Tsingy de Bemaraha, September 21-25 part 2
Tsingy itself is an Unesco World Heritage Site, its jagged limestone pinnacles have been shaped by centuries of water and wind erosion. To cross them, we climb the via ferrata (fixed-cable routes) with its viewing platforms, rope bridges, ladders and suspension bridges. Visiting the Small Tsingy seems to have two main objectives: the tourists get to look for wildlife and the guides get to check out the shape (both fitness level and body form) of the tourists to decide what route to take in the Big Tsingy. You don’t want your tourist to get stuck between two boulders. We start the day with a relaxing boat ride in a wooden pirogue on the nearby river through the Manambolo River Gorges to see some ancient Vazimba tombs. In the Small Tsingy, we get to see two families of Decken’s sifaka, or white lemurs. They are almost completely white with black faces and spider monkey like long limps. And how the can jump with them! A six meters leap from one tree to the other is nothing for them.
On the second day, we visit Big Tsingy combining two circuits of climbing rocks, squeezing through caves and in between looking for lemurs in the forest covering tsingy’s canyons. It is breathtakingly beautiful! “tsingy” is the Malagasy word for “walking on tiptoes” as the edges of the pinnacles are razor sharp. Overall we do a six hours walk (we need some extra drone flying time), it’s very humid and hot, and in the end we are so tired that we pass by some very nicely posing white lemurs without taking pictures. No energy left to hold up the heavy camera lens.