When visiting Madagascar, it is almost essential to hire a driver and vehicle to get around the island. Although you technically could visit everywhere via public transportation, the scarcity of rides in remote areas would involve long waits and very uncomfortable rides (remember Tsingy?) While hiring a private car can often be very expensive, when you … Continue reading Madagascar – Amber Mountain – And Chameleons and Geckos Galore!
Madagascar: A place where you walk finely stamped trails and are shown birds at staked out locations. There is so little forest remaining that the animals are confined to such small areas that birding the country has a zoo-like quality. The birds (and animals) are so used to the presence of humans that they often … Continue reading Madagascar – Andasibe – The Real Life Zoo
Ross and I had planned quite the six-month backpacking/birding extravaganza, spending four months in Indonesia and following that up with a tour around the Indian Ocean Islands. The last stop on our trip was Madagascar, a place we had definitely been looking forward to. Our goal was to spend 35 days in the country and … Continue reading Madagascar – The Tsingy Extension (AKA The WORST Car Ride of Our Lives)
Next on our agenda? Mauritius -- an island in the Indian Ocean home to some of the rarest species in the world. But getting there was a bit easier said than done! When we arrived at the airport in the Seychelles, the check in line for our next flight was basically out the door. Apparently … Continue reading Mauritius – Indian Ocean Islands – Wait, Are We Back In Hawaii??? (And wanted by the Officials?!?)
Although the World Health Organization recommended against it, the Seychelles still implemented a travel ban for anyone entering the country via Madagascar. (In case you missed it, there was a bit of a pneumonic plague situation going on.) Uh oh, I had a layover in Madagascar a few days prior! Luckily my layover in the … Continue reading The Seychelles – Indian Ocean Islands – Living the Dream
So before I jump right into our "Reunion on Reunion" let it be known that I left Ross and went home for three weeks in the middle of our 6-month trip. It took nearly 2 days of travel on either end to get from one side of the world to the other, and I realize … Continue reading Reunion – The Indian Ocean Islands – A Reunion on Reunion
After a few hours rest from the worst boat ride of our lives, Josh and I met up with Patrice who we planned to rent a car from. Once Patrice arrived it became apparent that we were not just renting the car, we were renting Patrice along with it. The price was still reasonable to … Continue reading The Comoros Part 2 – Anjo-what?! That’s a Sparrowhawk!
After a quick 18 hour stop over in Malaysia and a change of airlines in Bangkok due to long delays, I finally arrived in the Comoros where Josh Beck and I planned to spend the next 10 days cleaning up all the endemic species and subspecies. Meanwhile Melissa was back in the States for two … Continue reading Birding The Comoros – No Luggage Needed
We knew Biak was going to be special. Ross was going to achieve a lifelong goal and see 5,000 species of the world’s birds. That’s a pretty big achievement for a world birder in case you weren’t aware. Come on, FIVE THOUSAND birds! Get a little excited. At the time Ross started birding roughly 10,000 … Continue reading Biak – West Papua – Number 5,000
On our flight over to Nimbokrang after the Arfak Mountains, Stephan and Ross prepped Claudia and myself by basically saying how miserable Nimbokrang would be. Apparently the birding is done while walking along muddy, swampy trails that are infested with an abundance of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and weather consisting of extreme heat and 100% humidity. Hell … Continue reading Nimbokrang – West Papua – Chasing Dinosaurs