Thursday, 08 October 2015
Stay sharp! The devilish obstacle course in Madagascar where hardy explorers navigate across jagged rocks and narrow rope bridges (but the resident lemurs don't seem to mind)
Razor-sharp rocks, tiny precarious rock bridges and 300ft drops - the otherworldy terrain of Tsingy de Bemaraha on the western side of Madagascar is not for those afraid of heights.
The needle-like landscape's name literally translates as 'where one cannot walk barefoot'. But even with shoes, it can prove a challenge for hardy explorers.
Monsoon rains, wind and floods are responsible for the carving of the jagged crags over time, with caves and canyons forming below the rocky surface.
Ropes and climbing equipment are needed for navigating across the larger pinnacles, with the highest towering several hundred feet in the air.
For those looking for an easier route, narrow walkways and bridges allow visitors to view the stunning, natural limestone landscape from above.
Despite the Unesco heritage site's barren appearance, the maze-like stone forest is home to 11 types of lemur and over 100 bird species.
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Not for the faint-hearted: Visitors can journey through the jagged needle-like pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park via bridges
The razor-sharp limestone formations were shaped over centuries through wind, monsoon rains and tectonic activity
The route is precarious through the national park, with apparatus in place to help visitors traverse across. Some of the hardiest explorers use ropes and climbing equipment to scale the towers
The view over the rocky landscape is breathtaking to behold and a reward for those willing to navigate around the area
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is a nature reserve located near the western coast of Madagascar in Melaky Region
The needle-like landscape's name literally translates as 'where one cannot walk barefoot' but even with shoes, it can prove a challenge for hardy explorers
Despite the small man-made additions to the area such as bridges and viewing points (left) the national park is largely untouched and restricted. The area is home to 11 types of lemur and over 100 bird species (right)
Trees and plants fight their way through the rocks for light, forming a picturesque landscape in the national park
An impressive view: Tourists gaze over the incredible national park with its fertile jungles and jagged rocky surroundings
As you journey across sections of the rock, you are able to look down to vegetation below that thrives despite the barren surroundings
It is only when you journey down the rock pinnacles that you can experience the hidden world of the area's forest canyons and humid caves
The colossal 'Grand Tsingy' landscape in western Madagascar is the world's largest stone forest, where high spiked towers of eroded limestone tower over the greenery
The area was named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1990 because of its surroundings and wild bird and lemur populations. Pictured left is a kestral swooping on a skink
Harsh environment: The Tsingy rise up over 229 feet from the ground, with the green vegetation in this picture contrasting sharply with the barren rocks