"The sleepy port town of Morondava, two days’ drive west of Antananarivo along a rough 660km road, is the fly-in gateway to three very worthwhile but equally different natural attractions: the iconic and highly photogenic Alley of Baobabs, the Kirindy Forest Reserve and its habituated fossas, and the remote but spectacular tsingy formations of Bemaraha. ”

- Philip Briggs

Morondava and surrounds

Bounded on all sides by ocean, canal or marshland, Morondova is an attractive enough town but the main local attraction – only 30 minutes’ drive to the northeast – is the Alley of Baobabs, which comprises around 20 Grandidier’s baobabs that stand up to 30m tall and are estimated to be around 800 years old. It’s particularly photogenic at sunset.

Further north, the Kirindy Forest Reserve is the most reliable site in Madagascar to the see the fossa, the island largest carnivore. The fossa is most conspicuous during its mating season, which is centred on October, but a few habituated individuals are frequently seen around the visitors’ camp at dusk and dawn. Other wildlife includes the quirky Malagasy giant rat and seven lemur species.

The biggest and most remote draw in this corner of Madagascar is the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose singularly spectacular centrepiece is a labyrinthine tsingy formation of jagged black limestone pinnacles that stretches 100km from north to south. Only really accessible on foot trails that involve crossing suspension bridges and occasional clambering, the tsingy supports a diverse dry-country flora and fauna, including the striking Von der Decken‘s sifaka, small troops of which are often seen racing across the rocks. Abseiling and harnessed climbs are on offer too.

When to go

Find out when is best to visit

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