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A forest of limestone needlesMelaky Region, northwest Madagasca

Sculpted by water over many millennia, gouging the earth’s rock and soil, Tsingy de Bemaraha is a forest unlike any other. Vast caverns and jagged limestone karst towers pucker the land, some peaking at 100 metres tall, like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

While the landscape appears unforgiving, this geological phenomenon and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the west coast of Madagascar is home to a range of wildlife – simply peer down into the cavernous depths of the tsingy where vegetation has taken root for a glimpse of lemurs, birds and reptiles, many of which don’t exist anywhere else in the world.

The unfriendly terrain and its location has also meant that much of the forest has remained mostly void of human contact, which has ensured the preservation of this stunning mineral landscape. Don’t fret though; this doesn’t put it out of your reach. Despite the tough environment, a series of ladders, suspension bridges and trails have been mapped out, each with varying levels of difficulty.

There are also guides for hire at the park’s entrance to help keen adventurers tackle the peaks firsthand. Just don’t look down.

Entry costs US$9 for one day and US$12 for two days, and your guide fees will vary depending on the route you choose.

Some steep climbing involved and if you have mobility issues this will be problematic.

The park is only open during the dry season — from April to November.

The Grand Tsingy is only accessible between June and the beginning of November.

Tags: fascinating forests, jagged rocks of Suspension bridge view, madagascar, Tsingy de Bemaraha Madagascar, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

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