Tsimanampetsotsa National park was named after the famous lake that is located within the park and it was declared a national park in 1966 although its protection and conservation started a few years earlier in 1927. It is commonly known as a safe haven for birds which makes it a top birding destination for birders. The Park is located in the south western part of Madagascar and your journey will not be complete without you visiting this magnificent Park.
The park is filled with a unique landscape, plant species and animals that can only be found in the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. The only to experience the paradise in Tsimanampetsotsa is by contacting us so that we organize for you the best trip to this wonderful place. The locals who live in the area are the Mahafaly who act as security to the locals from the thieves and they are known as warriors by many.
When you visit the Park you’ll be able to see the sole saltine lake that is found in the area and where the Park derives its names. The saltine lake does not allow fish to habitat within the lake but it is a good place to relax specially after a long trek. If you want to see the different types of fish the only place that you will be able to see them is if you visit the various caves that are found in the Park.
The other unique thing about the park is that it has three different landscapes that can all be viewed from within the park. These three landscapes include the following:
- The red sand dunes that are found at the coast.
- The plateau that is located within the Park and is covered with lots of thickets.
- The Banyan and baobab trees cover up the last landscape of the Park.
There are also several activities that you carry out when you visit the park and we have listed some of here so that when you are planning your trip, you know exactly what you are going to do once you arrive in Madagascar.
Trekking through the Park
Like any other park on the Madagascar Island, the park is good when it comes to trekking and during these treks you will be able to see the various points of the Park from different views and most of the routes that are used when it comes to trekking are known as circuits.
The circuits always have a specific number of people that are guided by an experienced tour guide and there are different circuits that pass through the park and these are:
- The circuit of Andaka
The circuit of Andaka is short as compared to other circuits and it has a very good view when it comes to trekking. It is located along the shore of Lake Tsimanampetsotsa and it provides a good view of the flamingos that can be seen lounging around the lake shores.
- The circuit of Andalamaike
The Andalamaike route passes through the best botanical part of the park. It passes through the part of the park which experiences a semi desert climate and a walk through this circuit will have you see the different plant species and get to know how they adapt to the drought conditions found in the Park. This circuit also gives you a chance to view the lemurs, various bird species, turtles and an underground cave which you can explore for as long as you have the guidance of a tour guide.
- The Tsiamaso
If you have a deep love for exploring caves, this is the best circuit to use because it will take you through the various caves that you will find along the Path. These caves have an interesting story attached to them which was brought up by the locals who live in the area known as the Antambahoaka.
You will find stalagmites and stalactites inside the caves and it is believed that they are the cause for the frightening story that is known by the locals and not forgetting the blind fish that lives in the caves.
- The circuit of Emande
The circuit of Emande has the most interesting things to see as compared to the others. You will be able to see different bird species, the lemurs and get to know where the lake gets its source from. The word Emande means irrigation and therefore expect to see various reptiles and enjoy the shores of the Lake as well. You will also be able to learn more about the locals that live in the area and get to know about their unique culture as you relax along the Lake.
The hikes in the area are hectic and you will need a lot of breaks, proper clothing and enough water and this is due to the bad hot weather experienced in the Park.
Birding in the area
The park is known to be one of the best destinations in Madagascar when it comes to birding due to the various bird species that habitate in the area. The Park has a recorded number of over 110 bird species and the best time for one to view the birds is between April and November as the birds will be seen at the Lake shores and the trees where they stay.
Some of the bird species that can be found in the park include both the dwarf and lesser pink flamingos that are always seen at the shores, crested croots, Newton hawks, gray headed lovebirds, silky cockoos and other birds that you will see when you get the chance to visit the Park. So to all bird lovers, grab your binoculars, cameras and other equipment that is needed and come enjoy the endemic bird species in Madagascar.
The wildlife in the Park
The wildlife that is found in the Park is also endemic to Madagascar and it varies from reptiles to the different types of lemurs. You will be able to see various lemurs jumping form one tree to another and the different reptiles that include chameleons, lizards, snakes and many more other animals in the country.
The Flora in the Park
The Tsimanampetsotsa Park has exciting plant species that will give all botanists a field trip especially during the blossoming season. The park has almost 200 plant species some of which are endemic to the Madagascar Island and examples of some of these include baobab trees which are believed to be over 2000 years old, ficus trees, Didierea trollii, acacia pashypodium, kalanchoe beharensis and the coastal forest which makes up almost the entire forest.
The various tree species that are found in the park are all due to the limestone soil that is found in the park mostly red in color and the red plateau itself is also a sight to see for the tourist who visit the Park.
The climate within the park
Park is usually hot and dry and this happens throughout the year. It’s located in the driest place in the whole of Madagascar and it receives relatively low rainfall even with the presence of the salt lake that is found in the area. So when you are planning your trip to the Park you need to pack appropriately so that you are not inconvenienced. Carry enough water and proper attires especially during hikes.
The Tsimanampetsotsa National Park’s location is not that remote but when it comes to driving to the park but due to the bad roads in the country, you will need extra time so that you can get to the Park. This can be experienced throughout the whole country and note that the road trip will be extremely bumpy and not pleasant but in the end it will be worthwhile especially after you reach this paradise Park. There are flights that fly directly to the park although these come at an extra cost although they are more popular than the road transport due to the fact that the roads leading to the Park are so sandy and when the little rains in the area come in, the roads become extremely impassable.
There are many accommodation facilities that can be found around the Park but the nearest of them all is the Anakoa Occan lodge and the lodge offers various facilities that will be to liking. It offers self-contained rooms, private balconies and good local food that is prepared by the chefs.
Due to the climatic conditions that are found in the area, there is hardly any facility within the Park and the other reason as to why there are no facilities within the Park is due to the rampant thieves that are found in the area. The park might be with a lot of thieves but tourists are assured of their security while visiting the park.
The park is a haven for all those who seek want their privacy and that is why it is one of the most loved destinations in the country.