While searching for video clips for my bird profiles, I stumbled across this amazing video which is uncannily like our tour. It was filmed by an American on a Rockjumper Birding Tour which is a highly reputable South African company.
They start out the video with a typical Star Alliance route from San Francisco to Johannesburg by way of Munich and Istanbul. Not sure if they used miles or bought tickets but the SFO-JNB is a route that would be chosen by people wanting to use miles on business class and probably paying with United or US Airways miles (filmed in 2009). I am not sure how they did the JNB-TNR segment but nowadays you can’t use Star Alliance miles so you have to pay for it.
Like us, they are picked up from the airport by their guide and do some local birding around Tana. They seem to have a more relaxed itinerary, whereas we were more rushed and went straight to Andasibe. The next day they went to Andasibe for birding and I recognized the lemurs and the Blue Pigeon, although we didn’t get any rails and these guys got several. I had asked my guide to ignore snakes as I suffer from ophidiophobia and to make sure I didn’t see any.
I also recognized Hotel Vakona (These guys stayed there) where Ina & I had lunch overlooking the pond. They went to the same Lemur Island.
They even hit the same traffic jams going through Tana as we did, nothing has changed in 5 years!
Next they visit some parks that we didn’t go to so I got to see a bit of Tsarasaotra Bird’s Island Park. Then they fly to Fort Dauphin and drive to Berenty Private Reserve. Next they fly to Tulear and visit several more parks and that’s the end of their tour. What was fascinating to me is that they got a lot of the same birds I got in Ankarafantsika but they went to different places further south………..and they got several rare birds I didn’t get.
So I hope you enjoy this video posted by Rigdon Currie on YouTube and are inspired to visit Madgascar for yourself!