Explore The Tsingy In Madagascar

Details

Distance

3.4 miles

Elevation Gain

213 ft

Route Type

Loop

Added by Cat Ekkelboom-White

Exploring one of Madagascar's most unusual landscapes

The Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park is one of Madagascar's most unusual National Parks, situated in the west of the country and is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Not only are the rock formations here fascinating, but there are a number of species of lemur as well as plentiful other species flora and fauna.

Reaching the area is extremely difficult, and visiting the park is only allowed with a local guide, but don't let that put you off!

The closest town is Morondova, which is where most people depart from as there is a small airport here with domestic flights from the capital. Just a short stop after you leave Morondova is a sight you'll have seen in my travel brochures, the "Avenue of the Baobabs". Make sure to stop there on your way to the Tsingy.

From there's it's a full day of driving on some of the worst "roads" you've ever driven on. There's also a couple of river crossings that you'll have to navigate, which can take some time.

For the first 90km, before you cross the River Tsiribihina you are on the RN8 which is one of the better "Route Nationale". After the river crossing, you are on the worst dirt roads you've ever seen. When they are dry it's not too bad, but if they are wet, expect it to take some time, and to be very bumpy!

I recommend staying in Bekopaka (the village close to the Tsingy) for at least 2 nights, as there are a couple of different areas to explore.

One our first day we explored the Petit Tsingy and the Manambolo gorge by pirogue, exploring the caves and the rock formations along the river.

On day two we got up early to make the hour-long drive to the start of the hike for the Grande Tsingy. The chose the shorter circuit as even with a 6:30 start, it gets hot very fast. The guide gives you a climbing harness and a via-ferrata style set for securing yourself to the cables that guide you through the paths that lead through the Tsingy. The hike winds through narrow canyons, up over jagged spines, down through caves, and crosses suspension bridges over gorges. It's not physically challenging, but the temperature may challenge you if, like me, you don't cope well in the full sun.

When To Go

The park is closed in the rainy season (December to March), so plan your trip between November and April. Our visit was in May.

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Known for

Rock Climbing
Photography
Hiking
Scenic
Wildlife

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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