Manambolo River and Le Petit Tsingy Madagascar

Further we go into the forest, traveling by 4WD was all the more acute. We broke through the bush, and must pass through the gaping hole that is muddy and waterlogged. Finally we arrived at a village, where we had to cross the Tsiribihina River flow by using rafts. Two traditional boat with two engines combined use thick board arrangement on it. The raft was carrying cars, motorcycles, as well as local residents to the village of Belo.

About 40 minutes we enjoyed the view of the river on rafts. We decided to stop in the village of Belo for lunch and rest awhile. Some 4WD also do the same. Apparently, this is the village of dismissal. Although not large, we can still find shops that sell a variety of needs. Out of the village of Belo ceased exit the market. There was only housing residents an alternate forest house located far apart.

The sun fell perfectly when we got to Camp Croco Village Bekopaka. We were greeted dark, because there is no electricity in the village. When it’s dark like this, studded sky looks very bright, beyond the usual we see in the sky of the capital. Lanto, in charge of the camp who received us, explained that electricity is only lit from 7 pm to 9 pm with using a generator. Then audible noise generator is turned on.

We looked around a few tents of canvas lined up on the front page. Big wheeled car that looked muddy even meet the parking area. After several conversations, I know people here have the same goals as us, namely to explore the Tsingy de Bemahara.

We came together with two tourists’ French citizen, the United States, Russia, China, and India. They are like us, have a job in the capital for a certain period of time and taking the time to venture to other parts of Madagascar. There is also a biodiversity researcher, who usually stays up for months and move.

That evening we were taken to the lodges that line between big trees. We spent the night in one cottage. Our cottage home-like local people made of woven bamboo frond roofs made from a type of woven reeds. Toilets and bathrooms are located outside the cottage, with big drum water storage for toiletries. We use it along with other guests.

On the ceiling of the cabin, a chameleon of arms perch. We did not throw him out because they did not interfere. Perhaps this is the wilderness area was once their home. We provide bed nets to protect themselves from mosquitoes and other insects. That night we ate fried freshwater fish with rice and pickled hot pepper. Perhaps because of fatigue, my son can also sleep soundly, despite the hot and dry air. Conditions are very modest cottage, far from the inn.

At midnight I was awakened by the sound resembles a scream. I’ve been told, it is the sounds of lemurs endemic to Madagascar are included in a group of primates. They are nocturnal and often foraging close to the camp.

The nature reserve is known as the Stone Forest. Tsingy name, for local people means it is a place where we could not walk. Understandably, the contour is rock, sharp-pointed and sharp. This national park is home to seven species of lemurs, animal endangered endemic to Madagascar. In addition, there are also various species of butterflies, chameleons and rare endemic plants. An area of ​​1,575 km² it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.

After searching for information on tourist center located approximately 3 kilometers from the camp, we walk down the Manambolo River with a guide. The river water is dark yellow for essentially filled with soil sediments are derived from erosion of the forest. From the top of the canoe we see the rock caves, also the bottom of Le Petit Tsingy, one of two parts of the park, which is lined up to resemble a small rock hill, with lush green trees on it.

Our guides show the area where the tomb Vazimba tribe was on top of the hill. Vazimba is believed to be the oldest tribes’ sourdough Madagascar. Until now, though fewer in number, Vazimba tribe believed to still live in primitive forests of Madagascar, including in this national park.

We stopped and went to a cave to see stalactites and stalagmites formed in the base and the ceiling of the cave. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to enter until too deep because the condition is difficult to reach. Afterwards, we turned around and returned to Le Petit Tsingy. We chose these three kilometer walk with a travel time of about four hours.

To get to the tops of the Tsingy, we had to pass through the woods and into a maze of winding. The maze is sometimes narrowed only the size of an adult’s body. We often have to lean over, stepping sideways position. We also have climbed the stone steps on the wall Tsingy be very careful in order to achieve some of the highest point. Both of my sons did not look scared or tired, even look curious because many questions to guide in French.

We were also amazed when he reached the top of a wooden bridge that stretches between the peaks of Tsingy. Spired rocks scenery in front of us is not common. Above us a bright blue sky was gorgeous. Tsingy corals have formed since 200 million years ago due to raindrops, little by little until like its current form. Stone Forest is located at an altitude of 300 to 400 meters above the valley of the river Manambolo. On the sidelines of Tsingy also seemed to grow plants endemic. We spent the time until late in the Le Petit Tsingy this.

The next day, because the terrain is more difficult and we were unable to find transport to Le Grand Tsingy, the other part of this national park, only my husband was there. Me and my two sons waited in camp while roaming the countryside and venturing back Manambolo River. Although aqueous turbid, my two sons are not afraid to take a shower and the water play ball with the children of the village. Both also learn paddling the canoe with them.

Le Grand Tsingy located 18 kilometers from the village Bekopaka. To get there, my husband had to rent a motorcycle. There is a circuit which has been marked by a guide. We could have a short circuit with a time of 2 hours roaming or long circuit with a time of 6 hours. My husband said, to climb and reached the bridge, the guide will ask you to install a safety rope at the waist, to keep up if we slip. Some researchers’ flora and fauna often spend the night and set up tents in the region.

The capital city of Antananarivo has a subtropical highland climate. Range of June to October winter will include the city with the lowest point that can reach 7 ° C. It never snowed, but the cold made us have to wear layered clothing and winter boots when out of the house, also turn on or turn on the heating furnaces at home. Winter will be closed with the rainy season which usually blustery, and then changed the summer. Summer temperatures can reach 35 ° C.

As the former French colony, the French influence is still very visible. Especially from building cities, the education system, and two official languages named Malagasy and French. The social life of the people are not too good, the gap between rich and poor is very subtle.

Interestingly, the Merina tribe is the largest tribe in the highlands of Antananarivo is believed to come from the archipelago. According to the researchers of history, centuries ago sailors of the archipelago have been coming to this isolated island with a simple boat. They settled and formed a village that became the forerunner of Merina Kingdom. Therefore, their physical characteristics differ from the coastal tribes originating from the African mainland. Merina tribe has lighter skin with straight black hair and of medium. Unlike the coastal tribe that has dark skin and curly hair. In general, those nations that is friendly and humble.

Survival Tips
• Dare to bid because all the prices offered are very varied with a high margin.
• Prepare a drink and sustenance enough because the price is usually expensive and difficult to obtain.
• Bring wet wipes for toilet always very hard to find or are not maintained clean.
• Carry emergency light or flashlight battery energy because electricity is very limited.
• Take medicines, as well P3K tools, mosquito lotion, lightweight clothing that is comfortable because the air is hot and insects a night very much.
• Arm yourself with a map location or GPS device.
• Local people are friendly, but not many who understand English. Bring a dictionary Malagasy or French would be helpful to communicate

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