As we were driving to the airport on the last day, I was dismayed to see a man sitting in the street median selling endemic birds, obviously wild-caught. I was sitting in a taxi and trying to take pics through the traffic so these aren’t great shots but you can clearly see the little green birds on the left which are Grey-headed Lovebirds and there is at least one Vasa Parrot on the right. I don’t know what the laws are in Madagascar are, I tend to think it must be illegal otherwise I would have seen more such sellers. It’s so heartbreaking to see them like this when I just got back from seeing their cousins in the wild. These birds are probably being captured outside of parks that cater to birders that don’t have park rangers and tourists tramping through each day.
If anyone knows what authority I can send these pics to to help catch these people, please comment below. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the seller in the pics but a local Malagasy may recognize this location.
When I first started this blog, I wrote a post on how to choose an eco-lodge. Looking back, I still agree with everything I said back then. But there was one element I forgot to mention until I saw this post by an award-winning travel writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Mr Costas Christ. In his outstanding article, he talks about how the lodge should reflect the culture of the country its in. The Tambopata Research Centre looks like its in Peru. Selva Verde looks like its in Costa Rica. Hornbill Camp looks like its in India. And these as well as many other I have blogged about make a point of employing local people and contributing to the local economy. I could go on, but this is one very important factor that sets a fantastic eco-lodge apart from just a good eco-lodge.
Tambopata Research Centre
Most of them are in bird-rich environments and all have amazing views! From this selection, the only one I have personally stayed in is the fabulous Cristalino in Brazil.
Start in South Africa and journey through the slides.