A quick guide on everything you need to know before visiting Madagascar Island and 2 of its beautiful geographical hotspots.
Hotspot 1: Avenue of the Baobabs
To get to the Avenue of the Baobabs the first step of the journey is to land into Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. From there you take a short 1 hour flight ✈️ to Morondava airport.After some in-depth research, we had pre‑organised a driver for our 5 day stay in Western Madagascar. If you require the contact details, feel free to send us a message on Instagram.
Avenue of the Baobabs is only a 30‑40 minute drive from Morondava airport. The plan was to visit the avenues for sunrise and sunset. However, as we landed in the afternoon, to maximise our time we decided to head straight to Hotspot 2: Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, based in Madagascar Island, and on our journey back, pass by the avenue.
On route to Hotspot 2. Tsingy de Bemaraha
We had never heard of this place before researching Madagascar Island, but Googling its geographical landscape, we made it a "must to visit"! To get to this location it really wasn’t that easy. It’s around an 8 hour drive from Morondava, with a layover in the city of Belo Tsiribihna.
Never the less, if you really want to see this worlds beauty, you have to go through the beaten path. Here’s a quick breakdown of our journey:
〰️ After driving past the Boabab Avenue the road gets bumpy, just as if you were driving a 4x4 in a desert full of dunes. The road is rocky for about 4 hours straight, up until the point you reach Mania river.
〰️ From here all 4x4 cars are placed on a wooden boat that transports you to the other side to the city of Belo Tsiribihna (costs around $30 to cross the river). Here is where we slept over night.
As night falls, the city of Belo Tsiribihna springs to life. There are many families cooking and selling their homemade food, giving you a real feel of the life they live. Here is where we sat and ate with one local kid who was studying English and dreamed of moving to Antananarivo to work.
Good to know
The locals mainly speak Malagasy/French and a full 3‑course meal here costs around $2.
〰️ We called it an early night, as we had to wake up at 3am to complete our journey to Tsingy. From this point you will need to hire an armed militant guard to protect you along the journey. This was also sorted out by our driver, we roughly paid the guard $25. A guard is required as there have been cases of vehicle attacks within this region, however during the drive to Hotspot 2, it felt rather safe.
〰️ Being on the road for another 4 hours, we finally made it to Bekopaka, the city where Tsingy is located.
Hotspot 2: Tsingy de Bemaraha
It costs $15 per person to enter the national park and $30 for a guide, which is advisable as it’s a complex hike. This place is honestly out of this world. These Jurassic limestone rocks are formed from hundreds of thousands of years of nature doing its thing, creating these razor sharp grikes. Some parts of the hike seemed daunting, especially when you visualise yourself falling onto one of these rocks.
Hiking this beast took around 6 hours, and we can not recommend it enough. The entire location looks like another planet, and for sure a one in a life time experience.
In Malagasy tsingy means "where one cannot walk barefoot," and it definitely lives up to its name.
Sunset at the Avenue
The next morning we headed back to witness the Baobab Avenue during sunset. As our time was limited, we did not stay overnight at Belo Tsiribihna, and travelled directly back to Morondava.
These beautiful trees live for hundreds of years and are crazy in size when standing next to them in person. As the sun sets, the trees absorb the light, creating a smooth a shiny texture that is in pinkish grey/copper colour. If you are into photography, then this is an amazing moment to capture the picturesque landscape. We had used our drone, which was allowed.
Madagascar Island has always been a place we’ve only seen as kids on National Geographic TV or on Instagram, making the trip to see Mother Nature in person was just an indescribable feeling.
Any questions about the trip, send us a message on Instagram , always happy to help. 😊