The west is the most visited place in Madagascar. And for good reason: it is home to the famous, and famously documented, “Avenue of the Baobabs.”
Home to the Sakalava tribe and buried in the province of Tulear, the Menabe region is among the hottest and driest places in the country because of its position along the Tropic of Capricorn. Among its 7 species of baobab trees are 3 endemic types: the Adansonia Grandidieri, Adansonia rubrostipa and Adansonia ZA. Here you’ll also find the “Lover’s baobab,” the “Sacred baobab” and, of course, the “Avenue of the Baobabs,” a classic stop for sunset photos.
But it’s not all baobabs around here. We invite you to enjoy Kirindy Forest, float down the Tsiribihina River, or visit Tsingy National Park in Bemaraha – recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
TSINGY OF BEMARAHA
Tsingy is an impressive limestone massif of rock pinnacles set in a beautiful landscape about 200km North
of Morondava. The drive takes awhile, to be honest: usually about 8hours drive by 4WD car because of the red, bumpy road. We’ll criss-cross both the Tsiribihina and Manambolo Rivers via boat, and along the RN8 highway, take in the dry, deciduous Kirindy Forest for a great reserve stopover. There we’ll find 2 species of diurnal lemurs, 4 nocturnals, several species of endemic and medicinal plants, and – if we’re especially lucky – the mysterious “Fossa,” a large carnivore found only in Madagascar and categorized as a cathemeral primate.
The Tsiribihina River is a special place, and on our trip, an opportunity to experience a part of Madagascar
visited by few in the world. Localized in the western part of Madagascar, it’s 50km in length and can be traveled in either 2 days and 2 nights in a dugout pirogue, or 3 days and 2 nights via ferry boat. The river passes through several villages – offering a chance to discover the Sakalava Menabe people’s way of living, both through agriculture and habitat – as well giving an up close and personal view of the Bemaraha massif, wild ducks, parrots, kingfishers, chameleons, crocodiles, butterfly and lemurs before eventually flowing into the Mozambique channel.
For a moment or two of peace along our journey, Morondava is an ideal stop. Situated about 500 km in the west of Antsirabe via the RN34 and RN35, the town rewards visitors with beautiful beaches. There are also opportunities here to head out on a fisherman’s canoe to see mangroves or watch dhow building at the Betania village. Finally, just south of Morondava, the small village of “Belo Sur Mer” affords another moment of quiet and a bevy of beautiful beaches.
In the nutshell, the western part of Madagascar makes for a fantastic adventure, bringing you a patchwork of wild life, flora, fauna and gorgeous landscapes. We can’t wait to show it to you.