MORE AND MORE TOURISTS COMING TO MADAGASCAR

Starting 2017, time is to assessment. Regarding tourism industry, even if Madagascar is far behind Mauritius or Reunion island, it keeps growing its visitors. In 2016, near 280 000 tourists came on the rad island, an increase of 15% compared to 2015. An encouraging result. One of the most dynamic activity is the visit of national parks. We went in the great south of Madagascar, at Tsimanampetsotsa, one of the oldest national park of the island, to meet with pink flamingos and adventurers.

The access to the park is difficult. Far away from the island’s national roads, we must board on a pirogue, drive on sand tracks, to reach the entrance. It is 8am, and already 40°C! Vegetation is low, petrified.

After 7 kilometers in heat, Louis, a French tourist, arrives finally in front of the Salt Lake that makes this place special. “We have in front of us moon-like landscapes: crackled clay, salt fields as far as your eyes can see. We face now this huge lake, and hundreds of pink flamingos, trying to feed themselves. The show is splendid”.

In December/January, most of the 3 000 pink and lesser flamingos have already migrated to African lands. But for the pleasure of these end-of-the-year tourists, a part of these birds doesn’t leave the lake, as told us Julien Alceste, guide of the park: “The juveniles, they can’t fly to Tanzania as it is too far for them. From April to May, birds that have migrated come back here.”

Whatever the bird’s colony is complete or not, tourists keep coming all along the year. In 2016, Madagascar National Parks (MNP) has registered an increase of 22% of their visitors, despite a record increase of the entrance fees.

Source: RFI, 01-04-2017