TOPO Via ferrata
Location ✦ Bekopaka
Region ✦ Belo-sur-Mer, Melaky
Country ✦ Madagascar
Length ✦ 3km
Difficulty ✦ K2
Duration ✦ 2h to 3h
Interest ✦ ★★
Access to the place
Hiking to the start 15'
Walk through fields and forest to the fork on the right that leads to the cave section.
The course is fully equipped, even generously so. No real difficulty, but the underground and aerial passages can be impressive. Progress is also difficult, hence the name Tsingy, which in Malagasy means "where you can't walk barefoot".
A guide is compulsory, and equipment is provided (harness, double lanyard, no dissipator, etc.). A few small, easy passages to climb or unclimb. Several suspension bridges, including the one at the summit, about halfway along the route.
Part 1: Caving sequence n°1
The trail leads under the woods at the foot of the 1st tsingy before descending to an entrance under the massif. Progress is then made by headlamp, in small corridors, sometimes narrow, sometimes quite low, winding under the rock. At the end, a final, very narrow corridor leads up to an inner hall, which marks the end of this section.
Part 2: Ferrata sequence
We leave the cave to tackle the first ladders, which climb steeply up to the large tsingy. Soon, the summit and a small wooden watchtower come into view. Once up there, we get a 1st view of this very extensive part of the massif.
Section 3: Summit traverse, equipped path
Large suspension bridge, then 2nd bridge to reach another summit with another wooden watchtower. The route weaves in and out of needles and boulders, descending and ascending while remaining on the ridges. Impressive 360° view over part of the massif.
Part 4: Descent and caving sequence 2
The loop continues with a magnificent descent through narrow corridors of sculpted, sharp limestone. The route gradually deepens before ending under the massif with new underground passages. The trail then gradually climbs out of the massif before returning to the forest and the fork at the start. If you're lucky, you may spot Sifakas in the trees (a white lemur with incredible leaps and a chassé-like gait known as the dancing lemur).
The same 15' back on the approach path to the parking lot.