful islands in the world. We will explore five of these isles to observe some of the planet’s rarest birds as well as some of the world’s greatest tropical seabird colonies. Highlights will include Crab-plover, the fabulous all-black Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, Seychelles Scops Owl, Seychelles Magpie-Robin and Seychelles Blue Pigeon. Seabirds colonies that we will visit contain hundreds of thousands of nesting Sooty Terns, lesser numbers of Bridled and Angel Tern, Wedge-tailed and Audubon’s Shearwater, Greater and Lesser Frigatebird, Brown and Sooty Noddy and more than 20,000 White-tailed Tropicbirds!
Our Comoros Tours takes in the 4 volcanic islands of the Comoros archipelago situated off the central-east African coast. They are divided between the Union of the Comoros, a sovereign nation formed by the three islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan, Mohéli and the French overseas department of Mayotte. The vast evergreen forests that once dominated these islands have largely been removed leaving a few remaining pockets of pristine habitat boasting in the region of 24 endemic species (and likely to reach a staggering 40 with further research). The addition of incredible scenery, a series of easily approachable active volcanoes and particularly friendly locals have made these islands an enticing and rewarding experience. We welcome you to join us as we island-hop with binoculars in hand in our quest to find the birds of these heavenly Indian Ocean isles.