The following locations are amongst best-birding sites of Madagascar in term of species and distributions. Above that, they represent good samples of the bird habitats of the island.

Ankarafantsika – Ampijoroa

Ankarafantsika National Park is composed of dry forest and lakes as well as canyons.

Location: Northwest
Biome: West
Size: 130000 ha
Altitude: 80-333 m
Access: By car RN 4: good road condition
Difficulty: Moderate walk (Park)
Bird species: 129

The Kinkony complex


This site is composed of Kinkony Lake south of Mitsinjo City, Mahavavy Delta to the north, Marambitsy Bay and the maritime areas to the west, the Tsiombikibo Forest in the center.

Location: Northwest
Biome: West
Size: 14000 ha
Altitude: 0-8 m
Access: By road and by boat from Mahajanga
Difficulty: Easy walks and boat ride
Bird species 133

Masoala

Masoala National Park is located in the Northeast. In some places, among the rarest parks in Madagascar where the primary forest goes down to more than 1,300 m of altitude to the sea. The Masoala complex formed by Masoala Park and the Nosy Mangabe special reserve is the largest protected area of Madagascar. There are forest patches or rocks, coral reefs, herbarium, and narrow strips of mangrove forest. It is classified among the top 5 biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Location: Northeast
Biome: East Biome
Size: 235000 ha
Altitude: 0-1224 m
Access: By Motor Boat from Maroanatsetra
Difficulty: Moderate walks
Bird species: 102

Tsimanampesotse

Tsimanampesotse National Park is in the Southwest. It is also the only protected area on the limestone plateau and the coastal zone along the southwestern coast.

Location: South West
Biome: West biome
Size: 230740 ha
Altitude: 38 – 114 m
Access: Motorboat( Tulear-Anakao) and 4×4 (Anakao-Tsimanampetsotsa)
Difficulty: Easy walk inside the park
Bird species: 72

Tsitongambarika

Because of its importance to globally threatened and restricted-range species, Tsitongambarika has been classified as an important Birds conservation site. The Tsitongambarika birdlife includes a number of lowland forest species.

Location: South East
Biome: East Biome
Size: 60000 ha
Altitude: 100 – 1358 m
Access: By Car from Fort Dauphin (off road)
Difficulty: Moderate walk (Park)
Bird species: 97

Bemanevika

Continental wetlands of Bemanevika are composed of permanent and intermittent freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, permanent and seasonal streams, marshes, permanent freshwater ponds. A matrix of dense rainforests with altitude, characteristic of the area, ensures connectivity between different wetland ecosystems. Three big lakes are dominating this beautiful reserve and landscape.

Location: Northwest
Biome: East Biome
Size: 37041 ha
Altitude: 1800 – 2000 m
Access: By car From Antsohihy ( difficult; off road)
Difficulty: Fair walk (Park)
Bird species: 116

Anjozorobe

The forest of Anjozorobe is a remnant of Madagascar’s central high plateau forest relics.

Location: Highland
Biome: East Biome
Size: 2500 ha
Altitude: 900 – 1450 m
Access: RN3: Easy and good road condition – Then off-road
Difficulty: Moderate walks
Bird species: 80

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

The Tsingy National Park of Bemaraha is located in the Central West. It is composed of sharp karstic limestone and lakes. It is a hotbed of endemism and biological diversity. 

Location: Middle west
Biome: West
Size: 157710 ha
Altitude: 150 – 838 m
Access: By car: Bumpy and dusty road
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult walk (Park)
Bird species: 103

Ranomafana

Ranomafana birding site

The National Park of Ranomafana is located slightly in the eastern slope of the highlands of Madagascar. One of the most well-known and frequented sites of Madagascar. The birdlife of the Ranomafana National Park is characterized by its remarkable richness with its 115 species and also the presence of the 5 Malagasy endemic families. In all, 77% of birds species present at Ranomafana are endemic.

Location: Highland / Eastern slope
Biome: East
Size: 41601 ha
Altitude: 400 – 1374 m
Access: RN 7: Easy
Difficulty: Moderate walk (Park)
Bird species: 115

Beza Mahafaly

The Bezaha Mahafaly Special Reserve is located 35 kilometers north-east of South Betioky, in southwestern Madagascar. More than a hundred bird species are recorded in Beza Mahafaly, six of which belong to the endemic family of Vangidae and the Couas.

Location: South West
Biome: West biome
Size: 600 ha
Altitude: 100 – 200 m
Access: By Car (difficult; off road)
Difficulty: Fair walk (Park)
Bird species: 73

 

Nosy Ve

Near Anakao, the island of Nosy Ve offers a beautiful beach, almost deserted. Located in the south-west of the Island, Androka has an important and rich coral reef system.

Location: South West
Biome: West biome
Size: 91445 ha split into 8 areas
Altitude: 0 m
Access: By motor boat from Tulear (easy)
Difficulty: Easy walk (Park)
Bird species: 1

Andasibe-Mantadia

Aerial view Andasibe Mantadia - Cactus Tours Madagascar

Mantadia National Park is located in the Alaotra Mangoro Region, Moramanga District, between the Andasibe Rural Municipality and Ambatovola. Part of the World Heritage of the Eastern Rainforest, Andasibe is one of the top biodiversity hotspots of Madagascar and a must-see places for all visitors.

Location: East
Biome: East Biome
Size: 15500 ha
Altitude: 930 – 1 185 m
Access: RN 2: Easy and moderate
Difficulty: Moderate walk (Park)
Bird species: 113

The Mangoky-Ihotry wetland complex

The Mangoky-Ihotry wetland complex is located in Toliara province. With an area of 315 000 ha, it is part of the District of Morombe, on the southwest coast of Madagascar. It is constituted by the Lake of Ihotry and its surrounding lakes (south), the Mangoky River Delta and the maritime area (north) and the swamps around the Ankiliabo and NosyAmbositra (Far East).It hosts different types of habitats (rivers, mangrove, lakes and forests) including waterbirds.

Antavolobe – Iaroka

This is a community run reserve located few kilometers away from Andasibe-Analamazaotra. This very rich natural reserve is has become famous during the past two years due to the discovery of the Helmet Vanga in the very deep heart of this forest. This site is remarkably rich in avifauna because as soon as you penetrate the forest, the flocks of birds are populating the area with huge varieties of species. Nevertheless, the access to the Helmet Vanga’s territory remains a very challenging walk.

Location: East
Biome: East
Size: 2200 ha
Altitude: 700 – 1213 m
Access: By car
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult walk
Bird species: 59 species

Antrema

This wetland site, located in the north-west of Madagascar, contains 70 species of birds. 23 of which are waterbird, including the very three endangered species: Ardeola idae, Threskiornis Bernieri and the Ardea humbloti.

Marojejy

Located in the north-west of Madagascar, Marojejy is a mountainous area and represents very high interests for scientists and nature lovers due to the variety of the wildlife species in that area. It is most known for the Silky Sifaka for primate and the Helmet Vanga for birds.

Location: North East
Biome: East
Size: 92140 ha
Altitude: 75 – 2132 m
Access: By road from Sambava
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult walk
Bird species: 96

Andohahela

Located in the south-east of Madagascar, Andohahela has three different ecosystems in the same area. The rainforest in the eastern side, the Transitional forest in the middle and the Spiny forest in the western side. This ecotone represents a diverse and rich habitat for the birdlife.

Location: South East
Biome: East
Size: 76020 ha
Altitude: 90 – 1972 m
Access: By road from Taolagnaro
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bird species: 123

Montagne d’Ambre

Madagascar birding sites

It is a national park located in northern Madagascar. Due to its microclimate – rainforest in the middle of a dry savannah area, Montagne d’Ambre is a birding hotspot for this northern part. It is composed of Lakes and a rather thick forest.

Location: North
Biome: East
Size: 23040 ha
Altitude: 850 – 1475 m
Access: By road from Antsiranana
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bird species: 83

Maromizaha

Situated in the neighbourhood of Andasibe, Maromizaha is managed jointly by the local community and some NGOs. Once inside the reserve, one can immediately enjoy the surrounding birdlife.

Location: North
Biome: East
Size: 1880 ha
Altitude: 700 – 1213 m
Access: By RN2
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bird species: 60

Zombitse Vohibiasa

Located by the side of the RN7 to Tulear, this National Park is covered of dry forest and has no lake or river at all although it plays an important role in the surrounding hydrological and ecological balance.

Location: South
Biome: South
Size: 74000 ha
Altitude: 485 – 825 m
Access: By RN7
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bird species: 90

Ifaty

This is coastal village and nature reserve in the western side of Tulear. Composed of dry and spiny vegetations and mangroves, it is a great habitat for birds.

Location: South
Biome: South
Size: undefined as widespread and split in different areas
Altitude:: 0 – 80 m
Access: By RN7
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bird species: 80