Morondava is the gateway to Baobab Alley, Kirindy Forest and Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, some of Madagascar’s most magnificent highlights. The laid back town doesn’t have much to offer itself besides its location but it is a great place to get a taste of local life and there is a lovely beach for lazy days in the sun. Mostly, it’s an excellent base for travellers who are exploring the attractions of the region. Our Morondava Baobab and Tsingy tour takes guests on a 7-journey through the area visiting all the must-sees and some special places you might not have heard of…
Tsingy de Bemaraha
Welcome to the world’s largest stone forest, here you have will find grey limestone karst that has been eroded into spiky peaks and cavernous ravines covering an area of 1.575 km². Tsingy is a Malagasy word that means “to walk on tiptoes” ostensibly to protect your feet from the razor-sharp points of the fascinating rock formations. Luckily for modern travellers, there are wooden walkways and bridges in place which makes it a lot easier to explore the natural phenomenon. This seemingly inhospitable landscape is home to 11 different species of lemur such as Decken’s Sifaka, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, and the grey mouse lemur, plus some lemur species that are only found here like Cleese’s woolly lemur and the Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur. Remember to pack comfortable walking shoes and be ready for some hiking! Oh and definitely don’t forget your camera.
Found halfway between Morondava and Tsingy de Bemaraha, this remote little town is more than just a pit stop for travellers en route to the Tsingy. Here you can find a traditional mausoleum holding remains of Salakava Kings, and every few years there is a sacred ceremony known as Fitahompa where the relics and remains are washed in the river – the next one should take place in 2020. The mausoleum itself is surrounded by some interesting erotic art representing life and fertility.
This striking gorge with a winding river is best explored by kayak or a traditional dugout canoe. Lemurs such as Decken’s Sifaka and red-fronted brown lemurs come down to sip water at the river banks and birds flit about in the trees. The scenery here is just breathtaking and a special highlight is the tombs of the Vazimba tribe which can be seen from the canoe.
Probably the most photographed road in Madagascar, what makes this tree-lined avenue stand out is that the trees are a collection of just over 20 tall baobabs, up to 800 years old, and growing up to 30 metres high. The trees line a simple dirt road and the rest of the vegetation is sparse. The best time to take that sought after snapshot is at sunrise or sunset when the sky turns tones of pink, red and orange and the baobabs form a striking silhouette against the colourful sky.
This deciduous forest is one of the best places to see Madagascar’s largest predator, the Fossa, a catlike creature that hunts lemurs and other small animals. It’s also the only place you can find the Giant Jumping Rat, which hops around in the style of a kangaroo but also scurries about on all fours. This reserve is an important ecological area as sadly deforestation is rife in Madagascar. Here the forest is protected and scientists from around the world carry out various research projects. Of course, if the Fossa is mainly hunting lemurs then you can expect to see here too, look out for the little Mouse Lemur the world’s smallest primate.