The Hotel TRECICOGNE is at your disposal to inform you about the tourist richness of the region, land tours and trips.
The Menabe region on the West side of Madagascar, has hot and dry climate for most of the year.
The rain season starts towards the end of December to the end of March. The rain fall is not constant but broken up by dry spells. During this season temperatures can reach over 40°C.
« Menabe » means the « great red » because of the colour of the soil covering.
The region offers a variety of unique landscapes like the “baobabs alley”.
The discovery of the Menabe region starts on the river Tsiribihina in Miandrivazo.
Sailing down the river on a motor boat or a dugout canoe you can discover in two or three days animals like lemurs, crocodiles, bats, turtles and birds.
You will come across villages with their traditional huts and will be able to witness the daily routine of the local farming population: tobacco, beans, corn and rice growing, as well as fishing.
Belo-sur-Tsiribihina is the crossroads where you can go northwards to the Tsingy of Bemaraha, one of the most beautiful protected areas of the country classified world heritage by the UNESCO.
It covers a rectangular area of 40 x 60 km of limestone of coral origin eroded to form a labyrinth of needles, canyons, caves and deep gorges many of them still unexplored. The Tsingy are covered by a dense dry forest where 85% of the flora is endemic. 53 species of birds live there, as well as several lemurs, reptiles and small mammals.
Going back to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina you might be able to witness the “Fitampoha” or bath of the relics which is a big event happening every 5 years in August. Objects belonging to the Sakalava Royal family are being revered by the population through colourful celebrations lasting several days.
Crossing the river Tsiribihina towards the South leads to the Menabe’s capital, Morondava.
On the way lays the Kirindy forest where three types of baobabs can be observed: the “Renala” with its long fine grey trunk, the “Bozy” with a red bottle shaped trunk and the “Za grande” grey with oval fruit. This forest is also full of reptiles, day-time and nocturnal lemurs, and the only carnivorous animal of Madagascar, the “Fosa”.
East of this forest lies the lake “Bedo”, classified as a Ramsar site where various species of birds can be observed.
South of the Kirindy forest you will drive through the Marofandilia village where you can buy local sculptures and embroidery to encourage the eco friendly management of the region’s local resources. After a two hours drive the “baobab in love” heralds the entry to the village of Mangily, where an eco tourism structure managed by the villagers welcomes you to witness their daily occupations. A bit like a journey into our own past.
A few more miles South you will drive through the famous “Baobab Alley” with its majestic “Andasonia Grandidier” specie.
And finally you will reach Morondava, the administrative capital of the Menabe, a town in full expansion since the recent start of the badly needed road works on the track to Antananarivo.
Morondava is a quiet place and one of the rare beach towns of Madagascar. Under its sunny climate a white sandy beach stretches far out to the turquoise waters of the Mozambique Canal.
Not far from town you can visit some interesting curiosities such as the Zebus market every Wednesday, Friday and Thursday in the villages of Bemanonga, Ankilivalo and Analaiva.
The nearby villages of Kimony, Betania and Lovobe don’t just offer beautiful beaches but also the opportunity to observe every day’s life of the Vezo fishermen, some of the last nomads of the sea.
In Belo-sur-mer, 80 kms South of Morondava you can admire along its lagoon the largest Vezo boat yard of the West coast. The majestic sailing cargos called “botry” (gaffe schooner type wooden boats) being built here are for many coastal villages and towns the only means of survival and trade with the rest of the country.
Offshore Belo, around small islands made essentially of coral, you will find a snorkelling and diving paradise with a spectacular marine fauna of a huge variety of colourful fish. Further out at sea you can also do whale watching from end of July to October.
Interior of the Earth, you can visit the saline’s and even of baobabs bottles, another marvel of the area.
Not so far from Belo/Mer, the forest of Kirindy Mite offers visitors to the sights typical of the region: two lakes where live flamingos and many varieties of water birds, a variety of mangrove where live bats, species of lemurs, “Rere”, a large freshwater turtle, reptiles and mammals endemic to the region.
Menabe region is not only a sanctuary of nature or a Garden of Eden, but rather an invitation to travel through a fascinating world.
All the places described and another is still visitable from May to November in car or more traditional mode: by Vezo canoe.
The other great river in the region is Manambolo river, from Tsiroanomandidy to reach Ankavandra, it takes two days by trekking; departure for the descend, after a few days of canoe and bivouac, you joint Bekopaka, visit the Tsingy de Bemahara and then you will arrive in Morondava.