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Birdquest's Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion birding tour explores a series of far-flung Indian Ocean Islands which offer some very enjoyable birdwatching. Our Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion tour provides comprehensive coverage of the islands' endemic birds and also features fantastic seabirds and some very beautiful scenery.
Saturday 26th September —
Wednesday 7th October 2020
Leader: a Birdquest leader
Group Size Limit: 9
Tour Category: Easy walking for the most part and comfortable or very comfortable accommodations
At one time or another most of us experience the desire to get away from the stresses of modern life and escape to some idyllic tropical island where white sandy beaches are fringed by coconut palms, their fronds swaying gently in the breeze, where warm blue waters lap softly on the shoreline and nearby coral reefs teem with brilliantly coloured fish. To complete the scene (for the birdwatcher at least), there should be tropicbirds floating gently overhead and Common White (or Fairy) Terns, surely the most delicately beautiful of all the seabirds, tame enough to nest on a branch not far above one’s head!
This picture of paradise is not a fantasy but reality amongst the string of islands that dot the Indian Ocean to the east of the African continent. With good to excellent accommodations, some superb food and mostly easy birding, this tour counts as a real ‘holiday’. We will not only have enough time to look for all 31 of the endemic landbirds and the seabirds of the islands, but will also have a bit of time left over to swim, snorkel or soak up the atmosphere of these pearls of the Indian Ocean. As a consequence, this is also a trip a non-birding partner would enjoy. The tour will visit no fewer than 8 of these delightful isles, each one with its own character and each one completely different from the others. This ’earthly paradise’ is a notoriously expensive part of the world for a holiday, but most visitors consider it worth every penny.
We begin our tour in the Seychelles, a group of ancient granitic islands with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Here we will visit the islands of Mahé, Praslin, Cousin, La Digue and Aride, each with their own special birds. These delightful islands hold some of the world’s rarest birds, including Seychelles Scops Owl, Seychelles Magpie-Robin, Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, Seychelles Warbler and Seychelles White-eye, while additional Seychelles or Mascarene endemics include Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles Blue Pigeon, Seychelles Black Parrot, Seychelles Swiftlet, Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Sunbird and Seychelles Fody. As a bonus, we will visit the teeming seabird colonies that provide an unforgettable spectacle. Here we will see thousands of Sooty Terns and Brown and Lesser Noddies at their colonies, piratical frigatebirds hanging in the deep blue sky, impossibly beautiful Common White Terns that are utterly fearless of man and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters gliding over crystal clear waters.
Moving on to Mauritius, a verdant volcanic island which is home to some more of the world’s rarest birds, we will explore the remaining areas of tropical forest in search of Mauritius Kestrel, Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Parakeet, Mauritius Cuckoo-Shrike, Mauritius Bulbul, Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher, Mauritius Grey White-eye, Mauritius Olive White-eye and Mauritius Fody. We will also make a boat trip to uninhabited Round Island where breeding Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds circle and Trinidade Petrels swoop overhead in dashing aerial displays.
The remote island of Rodrigues is rarely visited by birdwatchers, despite having two endemic landbirds (Rodrigues Warbler and Rodrigues Fody), so our visit here is something out of the ordinary.
We will finish our journey with an exploration of the island of Réunion, which lacks sandy beaches but makes up for this by the grandeur of the scenery. Dramatic volcanic mountains with forest-clad slopes rise steeply from the surrounding waters whilst inland are vast craters that tell the story of the island’s turbulent geological past more eloquently than any words. Barau’s and Réunion Petrels breed among the cloud-wreathed peaks and endemic landbirds include Réunion Harrier, Réunion Cuckoo-Shrike, Réunion Bulbul, Réunion Stonechat and Réunion Grey White-eye.
Birdquest has operated tours to the Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion since 1987.
Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels are of good or very good standard throughout. Road transport is by small coach or minibus and roads are good.
Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, but there are two moderate grade walks in Mauritius and Réunion.
Climate: It will be generally hot and sunny, although overcast weather can occur at times. At higher altitudes on Mauritius and Réunion the temperature ranges from cool to warm. There is likely to be some rain and it will be fairly humid.
Bird Photography: Opportunities are good.
Can be taken together with: ULTIMATE MADAGASCAR
These are provisional prices
Tour Price: £5290, €6240, $6930 Mahé/Réunion.
Price includes all transportation (including the Mahé-Praslin-Mahé, Mahé-Mauritius, Mauritius-Rodrigues-Mauritius and Mauritius-Réunion flights, which add up to around £1000/€1200/$1300), all accommodations, all meals, bottled water, some drinks, all excursions, all entrance fees, all tips for local drivers/guides and for accommodations/restaurants, leader services.
Single Room Supplement: £440, €519, $576.
Deposit: £650, €780, $850.
Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency can arrange your air travel in connection with the tour from a departure point anywhere in the world, or you may arrange your own air travel if you prefer. We can tailor-make your itinerary to your personal requirements, so if you would like to travel in advance of the tour (and spend a night in an hotel so you will feel fresh when the tour starts), or return later than the end of the tour, or make a side trip to some other destination, or travel business class rather than economy, we will be happy to assist. Please contact us about your air travel requirements.
Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate
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