River Trip Tsiribihina and the Tsingy

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Drive to Miandrivazo for the start of the downstream Tsiribihina River trip. The continuation to Bekopaka, entrance to the Tsingy of Bemaraha (UNESCO world heritage site), sharp limestone pinnacles, up to 50 m high. Short visit of the Kirindy dry forest reserve and drive through the baobab avenue. Tour for the more adventurous customer and only possible from June to October, it is unsuitable for big people and people who are afraid of heights as there are passages in the Tsingys where you have to climb through narrow gaps. Beach extension in Morondava possible.

1st day:  ANTANANARIVO
Meeting at Ivato international airport and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

2nd day: ANTANANARIVO – MIANDRIVAZO (380 km about 8 h drive)
After Breakfast, drive to Miandrivazo through Antsirabe ;the “Town of Water”: so called because of its numerous thermal springs and the existence of two crater lakes. Continue through a hilly and mountainous area: Plateau of Betsiriry . Arrival at Miandrivazo in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.

3rd day : MIANDRIVAZO – TSIRIBIHINA (30 km about 1 h drive)
Transfer to the port and embark in a motor barge for a two and a half days cruise along the Tsiribihina river. You’ll see some villages and kids waiving at you, and some people doing their daily labour. You might also see birds ( whistling ducks , egrets, herons, helmeted guinea fowls), and probably some crocodiles. The landscape along this river is mainly composed of deciduous forest sheltering some species of lemurs. After crossing the Bemaraha gorge and its cliffs, one can see countless game birds. Visit of a marvellous waterfall “Anosin’Ampela” and a natural pool where you can swim. There are also some lemurs around there. Camping on the banks of the river.

4th day: TSIRIBIHINA
After breakfast, the cruise goes on. Some miles ahead, the landscape turns into a succession of green fertile plains and baobab forests. Optional visit of the village Begidro, where they grow tobacco. Camping on the bank of the river.

5th day: TSIRIBIHINA – BELO – BEKOPAKA (100 km about 5 h drive)
Continuation of this wonderful cruise: arrival in the Menabe plain and its little villages mainly inhabited by fishermen and farmers: the end of the cruise. A 4WD car is waiting for you and brings you along dry plains with some bush, palm and baobab trees to Bekopaka, you and the car will have to cross the Manambolo river on a small local ferry before getting there. Overnight at the hotel.

6th day: BEKOPAKA
Visit of the large TSINGY, rare sharp limestone pinnacles, up to 50 m high, sheltering some species of lemurs, various species of birds and many endemic plants. This walk is sporty and exhausting, you need to be fit, It goes up and down, sometimes steep, you have to climb on some ladders, and will wear for security reasons a harness. This Tsingy of Bemaraha are on the UNESCO list of the world nature sites, and a large part of the park is not accessible for the public. . In the afternoon, optional visit of the small Tsingy with its limestone pinnacles, the Tsingy have been millions of years under water, and so you can also see some fossils enclosed in the limestone. Overnight at the hotel.

7th day: BEKOPAKA – KIRINDY (160 km about 7 h drive)
After breakfast, you and the car will have to cross the Manambolo river on a small local ferry again. Drive to Belo, and after this small town, cross the Tsiribihina river on another local ferry boat, then continue to Kirindy.  First visit of Kirindy reserve to try to see the night active animals. Overnight at the simple lodge of the reserve.

8th day: KIRINDY – MORONDAVA (45 km about  2 h drive)
After breakfast, visit with a walk of around 1,5 to 3 hours on mostly flat trails the Kirindy reserve again to see lemurs (dancing lemurs), tenrecs, reptiles and birds. Drive to Morondava, on the way, visit the “Baobab in love” and stop at the Baobab avenue (you can wait for the sunset, a magic moment in this beautiful and unique surroundings). Then drive to Morondava and overnight at the hotel.

9th day:  MORONDAVA – ANTANANARIVO
Transfer to the airport for flight back to the capital. Transfer to the hotel and rest of the day free. Overnight at the hotel.

10th day: ANTANANARIVO
Excursion to the historical site of Ambohimanga, where the merina Kings used to live (UNESCO world heritage site). In the afternoon, a visit to the handcraftsmarket with beautiful handmade items from materials like leather, stone, natural fibers, wood. Then day use in the hotel, in the evening transfer to  the international airport of Ivato for flight to Europe.

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