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Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and Strict Nature Reserve ***

The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and adjoining Strict Nature Reserve are in southwestern Madagascar, and are best known for their amazing knife-like karst outcrops, or tsingys. This park was also Madagascar’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forests surrounding these strange formations are particularly good for Decken’s sifaka (Propithecus deckenii) and rufous brown lemur (Eulemur rufus), and there is a chance of seeing the elusive Ranomafana bamboo lemur (Hapalemur griseus ranomafanensis) in stands of bamboo. This is also the only place where one can see Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei) and Bemaraha sportive lemur (Lepilemur randrianasoloi), and probably the best site for Peters’ mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus). Other species that may be encountered there include another as-yet unidentified form of Microcebus, Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur (Mirza coquereli), pale fork-marked lemur (Phaner pallescens), and possibly the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). Excursions can be arranged through the Hotel Chez Maggie in Morondava or through most Antananarivo-based tour operators. In addition, there are now two lodges in nearby Bemaraha, the Orchidée de Bemaraha and L’Olympe du Bemaraha. Simple campsites along the Manambolo River, such as Camp Croco, offer alternative accommodations in the form of small tents.