The word tsingy is indigenous to the Malagasy language as a description of the badlands of Madagascar. The word can be translated into English as “where one cannot walk barefoot.”
The tsingys are karstic plateaus where groundwater has undercut the elevated uplands, gouging caverns and fissures into the limestone. Because of local conditions, the erosion is patterned vertically as well as horizontally. In several regions on western Madagascar, centering on this National Park and adjacent Nature Reserve, the superposition of vertical and horizontal erosion patterns has created dramatic “forests” of limestone needles.
Surpassingly difficult to traverse, this landscape has created refuges within a refuge, where endemic species can be subdivided into pockets perhaps as small as a single limestone spike. Most expeditions to the area find a plant or animal previously undescribed by science. Wonders await around every corner - if your shoes haven’t been chewed away by the harsh terrain.
Visit Madagascar with Atlas Obscura Trips
Lemurs & Baobabs: Nature Photography in Madagascar
Paddle along a river, ascend to the top of a stone forest, and venture into the depths of the rainforest—all to catch a glimpse (and good snapshot) of Madagascar's charismatic creatures and unique landscapes.