After a 5.30am breakfast we birded a nearby patch of forest where a narrow trail took us to a nest of the tricky Madagascan Crested Ibis, and the adult could be seen peeking its head over the edge of the nest to look down at us. Walking on, Thierry showed us the compact dome-shaped nest of a Madagascan Wood Rail. Sure enough, there was an adult inside and we could make out the head and front inside the nest. We saw several other previously seen endemics on our walk, as well as an impressive Parson’s Chameleon and another Diademed Sifaka before bidding farewell to our excellent local guide, Thierry.
We returned to the lodge to finish packing, load the luggage and set out on the 3.5 hour drive to Antananarivo, where we transferred into a 20-seater coach, said farewell to our drivers and drove on for another 3.5 hours to Antsirabe. Along the way we encountered the first rain of the tour.