River cruise on the Tsiribinha

Tsiribinha is a quiet river that flows from northeastern Madagascar across the country until it flows south of Morondava into the Mozambique Canal. Its red colour comes from the sand of the same colour, which is carried by the current.

From Miandrivazo, a small town about 200 km west of Antsirabe, you can do very nice dugout tours to Antsiraraka or Morondava. The road from Antsirabe to Miandrivazo is the RN34, it is well developed and easy to drive on. The described route on the river itself covers about 170 km, with breaks and overnight stays it takes about three days. Along the way you will find small and large sandbanks along the shore where you can pitch your tents at sunset. Of course you have to bring beverages, food etc., it is best to buy this in Antsirabe. About halfway you pass a beautiful little waterfall where you can take a shower and wash up. The red water of the Tsiribinha is only conditionally suitable for washing, especially since crocodiles live in some river sections.

The climate on the river outside the rainy season is very warm (over 30°C is the rule) and humid, which is why even sitting in the wooden pirogues can become strenuous during the day. A small exception is the month of August, at this time of year it can get very cold at night on the river, even if it is very warm during the day. In the rainy season the Tsiribinha is not passable for travellers, because the current is unpredictable at this time of year and the river carries too much water to be able to drive safely and camp on the shore.

Who would like to undertake such a boat trip, should worry already early about the reservation of the boats and organization of the drivers locally. Otherwise it can happen that in Miandrivazo no more dugouts are available or no boatmen can be found to the available pirogues. With good preparation a pirogue ride on the Tsiribinha will certainly be an unforgettable experience! Tanalahorizon is currently the only tour operator for this three-day trip.

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