Madagascar in 2015

2 years 3 months ago #1221 by Ben Geldenhuis

I am trying to find contact details of a excellent local birding guide and agent that can also help set up itinerary, transport etc for an independent trip - if anyone can make a suggestion & provide contact details - thanks

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2 years 2 months ago #1230 by Kevin Verlander

Hi Ben,

I certainly can help. I organised a trip in October 2012 for 1 month. There were 4 of us for the first 2 weeks, 6 for the last two. We used Eugene Rabotobe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. He runs a driving company and can take you anywhere on the island depending on how much time you have got and what you want to see. He knows all the bird guides, will book hotels for you. We went all over. You can find our trip report on bird forum. It cost us under £2,000 per person including international flights at the time, obviously less for those than could only make 2 weeks. I don't think you will find any company that will do it cheaper than that. Our driver was Gabi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Omega as well for the second part as we had 2 vehicles. Eugene speaks very little English unfortunately if you can speak French that would help), Gabi is much better. If you are limited for time I would recommend the South over the North. If not do the whole lot. October is a great time of year to go, start in the north where it will be drier and head south. We didn't take any internal flights so we had some long days driving. We didn't make it it Masoala and missed a handful of endemics but got the vast majority. Pass on my regards if you speak to Eugene or Gabi and come back to me if you need any more help.

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2 years 1 month ago #1252 by Ben Geldenhuis

Kevin, sorry for not responding till now. This is of great help - thank you very much. We will have 3 weeks and will only focus on the East and south to Itafy - there is so much to see in terms of other wildlife that we don't want to rush all over the country and in any event we won't see all of Madagascar's birds in 1 trip. Good to hear you had a great trip & I will read your trip report.

Best wishes

Ben

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2 years 1 month ago #1257 by Alan Bell

Ben

If you are still looking for contacts, The Seing Sam and known as "Sam" ( www.peregrinefund.org/people/sam-the-seing ) may be worth approaching.

We did a trip with Birding Africa last autumn (great success) and explored doing an extension under our own steam with Sam. He put together a promising itinerary with vehicles, camping and local accomodation. In the end we used the time to visit Mauritius and Reunion instead, as our pursuit of pochard and rail was probably going to be a lot of effort for little return at a time when the weather was getting dodgy.

He's probably not going to be as good an option for the logistics and local support as Kevin's contact but he'll have current info on the sites, accommodation options and timing issues from a birder's perspective if you want to refine the itinerary. Sam got a positive report from a contact in Birdlife so he may be useful if the option that Kevin offered needs supplementing and/or you want to consider him as a guide.

On the itinerary, we found the drive south a great experience, aside from the birding, but were pleased we flew back rather than driving after our time around Itafy/Tuliara.

Alan

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