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Tsingys de Bemaraha National Park

A protected area classified by UNESCO

Divided into two parts, the park stretches over more than 580 square miles. The southern part includes the Bemaraha National Park where you can see the spectacular Tsingys, limestone spurs as sharp as razor blades, where only lemurs can move around. These rock formations are on a huge plateau through which the Manambolo River has formed many caves.

To the north, the Strict Nature Reserve, accessible only to scientists, is largely occupied by a huge dry forest that is home to many plant and animal species.

A park worth visiting!

Located at the edge of western Madagascar, Tsingys de Bemaraha National Park is difficult to access and a long journey is required to reach it. From Morondava, it takes at least a day's travel when the trail is passable, from April to November. A trip off the beaten track is down the Tsiribihina River or the Manambolo River by canoe to get directly to Belo sur Tsiribihina or Bekopaka at the entrance to the protected area.

Many hotels have been built in the vicinity of the park, but it is also possible to camp in a developed area for a nominal fee. Visits are accompanied by a guide, because without one you may get lost in the middle of the Tsingys!

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Limestone cathedrals

Now that we've made it to the park, it's time to enter and see these famous Tsingys with our own eyes. The park has more than 7 tours of various levels and lengths; the shortest lasts an hour and the longest can be spread out over a two day trek. After choosing the path, we go inside these majestic limestone cathedrals that rise above us.

Some tours begin at ground level at the base of the Tsingys. Then, we weave in and out of the walls and the tree roots that manage to grow in this stone setting to try to reach the top level. Once you're on the top, the view is breathtaking. The Tsingys stretch as far as the eye can see on the limestone plateau, forming a unique and magnificent landscape. Moving between the edges, you can sometimes see a group of lemurs expertly jumping between the sharp peaks. Their agility in the middle of this hostile path is incredible.

A bit of caving

A new tour was recently opened in the park, and it offers a unique experience: after seeing the Tsingys from the bottom and the top, we'll now see them from underneath.

The path of this tour allows you to visit the caves formed by the Manambolo River under the Bemaraha massif. Moving from cave to cave, having to snake through tunnels and climb ropes, this pathway can almost be likened to caving. Notice to those who love sporting holidays!

Simon Hoffmann
185 contributions
Updated 3 April 2018
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