Red Tsingy - Mars on Earth

Red Tsingy found in the far north of Madagascar, is an unusual and very localised geological interest point. Without a doubt, the red pillared forms of are very attractive to behold and not something we find a match for in laterite soils anywhere else in the world. The 'however' is the sad reason why it exists:

Madagascar was a completely natural wilderness, it would seem, just over 2,000 years ago. Nature existed on the island devoid of human intervention. In the relatively short period that humans have been here, vast areas of habitat have been wiped out. The red tsingy is an example of just how completely life can be stripped from the surface of our earth. Whilst limestone tsingy of Ankarana and Bemaraha creates a fortress behind which nature continues to thrive, red tsingy is formed of a deeply eroded surface rock from which all topsoil, roots and underground fungus have been eradicated through erosion which began with slash and burn agriculture. Its last surviving crop is tourism. In a way, it is like tourism could be on Mars - gazing at eroded red rock and dust, wondering if life ever really existed there.

We include a visit to the Red Tsingy on our visits to the Amber Mountain (Montagne d'Ambre). The Red Tsingy is visually very interesting and thought provoking; almost like a huge statue; an apt reminder to how precious the rainforest, wildlife and beautiful waterfall scenery is that we have at Amber Mountain - Madagascar's first declared national park.

Madagascar National Park & Reserves Guide


Trip Reviews: Madagascar


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