Location ✦ Orangea
Region ✦ Ramena, Diego-Suarez, Diana
Country ✦ Madagascar
Length ✦ 3kms
Vertical drop ✦ 50m
Difficulty ✦ AD
Duration ✦ 2h to 2h30
Interest ✦ ★★★
Access to the place
Map & topo
Hiking to the start 10'
Walk along this secondary sandy path straight ahead to pass the entrance to a military tunnel after 5′. Explore it eventually (50m deep) or continue in the same direction. You come to a green area and a house. Here, turn left to reach the entrance to the gut at 100m, next to a huge banyan tree running along the wall.
This itinerary is not suitable for use in the rainy season, as the underground river may rise and make the hose difficult or dangerous. In the dry season, i.e. from April to November, the route is accessible without equipment, although a helmet may be welcome to avoid banging your head.
The 4-legged entrance is the narrowest, with access to the 1st room on the left and the exit. The rest of the time, you're either standing or leaning slightly. Headgear mandatory. Avoid doing the course at high tide, as the exit may be complicated.
The first few meters get you right into the mood. 4 legs mandatory. The blackness and warm humidity of the Tsingy's entrails suddenly fall away. You come to a higher space that marks the start of the underground corridor. Immediately to the left, crouching between large white teeth, there's a passageway leading to a large, seemingly enclosed inner room where a flock of bats swirl around and around.
Retrace your steps down the wide corridor to find the bed of a small stream that flows to the exit. Follow the winding path, alternating between right and left banks, depending on the obstacles on the floor and ceiling. At a right-hand bend a little further on, fork left to enter a 2nd long room, a secondary corridor. Here you'll find impressive daylight shafts carved into the limestone, from which roots or trunks have escaped in search of shade and water underground.
Back along the stream. Beautiful concretions form sparkling columns or suspended platforms.
After several bends, this time in the water, the ceiling becomes totally flat, like an inverted limestone slab. Finally, a narrow passage forces you to crouch to find the light. We emerge from a natural mouth, a few metres from the ocean, above huge Tsingy boulders.
Not so obvious. Go left above the Tsingys. Climb a little to come back down to the sand and skirt some large boulders. Further on, climb up onto the rock either with a not hard but athletic climbing step, or by going around the sea side onto a slab of rock with sharp points.
Continue across the rock, then climb easily over a sort of boulder chaos. Descend on the opposite side to enter a sandy corridor between a wall equipped with climbing pads and huge boulders.
At the end, a staircase leads out 100m from the Cap Miné lighthouse. All that's left is to turn back onto the 4x4 track to the south, fork further down to the right and return to the starting parking lot.