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Location: Melaky Region  Map

Area: 667 km²

Closest cities: Antsalova, Morondava

Tsingy de Bemaraha

Tsingy de Bemaraha







Description of Tsingy de Bemaraha

Tsingy de Bemaraha is situated in the Melaky Region on the Western Coast of Madagascar. The closest cities this nature reserve area Antsalova (at the North park entrance) and Morondava 150 km South of the protected area. The road is a dirt road so it is fairly unstable during wet season of the year. Tsingy de Bemaraha covers an area of 667 km². Tsingy de Bemaraha was created in 1927 on the Western coast of the island to protect the unique karst landscape as well as various species of endemic lemurs (e.g. Avahi cleesei) that inhabit this area. Today it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The word "tsingy" in local dialect can be translated as the area "where you can not walk barefoot". River Manambolo through this picturesque canyon of stone forest. These sharp limestone formations were formed by water erosion from groundwater dissolves geological formations and annual water precipitations. Rainfall has an annual average of 1800 mm.






The razor-sharp canyons of Tsingy de Bemaraha formed largely below the surface from deep, narrow cavities. While the monsoon rains chiseled the summit of a vast limestone deposit, the water table dissolved the rock along a network of fracture lines. When the vault of the cavities collapsed and the tablecloth lowered, a labyrinth of canyons with sharp laps emerged.

A karst landscape is a highly jagged limestone massif forming a "tsingy" or "forest" of limestone spurs, a unique landscape in the world. Tsingy comes from the Malagasy verb mitsingitsingy which means "to walk on tiptoe" because one can not walk there normally barefoot, the rocks being too sharp. The reserve is home to other karstic events such as the gorge of the Manambolo River (300 to 400 m deep). The Bemaraha Reserve also presents a contrasting landscape with hilly terrain and high peaks where primary forests, lakes and mangroves serve as habitat for various species of rare birds and lemurs.




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