I’d like to thank you all for a fantastic Madagascar Comprehensive trip. Crystal and Alison were so helpful with all the pre-trip stuff; Glen and Fano made the trip so smooth and successful in every way and the local guides were fantastically skilled.
For our Madagascar Highlights birding tours, we have selected only the very best of this incredible country and offered it in a shorter package and at a more relaxed pace than our Comprehensive tours. Nonetheless, we still target all five endemic Malagasy bird families and good numbers of lemurs and other representative wildlife, making these tours ideal for travellers with limited time or less interest in targeting every single endemic bird.
Our first destination is a journey to the bird and animal-rich sites of Perinet and Mantadia National Park in the eastern rainforest zone. The unforgettable song of the Indri drifts through these forests, and we will take time out to find a family group of these, the largest lemur species. Some of the brilliant birds we will look for include several highly sought-after forest birds, including Pitta-like, Rufous-headed, Short-legged and Scaly Ground Rollers, Red-breasted, Red-fronted and Blue Couas, the stunning Velvet Asity, Cuckoo Roller, Crossley’s Babbler, Madagascar Owl, Rainforest Scops Owl, Madagascar and Collared Nightjars, Madagascar (Crested) Ibis, Madagascar Wood Rail, Nuthatch Vanga, Madagascar Blue Pigeon, Brown Emutail, White-throated Oxylabes and Nelicourvi Weaver. Other attractions in this scenically beautiful region are the vocal Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur and the elusive Diademed Sifaka, considered by many to be the world’s most beautiful lemur.
The next leg of this adventure takes us to Ifaty and Tulear for their spiny deserts and coastal habitats. Here we look for the uncommon Madagascar Plover and the beautiful Red-tailed Tropicbird along the seashores, as well as exploring the bizarre, Tolkienesque landscape of multi-stemmed succulents, squat baobab trees and thorny scrub for such spectacular endemics as Banded Kestrel, Running and Red-capped Couas, Archbold’s Newtonia, Thamnornis, Lafresnaye’s Vanga, the near mythical Subdesert Mesite, Long-tailed Ground Roller (an elusive ground dweller best located by its low, hooting call), flocks of noisy Sickle-billed Vangas, Subdesert Brush Warbler and the attractive Chabert’s Vanga.
Our final destination is Berenty, the most famous of Madagascar’s lemur reserves. This is home to no less than six lemur species and the south’s largest colony of Madagascar fruit bats (sporting 1.25-metre wingspans!). The easiness with which to observe and photograph Ring-tailed Lemurs and ‘dancing’ Verreaux Sifakas, in particular, has turned this small protected area into one of Madagascar’s prime wildlife destinations. Some of the birding highlights here could include Giant Coua strolling along the well-cleared paths, Madagascar Buttonquail scurrying through the leaf litter, Madagascar and France’s Sparrowhawks, and the smart-looking Madagascar Sandgrouse.
Subdesert Mesite, Cuckoo Roller, Long-tailed, Pitta-like, Rufous-headed, Short-legged & Scaly Ground Roller, Red-breasted, Red-fronted, Running, Red-capped, Blue & Giant Coua, Velvet Asity, Nuthatch, Lafresnaye’s & Sickle-billed Vanga, Crossley’s Babbler, Banded Kestrel, Madagascar & France’s Sparrowhawk, Madagascar Sandgrouse, Madagascar Buttonquail, Madagascar Owl, Rainforest Scops Owl, Madagascar & Collared Nightjar, Madagascar (Crested) Ibis, Madagascar Wood Rail, Brown Emutail, White-throated Oxylabes, Archbold’s Newtonia, Thamnornis, Nelicourvi Weaver
Indri, Ring-tailed & Red-bellied Lemur, Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur, Diademed & Verreaux’s Sifaka, Madagascar Flying Fox
rainforest, riparian forest, deciduous woodland, spiny desert, mudflats, wetlands
warm to very hot, cooler evenings in highlands, some rainfall possible
slow to moderate
Spiny Desert, Berenty, weird herps & insects, coral reefs, shopping, culture
What our clients say about tours to Madagascar
- MM, Madagascar
Gareth Robbins made special efforts to ensure everyone saw the wildlife. An amazing tour.JC, Madagascar
Wayne has great people skills and is a lot of fun to bird with. His research and aid to identifying the birds is outstanding.SC, Madagascar
David was very open and earnest. His english was excellent being that it is not his first language…. We very much enjoyed our time with him one to two on the extensionGS, Madagascar
Just a postscript to reiterate our appreciation for the wonderful tour around Madagascar you led. We both had a great time. Your enthusiasm and day-to-day attention to assure we all had a successful birding experience and overview of the unique biodiversity [is] not to be forgotten.JB & BB, Madagascar
Our Madagascar experience surpassed our wildest dreams. We didn’t even realise it was a ‘birding trip’ but David ensured that we saw much much more. The birds were great anyway, especially the pursuit of the magical Helmet Vanga! An unforgettable experience!HH, Madagascar
David is a terrific guide – very friendly and lovely to travel with.WR, Madagascar
Adam Walleyn went above and beyond to find just about everything there was to see. His knowledge of herps, mammals and birds is very comprehensive.RR, Madagascar
David Hoddinott is the best!! He is tenacious about getting all participants on all birds!D, Madagascar Comprehensive
David was a terrific guide and traveling companion. He managed everything from birding to people to logistics like a veteran. We’d love to travel with him again any timeWW, Madagascar
Just a short note to say that I thought Heinz did a great job with the Masoala extension—he’s a a sharp birder, energetic, and very personable with a lot of good stories! I look forward to traveling on another trip with him…JT, Madagascar 2015
You have made a very good decision in hiring David Erterius. He is a great young man and will be a very good guide for your company.SM, Madagascar
In addition to his obvious birding skills, Gareth Robbins’ ability to handle all types of situations was remarkable. He was an excellent travelling companion, and his humour made the tour so much more enjoyable. What a great tour this was. I also want to say that the entire staff did a wonderful job, like they always do. I’ve asked many questions and had some concerns about various aspects of tours, and the staff handles all of them so efficiently. To all of you at Rockjumper, Thanks So Much!GM, Madagascar 2017
This was our first tour with Rockjumper and it was absolutely fabulous. Adam Walleyn is by far the best bird guide we have ever had the privilege of working with. His combined qualities as the overall tour leader in terms of personality, ability to deal with whatever got thrown at him and interactive skills were all great. He was very good at keeping us informed of what was planned and was happening next. He was very good at imposing a gentle but essential discipline on the group – rotation in the procession, rotation of positions in the buses, ensuring that everyone got to see the bird – all made for a really good functionality in the group. His sharpness in the field, knowledge of bird calls and bird identification were simply remarkable.PF & BF, Madagascar 2017
Everything was done by all staff to make the trip safe, fun and targets (birds, lemurs, etc) were actively sought outMR, Madagascar
We take our hats off to Gareth Robbins, who worked day and night to make the tour work in the most effective way, taking the local infrastructure into consideration.KS & SS, Madagascar 2017
Our guide, Adam Walleyn, was exceptional. His knowledge and enthusiasm is unparalleled.GB & DB, Madagascar 2017
With Adam Walleyn as our guide, it was hard to imagine how the trip could have been any better. Madagascar is certainly a challenging place, but his experience and ability to help us know what to expect were invaluable. As far as seeing birds, my expectations were exceeded. A great trip.RV, Madagascar
Recently back at home from our fantastic tour in Madagascar, I wanted to offer thanks to all for the excellent times we enjoyed. For us, the exuberant and superbly-skilled leadership of Rich Lindie was a delight and gave us such a greater measure of understanding to the natural wonders as well as a bit of the cultural aspects of the unique island. We had a great time, and we certainly saw a tremendous variety of the birds, mammals, and many other creatures as well as strange and wonderful plant life of the “Eighth Continent”. Thanks to Cuan and all the staff for assisting in the planning stages. Above all, however, thanks to Rich for giving his all to ensure a successful and thoroughly delightful tour…. From start to finish, a most memorable trip, and our highest recommendation to Rockjumper for the entire experience.TF, Madagascar