Home to some of the most breathtaking sites and diverse culture, Africa is a land of surprises. A travel junkie’s heaven, it has Namibia’s stunning Damaraland, organ pipes at Twyfelfontein, and the famous Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, amongst many other tourist attractions.
Considered as the world’s most difficult-to-reach UNESCO World Heritage sites, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is Madagascar’s 1,500 sq km major tourist site. Stretching over an area of 100 km from north to south, the park is exclusive with its biodiversity and unique landscape.
After reaching the top of Tsingy, the park is comparatively tougher to access. The park is accessible by road, and two major river crossings in transit – the Tsiribihina, and the Manambolo, both of which are both crocodile-ridden.
The park is located at the north of Manombolo River that flows seasonally. The Bemaraha Massif, an uneven limestone hoists numerous caves, and an exciting canyon carved by the forces of the river. Boat trips along the banks offer an ideal way to see wildlife. The forest can also be explored through man-made pathways. The western part of the plateau is covered with dense dry forest.
Tsingy National Park’s limestone peaks are universally known for aesthetic appeal. The shades of forest green cast metallic shadows of the grey karst “bristles “on the peaks.
Tsingy literally means “walking on tiptoes”, and its center-spread of limestone needles justifies this name. These sharp spiked rocks are a major attraction, and welcome adventurers from across the world every year. However, as fabulous as these landscapes are, they should only be explored with proper guidance.
Hosting a plethora of flora and fauna, Tsingy de Bemaraha gives you a chance to experience nature up-close and personal. From viewing lemurs (all the eight species) bounce back-and-forth on the limestone pinnacles, every moment spent here is Instagram-worthy. You come across rare species of birds and reptiles, endemic mammals, and at least 650 plant distinctions, all preserved at the site. In its caves and rock formations, live about 15 species of bats. The rare big headed Madagascan turtle also is exclusively found in the region.
Provides a panoramic view of the treacherous mountains. The suspension bridge is one of the world’s most dangerous footpaths. It can give you chills down the spine when it rocks as you try to cross it. Safety precautions such as harness, steel cables, pegs, and ladders are pre-requisites here.
The mountains, which stretch across a vast distance, were formed over millions of years due to rain and erosion, and provide a mesmerizing aerial view.
Antsika (meaning “together” in Malagasy) is an association that was specifically formed to preserve and profit from the natural reserves. The members of the organization set up wide-ranging suspension tools used diligently with climbing harnesses, and trained local guides, maintenance, and safety skills.
Nine years after the Antsika Association’s initiation, Tsingy National Park has become one of the country’s most exciting attractions.
The hiking experience at Tsingy is both exciting and overwhelming through its narrow lanes and serrated rocks. Crawling through the caves, and the compact passages, the experience is indeed challenging.
To hike from the first Grand Tsingy called “Ranotsara circuit” with its elaborate views of the amazing skyscrapers of limestone, to the second Big Tsingy locally called Andamozavaky with its infinite view of the pinnacles is so satisfying. Emerging from the forest canopy and climbing these peaks are on the look book of every hiking enthusiast.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is one of Madagascar’s natural marvels, and its awe-inspiring scenery is matched by the diversity of wildlife a visitor gets to explore. Combining nature and thrill, the experience it provides is exhilarating.
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