Sep 10

Madagascar – Tsimela and Andohahela National Parks

by Nicky in Adventures, Madagascar

One of our biggest adventures of the trip was renting a small red road motorbike to head down to some of the Southern National Parks, Tsimela and Andohahela. We were in search of spiny forests, rainforests, limas, chameleons and whatever other weird and wonderful things we could discover along the way! With a small backpack and tent on my back, water strapped onto the sides and a bunch of bananas on the back, we set off onto into the Madagascan potholes… 

The surrounding change quickly from wetlands and rice paddies to dry spiny forests. In my diary I described it as “entering into Jurassic Park land”

We had a wonderful guide Charles, who would start every sentence with a statement and then follow it with WHY and then a LOOONG pause “This is a medicinal plant….WHY?…………because…..” Charles little assistant came along and didn’t speak much English. All he could say very enthusiastically as he waved “hello” to us was “Go to sleep”:)

Charles asked us if we could take a picture of him in his “office” – one of the most beautiful offices I have ever seen!

We discovered all kinds of interesting plants, flowers and the most magnificent pools

We camped in the reserve that evening and woke up early to go lemur spotting – our first lemurs of the trip!!

After the Spiny forest, we decided to go in search of the Rain forest section of the park. There was a road clearly marked however it did not show that no-one had used this “road” in the last few year. What started as a road very quickly turned to sand and after a hairy sandy trip which did not seem to be getting us anywhere, we eventually hit the end of the road which was in a small village.

We could have been aliens from another world arriving in this town on our little red bike with our big helmets, a tent on the back. We were surrounded and everyone stared. We tried to ask where we were, everyone smiled and when we repeated that we would like to get to Anhohahela, everyone laughed. We discovered the “thumbs up” is not a universal sign.

Finally an elderly lady of the village took control of the situation and we were assigned a “guide”. Well that’s what we assumed when a small guy with a very large panga came up to us smiling and indicating to follow him. Was he going to take us to the forest or to the “Pot”?

 The forest we hoped!

Leave a Reply