Madagascar's 'stone forest'

Experience the craggy beauty of Madagascar’s ‘stone forest’

By: Catie Leary


(Photo: Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock)

There’s no shortage of fascinating places in Madagascar, but one not to miss is the otherworldy terrain of Tsingy de Bemaraha on the western side of the island.

The area’s jagged, needle-like “tsingys” — an indigenous Malagasy term that translates as “where one cannot walk barefoot” — were formed as groundwater undercut and eroded the elevated limestone seabed in both horizontal and vertical patterns. The result is an extreme karst plateau (similar to the famous Burren terrain of western Ireland) that looms so dramatically it has earned the nickname “stone forest.” Read more.