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Madagascar Tour Guides - Nov. 2016 (1 Viewer)


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In November 2016 we took a 17 day tour with Madagascar Tour Guides
We were lead by Lova, who was an excellent guide - very keen to find us every bird he could. MTG clearly also had great connections with the local guides at each national park - we had excellent local guides basically everywhere. The cost for the three of us was about $120 a day, including one internal airfare - quite a bit less expensive than many formalized international tours.

Our itinerary was the pretty standard route; flew into Antananarivo, then flew down to Tulear in the southwest for the spiny forest birds (seeing both Long-tailed Ground Cuckoo and Subdesert Mesite[/B).
Then we drove to Isalo National Park, which has some great scenery as well as Benson's Rock Thrush and Madagascar Partridge.
From Isalo we continued northeast to Ranomafana NP, where we had our first rainforest birding of the trip, with some excellent birds: highlights included Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity, Pitta-like Ground-Roller, and Yellow-browed Oxylabes.
Then we went north to Andasibe-Mantadia NP, which lies in the rainforest east of Tana. Here we spent two full days and a morning. The first day we visited Mantadia NP, where we saw Madagascar Grebe, Collared Nightjar and Scaly Ground-Roller, though unfortunately we missed the Short-legged. The next day we visited the Analamazaotra Reserve right near Andasibe, as well as a smaller private reserve in the area where our guide located us a stunning Madagascar Long-eared Owl. The final morning we birded at a local marsh, getting a spectacular look at a Madagascar Flufftail before returning to Tana.
In the final few days of the trip we drove to Ankarafantsika NP, in the northwest, where highlights included Madagascar Fish-Eagle, Van Dam's Vanga, and the White-breasted Mesite.

All in all I'd highly recommend MTG if you're planning a trip to Madagascar.
I'd also highly recommend Madagascar Tour Guides and Andry. I spent most of November 2017 birding with them. We saw all but a handful of the endemic species. It was really a great deal for the price compared to any of the foreign bird operators that I came across. Some other reasons why I enjoyed going with MTG: local knowledge (wildlife and logistics), flexibility, many hard-working guides and drivers, and Andry seems to be running an ethical business and trying to do well by the locals while simultaneously protecting local habitats.
I can also recommend Andry. He has good organization and team of local guides who generally perfectly know local stakeouts. They found us almost all gettable birds (we seen well over 90% of all Madagascar endemic birds), as well as were able to show incredible number of lemurs, reptiles and frogs. He is also considerably cheaper than foreign tours. I never before was on a similar tropical trip where such a high proportion of local avifauna was seen.
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