The national park of Tsimanampetsotsa in Madagascar

On the twenty national parks of Madagascar, the Tsimanampetsotsa has the particularity of presenting a salted lake which allows endemic fauna and flora at 80%.

The park is located at one hour and a half away from the Longo Vezo hotel. This visit lasts for the day. It will allow you to discover the reserve, the vegetation of the region, the surrounding villages and beautiful beaches of the southwest coast… In summer, you might see whales passing by in front of the Ambola village.

The Tsimanampetsotsa park visit is divided into 3 steps and lasts 3 to 4 hours:

  • The lake and viewpoint;
  • The forest, its baobab trees and its giant banyan cave;
  • The blind fishes cave.

The Tsimanampetsotsa (literally in Malagasy « there is no dolphin ») is the central point. With a length of 15 km, a width of 2,5 km and a depth of 2 meters at its maximum, it is a resurgence of the sea to which it used to be linked. The lake gives its name to the reserve.

Its unexpected colors are due to its lime sulphate content. It is situated at the foot of the limestone cliff which runs along the coast from Soalara. The surroundings of the lake are populated by glasswort, edible halophytic plants (salt-resistant).

The lake shelters flamingo colonies between April to November.

The forest in which we can admire the often endemic vegetation of south Malagasy is a resource for its traditional medicinal use. We can see several types of baobab trees there, of which two specimens are 1200 and 3000 years old, the second being logically called… the grand-mother baobab tree.

The banyan cave shelters its incredible tree, a gigantic ficus with aerial roots, surrounded by fauna which comes for water and freshness: turtles, parrots and ring-tailed lemurs mostly.

The blind fishes cave is a hollow in the cliff which allows to access the underground river system. There, lives a fish species which over the evolution has lost its eyes, a curiosity of this part of Madagascar.

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