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Hotel Tsingy Lodge de Bemaraha – Bekopaka West Madagascar

Attractions of the village and its environment

1. Walk around the village

The many children will welcome you with a heartly “Salama”! The walk will provide an insight into the rural village life: Sakalava women plait each other’s hair, wash and stamp rice or weave mats. Men bring home their share for dinner, a fish out of the Manambolo. By the way, if someone is fascinated by fishing one can have a fishing rod made by locals and can let oneself be surprised by the Manambolo…

In June and July the traditional tournaments, in which also the kids participate in a playful way, take place. The “Moraingy” is traditional martial arts that is found particularly in this region and serves to pit one village’s strength against other villages.

 

 

 

2. National Parc "Tsingy de Bemaraha"

The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is a unique wonder of nature. In 1927 the UNESCO declared the Tsingy to be protected area but it was only in 1990 when the area was registered in the list of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of the World. The area is with its 157’710 hectares one of the largest nature reserves and is located between 75 and 700 meters above sea level. The Tsingy are located on the “Bemaraha-Plateau” in the Middle West and are part of the “Chaine de l’Antsingy”. They emerged when in geology the seafloor was pushed up to mountains. During millions of years the erosion transformed the shell limestone into a bizarre landscape: caves, grottos, canyons and the Manambolo waters alternate with rocks up to 20 meters that loom above the sky like needles. Therefrom also originates the name: Tsingy is Madagascan and means needle. On the walkabouts in the Tsingy one consistently recognizes fossilized sea animals in the limestone what gives evidence to the evolutionary history.

The Tsingy de Bemaraha have a healthy and moreover a very beautiful fauna: about 13 species of lemurs (ten of them are nocturnal lemur species), 94 species of birds (among them also water birds), 15 species of bats, 22 species of amphibians, 66 different reptiles and mammals like mongooses or rats. With more than 350 species of plants also the flora is incredibly beautiful to be discovered.

According to Madagascan history 300 year ago the formations of the limestone were the homeland of the Vazimba, the first inhabitants of Madagascar. Even today the Vazima have a significant meaning to the local people of Bekopaka. There are graves and sanctuaries for ceremonies in the Tsingy.

In the National Park exists a total of 9 routes which are different in length and degree of difficulty. Depending on interests and possibilities the routes can be combined. Admission costs are paid by person and route.

 

1

Circuit Tantely

max. 2h, low degree of difficulty

2

Circuit Andadoany

max. 3h, low degree of difficulty

3

Circuit Ankeligoa

max. 3h, low degree of difficulty

4

Circuit Andadoany/Ankeligoa

half a day, possibility of having a picnic

5

Circuit Anjohimanitsy 

max. 8h, high degree of difficulty

6

Circuit Andamozavaky

max. 4h, medium degree of difficulty; not recommended to persons who are not free from giddiness (with rope bridge over a canyon);
17 km away from the park entrance, car necessary

7

Circuit Ranotsara

max. 2-4h, medium degree of difficulty;
17 km away from the park entrance, car necessary

8

Circuit Georges de la Manambolo

max. 2h, visit of the caves by the river

9

Circuit Manambolo

3h: 1h in Pirogen on the river and 2h on foot

 

All routes are guided by trained guides of the ANGAP who come from this region themselves. Their trained eyes also find hidden animals like the seldom night lemur or snakes, chameleons, many birds and crocodiles! If you want to know more about the Vazimba you can ask your local guide and he will be pleased to talk about the legendary Vazimba.

 

3. Area of RAMSAR

About 60 km from Bekopaka there is the Lake Area called “Manambolomaty”, which is about 7491 hectares big and is part of RAMSAR, a convention on wetlands. This Ramsar Area harbours about twenty bird species or subspecies, one of them is the critically endangered endemic Madagascar fish-eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides. The region also provides a habitat for one of the most important populations of the endangered freshwater tortoise Erymnochelys madagascariensis. Other objects of interest are the Ardeidae, (Humblot's heron Ardea humbloti and the grey heron Ardea cinerea), waterbirds, the Bernier's teal Anas bernieri, the white-backed duck Thalassornis leuconotus, the pink flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, the lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor, as well as seven different species of lemurs which live in Tsimembo Forest, namely the Microcebus murinus, Mirza coquereli, Phaner furcifer pallescens, Hapalemur griseus occidentalis, Lepilemur edwardsi, Propithecus verreauxi deckeni and Eulemur fulvus rufus.

 

 

 

 

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