Blogs from Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar, Africa


After the river cruise, we were on our way to the place that brought me here: Tsingy National Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and (most importantly) made up of uniquely eroded limestone formations, much of which is so sharp, you cannot walk on it except for on guided paths! Before we could get there however, we picked up a military escort in our two SUV's. Me and two other guys were teamed up with Dada, our driver, who was awesome for the next few days. The other three, our guide, their driver and the military escort were placed in the larger SUV. I did not know initially, but while we carried all the luggage in ours, we also had A/C while the other car did not. We had to get a military escort ... read more
Tsingy - Deken's sifaka lemur

So we figured out how to get to the middle of nowhere and guess what, there are villages there. So we traveled via taxi-brousse, without bikes, to a fork in the road, got off and then walked 10 kilometers to the town of Ampefy on Lake Itasy. We spent 2 nights in very basic accommodation and went for a long walk around the lake through villages and lush farm land. Lots of local people, children and zebu carts. The guide for the next part of our journey found us using vaziha (pronounced waza) radar. Vaziha means white person, so basically he asked around town until we were tracked down. We were picked up early in the morning on July 2nd by our guide from Remote River Expeditions, then we proceeded to travel to the middle of ... read more
Lake Itasy at dusk
Village living - near Ampefy
Lake Itasy

After spending a night at Belo Tsiribihina, we now get back on the 4WD and head to Bekopaka where we will base ourselves for couple days to explore one of the most unique UNESCO world heritage sites in the world, the Tsingy de Bemaraha, from the UNESCO website, I copied below a brief but informative description of this place. UNESCO despcription: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve comprises karstic landscapes and limestone uplands cut into impressive 'tsingy' peaks and a 'forest' of limestone needles, the spectacular canyon of the Manambolo river, rolling hills and high peaks. The undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps are the habitat for rare and endangered lemurs and birds. The Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve is located in the District of Antsalova and in the region of the central west part ... read more
Tsingy de Bemaraha
Manambolo river
Avenue of baobabs

A four hour drive down a dusty and uneven road takes us to a river crossing that's five minutes from our camp. We squeeze nine into the car via the simple expedient of the guide sitting astride the gearstrick. The camp is the focal point of every white person I've seen since leaving Antsirabe, plus a few more. We have an entire afternoon to ourselves, during which I foolishly allow myself to be drawn into a game of poker with the two girls who live on Mayotte. It seems like they've spent many evenings on the island doing precisely this, and I'm cleaned out twice. They cruelly teach me the French phrase "King of Petrol", meaning someone with lots of money. We have a further game after dinner, with exactly the same result. The following morning ... read more
Rope bridge

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