Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve

#1 in Best Things To Do in Madagascar
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve picture
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Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.9scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Situated along Madagascar's west coast, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is home to impressive geological structures and a variety of endangered species. More than 328 miles of forests make up this UNESCO World Heritage site, where 11 kinds of lemurs, 17 types of reptiles, 6 bird species and more reside. But the standout here is the park's towering gray limestone pinnacles, which stand up to 328 feet tall.

Past visitors said Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is a "must-see adventure" that's "definitely worth the drive." Although the locale can be a bit challenging to traverse – some former travelers reported crawling through tight gaps and lots of climbing – many described the views from the top of the pinnacles as "spectacular."

Visiting Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve – which is open between April and November during daylight hours – requires driving or joining a multiday organized tour from companies like Kensington Tours and G Adventures. Tour rates start at approximately $1,200 and include accommodations and most meals, and some also offer boat excursions to the site. For travelers who opt to visit on their own, several hotels can be found inside the reserve. If you're not visiting with an organized tour group, plan on setting aside at least six hours for exploring this protected area, as well as eight to 10 hours for driving to the reserve from Morondava, the closest major city.

To enter Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, travelers will need to pay a fee of 25,000 Malagasy ariary ($8) for one-day of access or 37,000 Malagasy ariary (about $12) for two-day passes. Extra charges apply for guide services but vary depending on the route chosen. Park facilities include three campgrounds, restrooms and a restaurant.

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Avenue of the Baobabs
Mantadia National Park (Parc National Mantadia)
Type
Time to Spend
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#2 Avenue of the Baobabs

As its name suggests, the 853-foot-long Avenue of the Baobabs is a stretch of giant baobab trees believed to be up to 800 years old. Though the avenue is situated roughly 405 miles away from Antananarivo, it offers close proximity to Kirindy Mitea National Park, which sits along Madagascar's west coast.

According to recent travelers, the Avenue of the Baobabs is one of the country's best places to snap photos, especially at sunrise and sunset. But remember, these are the avenue's peak visiting hours, so arrive early. Visitors recommend paying for a guide's services, or you can opt for a multiday tour by local companies like Intrepid Travel and G Adventures. Itineraries vary by tour, but expect to spend at least an hour on-site. Tour fees start at $1,140 per person. If you're sticking to a tight budget, consider driving yourself or flying into Morondava Airport (which sits less than 10 miles away from the attraction) – accessible from Antananarivo's Ivato International Airport.

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