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The empire of the Vazimba

Have you ever been to a vast place where you could not walk normally? This is a story about a strange, magical and beautiful place.

It was somewhen before the 16th century, when some people took a boat and traveled on the Mozambique channel. After a few days, they arrived on a highland with an amazing large beach. They called the land “Madagasikara” and themselves “Vazimba”. They came to populate this new country and create the kingdom of Vazimba. But the Vazimba did not stay on the coast they landed on. As nomads they traveled towards the inner country. Some years later, they discovered a spectacular place. It was full of grey colors and looked strange, it seemed to be something like a hill. Everyone came closer to have a look.

The Tsingys of Ankarana – a world on is own

The men tried to climb the cliffs. The woman tried to collect the beautiful flowers growing on the rocks. The children were impressed by the sound made by pieces they knocked against each other: “Tsing…tsing…tsing…” Soon the men complained about injuries and told the others they could hardly climb the really sharp rocks. The women told about difficulties collecting the colorful flowers. They could not even walk on the few parts of the cliff that looked flat. The only way to walk on this strange mountain without getting injured was to tiptoe. The Vazimba people were disappointed: Which kind of strange place could this be?

Finally, the oldest Vazimba man came and said: “It’s beautifully strange out here, let’s stay for a while. From your remarks, I suggest we call that amazing thing Tsingys, because it’s sharp and if you walk you have to mitsingytsingyna (the Malagasy word for tiptoe), and it makes these strange sounds like metal.” Having some expeditions done, the oldest Vazimba decided to build the kingdom of his people right here, in this strange, but amazing place. They had a lot of caves they used as homes and the place had enough food for all.

The Tsingys are a very magical place still today. You can find different species of lemurs, colorful birds, a hundred kinds of flowers…. It looks like you are on a different planet. When you walk around this amazing rocks, you will feel the growing mistery of the Tsingys deeply inside you.

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