The numerous islands of Macaronesia in the eastern Atlantic Ocean can be divided into four main groups, namely the independent country of Cape Verde, the Portuguese islands of Azores and Madeira, and the Spanish Canary Islands.
These islands are strung out over thousands of kilometres of ocean, but fortunately they are well connected by flights, making it possible to visit the important birding sites across the entire region in under three weeks.
Our back-to-back tours to the islands of Macaronesia, one to Cape Verde and one to the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, offer a unique opportunity to search for all 25 endemic birds of these eastern Atlantic Islands. We spend time birding the diverse mountainous regions as well as valleys, wetlands and when at sea, during a couple of pelagic trips, we should expect to see several breeding endemic seabirds too.
Leader: Michael Mills
Michael Mills grew up "in the bush" in the Kalahari and Kruger National Parks where his parents were carnivore researchers. His incredible focus, dedication and ability to locate and show people Africa's toughest birds is probably unequalled on the continent.
Michael has led dozens of tours in Southern, East, Central, West and North Africa and his experience in locating birds on just the softest of calls or briefest of views impresses those who have travelled with him.
There is seldom a tour where Michael doesn't make an interesting discovery such as finding a new species for a country or record an undescribed bird call (and he has published these in the scientific literature).
Not only is Michael one of our principal leaders, but he also helps extensively with scouting and planning our most challenging itineraries.
Red-billed Tropicbird on an Atlantic Islands Tour with Birding Africa.
Practical tour information
This trip has a strong focus on watching birds, but given the low general diversity there will be good chances for photography too, and we will take a few pelagic / seabird trips which should produce some marine mammals.
There will be good opportunities for photography.
These tours require a moderate degree of fitness. Most walks will be easy and last no more than three hours. In some areas the terrain is steeper. Please note that we will be taking several boat/pelagic trips.
The tour is timed to coincide with the peak time for birding across the region as a whole; spring.
The weather vary from hot in Cape Verde to cool in Azores, and we expect some rain on Azores.
Accommodation and meals are generally of a good international standard, although they are a bit more rustic on Cape Verde. All rooms have private ablutions.
Several internal flights, ferries and four wheel drive vehicles.
Maximum 10 participants.
The islands hold some 25 endemic birds in interesting and varied surrounds, offering ample of interest to world listers and more generalist birders.
We should see marine mammals during our pelagic / seabird trips.
Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.
About Birding Africa
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour
company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies,
botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's
and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home
continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders,
small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've
run Conservation Tours
in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult
for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC
Natural History Unit.