Madagascar, Africa

Madagascar & Aldabra Expedition: Exploring Lake Tsimanampetsotsa & Andavadoaka

We dropped anchor early on Saturday morning and headed out with the first group of zodiacs. We had been warned that it would be a “wet” landing, and they weren’t kidding. A rogue wave surged in and completely washed over the zodiac, saturating me, two other passengers, and the driver. We all got soaked to the skin. It was pretty funny and actually turned out to be sort of a blessing because it was very hot. All that evaporative cooling felt pretty nice for the 15 or so minutes it took me to dry off.
We climbed into 4×4 vehicles and headed towards Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. The lake there is fed by underground seawater, so despite being miles inland, it is always salty. Because of the time of day, the cloud cover, the shallow depth, and the light color of the mud and sand, the lake appeared to be white. We saw a small flock of flamingos out on the water.

We hiked up to a nice viewpoint, and then onwards to a circuit hike that took us past an underground cave, a 3,000-year-old Baobab, and a stunning Banyan tree growing around and down into a collapsed cave. We also spotted a tortoise.

We headed back to the zodiacs after that. We had a really enjoyable dinner that night. Nine of us sat at a big round table at the Asian restaurant and shared yummy food and great conversation.
The following day we explored Andavadoaka, heading to shore to take a zebu pulled the cart out to see the local Baobabs. The ride was bumpy and crazy, but so much fun.

The trees are so amazing looking. Several of them had bacteria that gave them very trippy looking bark. While we wandered among the trees, the zebu cooled off at a watering hole and munched some grass.

A couple of trees that have been around since the 1400s

We headed back to the Ship and cleaned up in time for the daily briefing. There was a guest musician who performed two songs, and he was wonderful. We had a quick dinner and then prepped for our long day out tomorrow.

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