Location ✦ Begidro, Tsaraotana and Tsimafana
Region ✦ Tsiribihina, Morondava
Country ✦ Madagascar
Length ✦ 26kms
Height difference ✦ 250m
Difficulty ✦ MD
Duration ✦ 2 days with bivouac
Interest ✦ ★★
Access to the place
Map & topo
Hiking to the start 6 à 7h
Long approach to Begidro from Miandrivazo: bush cab to the river bank, pirogues to the barge and descent to Bedrigo. Bivouac on the sand near the village.
The 2 routes are not signposted, but mostly follow paths used by the villagers. No difficulties other than orientation (not in our case, since the routes had been marked by the trail organizers).
There were no water refills along the way, so plan accordingly. Transport, catering and bivouac logistics were handled entirely by the small barge company (Eden 1 and 2 for us), with fairly efficient results.
1st stage: Begidro to Berevo
21 km of bush trails through rice fields and villages along the river. Very little elevation gain (110m cumulative) and limited interest in this part of the trip. On the other hand, the encounters with the villagers and especially the schoolchildren are very pleasant. 50 pupils per class from CP to CM2, with 2 teachers to manage them... Conditions couldn't be more difficult, yet a warm welcome and lots of smiles!
Transition: Berevo to Tsaraotana
From Berevo, take the boat back down the Tsiribihina for several hours to reach the village of Tsaraotana. Bivouac either on a sand spit in the middle of the river, or on the banks opposite the village.
2nd stage: Tasraotana to Tsimafana
17 km of bush trails, but this time in a rather exceptional setting: a gigantic forest of baobabs, just as gigantic! The terrain is more undulating, and we pass through a number of traditional villages, sometimes right in the middle of the giants. It's hard to resist these unimaginably shaped trees. An African bush atmosphere guaranteed.
From Tsimafana, resume navigation to reach the Belo pier fairly quickly.