Our trip didn't start out so good, we missed our connection from Addis Ethiopia to Antananarivo (Tana) Madagascar after the plane to take us from Dulles was diverted for a medical emergency on its way to D.C. There is only one flight every other day from Addis to Madagascar, so missing that flight made a mess of our travel. The folks at Ethiopian Air did a nice job of making the best of the situation: they put us up in a hotel in Addis for the day then flew us out on a red-eye to Johannesburg, then on to Tana the next morning. We stumbled in, way too poor on sleep, 24 hours late and 52 hours after we left Los Angeles. Thankfully our schedule was light for the first two days and we missed no activities.
Our first full day had us visiting a private property lake in Tana. Tsarasaotra Lake was the first RAMSAR (the international convention on wetlands) designated private property in the world in 2005. The birding was low-key and fun which was just the ticket for some travel weary birders.
The next day we traveled in our magic bus most of the day to the dry forest of the northwest and Ankarafantsika National Park. We spent two days exploring the forest with a local park guide and had a great time, despite the stifling heat and humidity. Birds, lemurs, really cool amphibians - it was excellent.
|Our guide JJ shares the joy of birding with some village children en route|
|Zebu (cattle) and goat jam on the highway|
|The magic bus|
|Our accommodations just outside the National Park|
|Birding the dry forest|
|Our main guide JJ and local guide Zama|
|You never know what the oncoming traffic will be|
|Grey Mouse Lemur|
|Madagascar Fish Eagle|
|Madagascar Scops Owl|
|Malagasy Giant Chameleon|
I know this is brief, but time is limited, and internet is even more rare. We've moved on to the northern port city of Mahajanga this evening with some mangrove forest water cruising in our future. Let the fun continue!