A trekking of two days through the Andringitra National Park (Madagascar) and a climb of Pic Boby (2658 m)

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(translation of the Dutch page by Fred Triep)

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The map on the left is 
a manipulation of a map
from the 
Bradt Travel Guide

The perspective map on the
 right is an enlargement 
of the framework
in the map left

Click on the map on the
right, if you want to see
a detailed map
( 298 Kb) of the
Andringitra massive
and the trekking I made


This map is a manipulation 
of one of the maps in the 
info, that is obtainable
at the ANGAP office at
the entrance of the park 

General description of the area

The Andringitra massive is one of the highest mountain chains of Madagascar. The chain of this mountains runs in the central highland south of the village Ambalavao. The approximately 30 km long chain runs  northwest till southeast and consist of granite.

The massive is, on behalf of his scenic beauty and the appearance of many endemic species of plants, since 1999 part of a new National Park (Andringitra National Park). The paths in this park are maintained in a very good state.  On difficult patches of the paths one has created solutions, so everyone who is fit can make the hike. Some steps were also made with big flat stones (for example in the stretch  to the Pic Boby and near the first cascade).

In this area of mountains one can distinguish 3 levels:

1. The high massive chain (Ampianombilahy) above 2100 meter, with as highest mountain the Pic Boby.
2. The tableland (Andohariana plateau) on approximately1900 till 2100 meter height.
3. The low river valley on approximately 1500 till 1600 meter height.

General description of the trekking

I havw made this trekking with Marianne v. R. in July 2004. This trekking was parts of a seven weeks journey through Madagascar.
As in other National Parks in Madagascar, you can only make guided trips in the park. The guides are provided by the organization of the national parks (ANGAP). We organized the whole trip with Santostrekking: the transport to and from the Park (from Fianarantsoa and after the trekking back to Ambalavao), the porters, the food and the selection of the accompanied guide. During the trekking, that takes two days, our luggage and my tent were carried by two porters. 

One can camp on a limited amount of places in the National Park. We have camped on the following places:

Detailed description of the trekking

On Saturday 10 July 2004 we were picked up at10.30 by Santos (of Santostrekking) at the hotel Moderne in Fianarantsoa.  We drove with a car at first to Ambalavao, where we leaved some luggage, which we did not need for the trekking. After that we drove to the entrance on the east side of the Park, where we paid the entrance fee and we got Martin as our guide assigned. 

The large picture is 70 Kb

Links: View on the Andringitra massive from the last village before the mountains

Photo: Fred Triep

We hiked with our guide in the afternoon to our first camp site, while Santos and the driver brought the car to the car park near our first camping site.

Sunday 11 July

During our breakfast we could look out from our campsite on the Andringitra massive.

The large picture is 86 Kb

Left: View on the Andringitra massive from our first campsite

Photo: Fred Triep

We hiked from our campsite the path through the wood to the river. We followed the path to a little view, from where we looked out on the valley and the river. After that we we creep through a low cave (Tjajofo cave), where after we descend on a path. 
After we hiked along the foot of the "male" cascade (Riambavy, a 250 m high waterfall). 

The large pictures are respectively 131 Kb, 161 Kb and 128 Kb

Totally left: We hiked along the bottom of the "male" cascade (Rianbavy)
Left: One has constructed a staircase of some loose stones to the bottom of the cascade
Right: View on the "male" cascade after crossing the river

Photos: Fred Triep

The path runt along the slope on the other side of the valley. We passed after some time the "female" cascade (Riandahy, a 300 m high waterfall). After that we arrived at a bifurcation. We did not follow the path down (that was running to our first camp site), but a path up. That path was reasonable steep aloft, we leaved the wood and we could see very well the big granite tops of the mountain massive.

The large pictures are respectively 110 Kb en 122 Kb

Left: We climb on a steep path aloft to the Andohariana plateau 
Right: During our climb we look out on the valley witj the two cascades in the distance, the Andohariana plateau above and the granite tops

Photos: Fred Triep

After some time we reached the Andohariana plateau. There we enjoyed just of the view over the edge of the plateau. At the same time we ate the lunch, which consist of rolls with omelets and vegetables.
Then we climbed further up to the right around one of the granite mountain tops. We came on a higher plateau behind these tops.

The large pictures are respectively 119 Kb, 110 Kb en 130 Kb

Totally left: From the rim of the plateau we look out on the valley, the plateau (Andohariana) and the granite tops
Left: View on the granite tops of the Andringitra massive
Right: We arrive on a higher plateau behind the tops. 

Photos: Fred Triep

On this tableland, which was scarcely overgrown because of the height, we hiked without following a discrete path. We hiked to the pass between two mountaintops, by which we arrived on a plateau with tops to the right  and the edge of the plateau on the left. 

The large pictures are respectively 121 Kb, 121 Kb, 126 Kb, 125 Kb and 102 Kb

Above left, above right, below left and below  right: Impressions of the  Andohariana plateau (around 2000 m height)

Below totally right: An impression of the plateau with to the left the rim of the plateau (outside the picture) and to the right the  granite tops

Photos : Fred Triep

At the end of the afternoon, we reached our second campsite. 

The large pictures are respectively 188 Kb en 75 Kb

Left: Our guide Martin has become Napoleon!
At sunset we arrived at our campsite on thet Andohariana plateau, under the granite tops

Photos: Fred Triep

Santos had set up our tent together with the porters.:
Duration of hiking: 8 hours and 30 minutes (it can quicker, but we hiked slowly because we looked at many plants)

Monday 12 July

At half past four I was waked by my alarm clock. Martin and I should start at five o'clock with our climb to the Pic Boby. Marianne had decided the evening before, that she didn't want to make the hike to the summit. She wanted to spare her knees. When I was ready on five o'clock, Martin was still sleeping. I waked him and at 5.45 am we leaved the camp. We crossed the river behind the campsite and we followed in the dark a path, that  run along the slope aloft. On our way up, it became twilight. 

The large picture is 113 Kb

Left: During our climb to the Pic Boby the sun rises

Photo: Fred Triep

During some time we followed a path, that bent to the right en runt upwards between granite tops,  We reached a basin between the mountains, with in front of us Pic Boby. 

The large pictures are respectively 117 and 141 Kb

Left and right: Finally we had a view on  Pic Boby

The pictures with the red dots mark the "
way" to the summit

Photos: Fred Triep

Then we followed a route on big naked stones, first to the left and after some time more to the right and upwards. 

The large pictures are respectively 157 Kb and 148 Kb

Left: A large stone has been made hike able by steps of small stones
The last part to the summit we hiked on large naked stones

Photos: Fred Triep

The hiking route was distinctly marked by means of "stone men". At 8 o'clock we were on the summit of Pic Boby (2658 m). 

The large picture is 78 Kb

Links: Fred Triep is on the summit of Pic Boby next of a large "stone man"

Photo: Martin

When we arrived at the summit, there was bad visibility. It was also very windy, it was very unpleasant to stay there for a long time. Therefore we decided at 8.10 am to descend. We returned slowly to our camp, where we arrived at 10 o'clock. We ate some food and drunk some tea and coffee.

Pic Boby is the second mountain top of Madagascar. It is  easy to climb, you can hike the whole way to the summit (with only a few difficult steps). The highest mountain of Madagascar is the 2876 meter high Maromokotro, which lies in the Tsaratanana massive in the north of Madagascar. That mountain is very difficult to climb.
Pic Boby has always had a Malagasian name, namely Imarivolanitra. The French name of the mountain is coming from a dog. A botanist camped in 1920 with his dog Boby below the summit. Some night it was very foggy and when Boby went to stroll, he lost possibly his way. The investigator heard his dog bark in the fog and he tried to find the dog. By that he reached the summit of this mountain. It is not noted, if he ever found again his dog..

At 11.00 am we (Marianne, Martin and I) hiked back to below. We now followed the shortest route, a  path that crossed the tableland  and that without being perceived through the wood runt down. Approximately at  14.00 am we reached again the  river near our first campsite. We took a lunch and bathed our feet in the river. After that we hiked to the cars on the parking place in front of the park. In about two hours we drove back to Ambalavao. 
Duration of hiking: 4 hours and 15 minutes (there and back from Pic Boby) + 3 hours (descend to the exit of the park)

Trekking agencies

There are a few trekking- agencies, who can organize a trekking of one day or two days or more days by which also the transport, the food, the camping equipment and the porters can be arranged.

1. Santostrekking
Santos Gerald
tel: + 261 33 08 44 360

We had good experiences with this trekking agency.

2. Lolo Voyages
BP 1183, Ambalapaiso- Ambony, Fianar
Martine Drie
+ 261 20 32 25 200 76
e-mail: lumpalumpa@freenet.org

Special plants in this National Park

The pictures below give an impression of the plants, we found along our trip.

Plants in the valley



The first five plants in the table above were found on the first day, when we hiked below the tableland. The sixth plant we came across at the the descent at the end of the second day. 

The plants in the table below were found  on the tableland and at the descent of Pic Boby to the Andohariana plateau.

Plants on the Andohariana plateau




Hilary Bradt
Bradt Travel Guide, zevende druk, 2002


At the FTM (Institut National de Géodésie et Cartographie) in Antananarivo we could only buy a photographical map on a scale of 1: 100.000. I had not bought that map, because he was very indistinct.
At the entrance of the park you can buy a separate flyer with a simple perspective map of the mountain chain, on which the different hiking routes have been drawed.

GPS waypoints of this trek

During the trek  I have made 29 waypoints on my Garmin E Map. You can view a detailed map with these waypoints, if you click on the small map below (left). In the table to the right the information about the waypoints are presented.

height in
height in 
1 22,12843 46,91024 5334 1626
2 22,13423 46,89120 5282 1610
3 22,14579 46,89116 5185 1580
4 22,14348 46,88807 5674 1729
5 22,12572 46,88309 6062 1848
6 22,12463 46,88178


7 22,12311 46,87291 6825 2080
8 22,12530 46,86782 7043 2147
9 22,12648 46,86593 6937 2114
10 22,12879 46,86333 6902 2104
11 22,13526 46,86630 7012 2137
12 22,14199 46,87383 7044 2147
13 22,14357 46,87512 7022 2140
14 22,15133 46,89092 6687 2038
15 22,16271 46,89537 6763 2061
16 22,18019 46,90033 6819 2078
17 22,19284 46,90025 7400 2256
18 22,19664 46,90138 7924 2415
19 22,19764 46,90015 7842 2390
20 22,19791 46,89995 8186 2495
21 22,19724 46,89975 8175 2492
22 22,19806 46,89957 8186 2495
23 22,19534 46,89469 8316 2535
24 22,19578 46,88878 8213 2503
25 22,19620 46,88721 8287 2526
26 22,19715 46,88553 8471 2582
27 22,19606 46,88543 8583 2616
28 22,19467 46,88517 8748 2666
29 22,16158 46,90534 6569 2002

Links on hiking in the Andringitra National Park and Madagascar

- This part will be supplied in the future!

This page has been last updated on Sunday 18 May 2008.

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