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The Spiny Forest and Nosy Ve

MADAGASCAR | Thursday, 17 October 2013 | Views [785]

Red-tailed tropic bird, Nosy Ve

Red-tailed tropic bird, Nosy Ve

If you come to Madagascar for the birding, a trip south is a must.  The aptly named “Spiny Forest” at Ifaty is home to several birds found nowhere else in the world.  While you’re in the area you may as well visit Nosy Ve, a small island a mile offshore from Anakao with a resident population of red-tailed tropicbirds and crab plovers.

bam

  Relaxing at the Bamboo Club, Ifaty

The Bamboo Club at Ifaty was one of the nicest places we have stayed.  Our spacious bungalow sits nearly on the beach, the seafood is good and we are only minutes from the Spiny Forest and its famous baobob trees.

suns

   Sunset, Spiny Forest

Freddy and his family make up two-thirds of the birding guides in the park.  His father was the first guide in the Spiny Forest.  Despite his pedigree, Freddy ain’t no Eddie!  He knows the birds and their habits but he hasn’t a clue how to deal with people.  His English isn’t very good, nor is his French.  He has neither binoculars nor local bird books.  We’re not sure about his ethics, either.  Maybe the only way to see some of the ground birds is to have your uncle and brother herd them to the clients.  And maybe electronic recordings of bird calls are ethical.  We liked the ends but not the means.  To make matters worse, he was our guide over to Anakao and Nosy Ve, too.

 

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Easter Island, 2012

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