Tsimanampesotse National Park

"Discover the mysteries of our parks". That is the slogan of the Tsimanampesotse National Park, one of the gems in biodiversity of southwest Madagascar. But what mysteries are there?
Literally meaning "lake without dolphins", Lake Tsimanampesotse, the main attraction of the park, is itself a mystery just waiting to be explored. It is the first Ramsar site and the only salt lake on the Big Island, covering an area of 1,700 hectares. Its particularity is that it changes colour three times a day. The panorama over the lake is superb, against a background of an exceptional birdlife composed mainly of pink flamingos. Recently named by UNESCO "Biosphere Reserve of the Man And Biosphere Programme", this lake includes 25 caves, most of which are sacred.
According to local belief, the spirits of the "Antambahoake" live here. That is why, every year, traditional rites are practised by the local population to ask for the blessings of the ancestors. This park is also characterized by its labyrinthine entrances to underground water pockets where "blind fish" and a species of bat live. Biodiversity is abundant. It is not uncommon to meet at nightfall, near the tents of the campsite, the Vontsira de Grandidier, this small nocturnal carnivore with the appearance of a mongoose. Lemurs, bats, rodents, iguanas, chameleons and turtles populate the area. The dry dense forest and the xerophile thickets of the Mahafaly limestone plateau are a delight for botanists. The Tsimanampesotse National Park is one of those sites where plants amaze with their potential to overcome the difficulties of an extreme environment. A must see!
This article was featured in Prime Magazine September 2018

Useful Information

When to go

The southwest region is characterized by a dry climate with low precipitation. The best time to visit this park is from April to December.

How to get there

From Antananarivo you can fly with the National company, Air Madagascar, until Tuléar .You can also take the RN7 to Andranovory (70km before Tuléar). Follow the RN10, then take the Befaha junction. 102 km further, a crossroad will take you to Beheloke, and then to Efoetse, the gateway to the park. It is also possible to reach Tsimanampesotse by sea, from Anakao.

Where to stay

Book your rooms at Ankasy Lodge, Salary Bay or at Cécile. You can make a detour to St. Augustin and stay at Bakuba Lodge or Hotel Vahombe. In Anakao at Atlantis Hotel or Longo Vezo. Hotel Safari Vezo, Mikea Lodge, Anakao Ocean Lodge Hotel and Prince Anakao Hotel are also recommended.

Where to eat

When visiting Tsimanampesotse National Park, bring a picnic basket. Then after a rewarding and enjoyable trip, order your meal at your hotel restaurant.

What to see

Enjoy leisure time in the fishing village of Ambola! Anakao, Ifaty and Mangily are other seaside sites worth exploring.