Botanical and Zoological Park of Tsimbazaza
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Tsimbazaza is a zoological and botanical tropical park in Antananarivo offering visitors who do not have time to visit all Madagascar's natural environment, to get acquainted with the flora and fauna of Red Island. The beauty of this amazing natural attractions attracts hundreds of tourists and locals seeking to enjoy rare animals and exquisite tropical plants.
The garden is located off the coast of a picturesque artificial lake, which appeared in Antananarivo on the orders of king Radama I in 1815. Originally it was a pond, where the soldiers took a bath before campaigns, today, the lake fascinates the tourists for its crystal-clear water, overgrown with vegetation of the shores and an abundance of waterfowl.
This tranquil environment is a wonderful source of outing. The relaxing ponds give a heavenly beauty with the gorgeous view of blooming lilies and other water plants. Walking through the garden, you will have the opportunity to admire the amazing flowers, giant palm trees and herbs, observe the wide variety of lemurs in their natural habitat and relax on the shore of the pond, covered with blooming lilies. In addition to the lemurs, in Tsimbazaza you can see many colorful chameleons, various insects and reptiles. In the center of the park, at Lake Tsimbazaza, there is a small garden restaurant.
The glasshouse in the northern part of the park is home to the most Malagasy ferns, such as the Cyathea (15 m high), as well as to endemic orchids and other spectacular flowers. The zoologic park called Pyguargue is dedicated above all to the native fauna.
With such remarkable natural set up, there is also a museum with a fascinating collection for history and nature lovers, for a complete informative experience.
The Museum of Paleontology hosts a fine collection of the Malagasy butterflies. The section of paleontology itself starts with the reconstruction of a dinosaur spine and an exhibition of fossilized bones from various parts of the country. It also exposes skeletons of subfossils dating from the Quaternary period, including the pygmy hippopotamus and the aepyornis, giant bird of 3 m high which could weigh up to 500 kg. The Museum of Ethnology introduces the Malagasy culture through items of daily use: mats and hats, mortars made of wood or stone used to crush rice, traditional amulets and necklaces, protective spell beads, bracelets of invincibility. A complete section is devoted to explain the complex art of hairdressing. Woodcarving also deserves special mention as it is a highly symbolic art.
In addition, the park accommodates a small animal, which is almost impossible to be found in the wild, since at one time its population was virtually destroyed. The Madagascar lemur, also known as the aye-aye, is one of the nocturnal species of lemurs. Many visitors seek to see it at night in Tsimbazaza Park.
Of course, there are tours that will take you to the natural habitat of the aye-aye. But these animals are nocturnal and live in the trees, so spotting them in the dark up in high branches is practically impossible. It is so much easier to see an aye-aye in Tsimbazaza Park. You need to take a special night in the Park and arrive shortly before sunset. This extraordinary miracle of nature looks as if very much surprised. The large round eyes and ears give to the disproportionately small animal a comical appearance. But its fingers are long and slender like a pianist’s fingers. By the way, using the middle finger on the forelegs, the aye-aye drinks water, combs its fur and procures food.
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