Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve

Centre Ouest, dans le Fivondronana d’Antsalova et le Faritany de Mahajanga
S18 40 0.012 E44 45 0
Date of Inscription: 1990
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Property : 152,000 ha
Ref: 494rev
News Links/Travelogues:

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve comprises karstic landscapes and limestone uplands cut into impressive ‘tsingy’ peaks and a ‘forest’ of limestone needles, the spectacular canyon of the Manambolo river, rolling hills and high peaks. The undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps are the habitat for rare and endangered lemurs and birds.

The Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve is located in the District of Antsalova and in the region of the central west part of Madagascar. It is part of the Melaky region, in the autonomous province of Mahajanga, and localized between 44°34’ to 44°57’ longitude east and 18°12’ to 19°09’ latitude south. Its total area is 152,000 ha.

The Reserve offers a wide variety of geomorphological structures. It is a veritable cathedral of limestone and offers one of the most spectacular natural landscapes of the Grand Island and even of the world. The western part of the plateau presents a very dissected or ‘lapiezée’ relief, most of which is covered by a dense, dry and deciduous forest. In its eastern part, the forest is interspersed by savannas.

The Tsingy of Bemaraha is considered a centre for endemism by its wealth in faunal and floral species.

Criterion (vii): The Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve represents rare or eminently remarkable geological phenomena and of exceptional beauty. It presents impressive geological elements including karstic scenery with a highly dissected limestone massif, crossed by a deep river gorge  which is the spectacular expression of a stage of evolution of the earth in the form of a « forest of sharp stones » with high limestone pinnacles rising up to 100 metres, forming veritable cathedrals, offering a grandiose, spectacular natural landscape. Further, « the Tsingy » of the limestone plateau forms an unusual feature of outstanding beauty, unique in the world, universally recognized by the effect created by the shades of forest green on metallic reflections of the grey karst “bristles”.

Criterion (x): The Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve contains communities of rare and/or threatened animal species. In addition to a forestry cover of more than 85,000 ha and excellent examples of principal types of ecosystem from rainforest habitats to very dry ones, the property contains a very rich biological diversity on a world level, due to its faunal and floral species, their rarity and containment presenting spectacular adaption and insular characteristics, enabling the conservation in situ of endemism and biological diversity. The same applies to the habitats of very rare species all threatened with extinction, which are either endemic or subordinate: 11 species of Lemur; 6 bird species; 2 local endemic amphibian species; 17 endemic reptile species including the famous miniscule chameleon, Brookesia perarmata; as well as a species of rodent, Nesomys lambertoni, that only exists in the Reserve. Linked to the diversity of habitats, systematic research will without doubt shortly enable the addition of new species to this list. Furthermore, certain surrounding lakes, also dependent on the hydrological system of the property, have been listed as Ramsar sites.

Suggested Bases:

Belon’i Tsiribihina (also known as Belo sur Tsiribihina or Belo – Tsiribihina) is a town and commune (Malagasy: kaominina) in Madagascar. It belongs to the district of Belo sur Tsiribihina, which is a part of Menabe Region. The population of the commune was estimated to be approximately 72,000 in 2001 commune census. Belon’i Tsiribihina is served by a local airport. In addition to primary schooling the town offers secondary education at both junior and senior levels. The town provides access to hospital services to its citizens. The majority 60% of the population of the commune are farmers, while an additional 20% receives their livelihood from raising livestock. The most important crop is rice, while other important products are beans and chickpea. Services provide employment for 10% of the population. Additionally fishing employs 10% of the population [read more].

Miandrivazo is a town and commune (Malagasy: kaominina) in Madagascar. It is situated at the Mahajilo River and belongs to the district of Miandrivazo, which is a part of Menabe Region. The population of the commune was estimated to be approximately 108,000 in 2001 commune census. Miandrivazo is served by a local airport. In addition to primary schooling the town offers secondary education at both junior and senior levels. The town has a permanent court and hospital. The majority 80% of the population of the commune are farmers, while an additional 5% receives their livelihood from raising livestock. The most important crop is rice, while other important products are beans and maize. Services provide employment for 10% of the population. Additionally fishing employs 5% of the population [read more].

Morondava is a town on the coast of Western Madagascar. Morondava is a coastal town in the West of Madagascar, connected to the capital by regular plane service run by Air Madagascar. It is an ideal place for a relaxing stay, especially compared to the capital, since it is less crowded and (so far) devoid of beggars. It is also cheaper. The beaches are good and extend far to the north side of town. Morondava can also be used a base for trips to the fishing village of Belo sur Mer (by pirogue (small boat)) or to the wildlife park at Kirindy (via 4×4 since the roads are quite poor). The dry season is the best time to visit as daytime temperatures are about 27°C and nighttime around 14-15°C while the water is still as warm as the Mediterranean in summer (about 24°C). The downside is that the town is very dry and dusty with blowing sand a problem – but it is still less dirty than other towns [read more].

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