Lac Anony. The bushland and a fascinating lunar landscape
Lake Anony is a brackish lagoon backed by rolling dunes on the rugged south coast. It is located near the small town of Amboasary some 85 km west of Fort Dauphin. The area of the lake is 2300 hectares and the average depth is 5 to 6 m but can be up to 12 m during floods. Lake Anony is fed by the Itarantsa river and it is tidal, being linked to the sea by a channel "Vinany" which corresponds to a temporary opening in rainy season only.
This lake is mainly known to spot flamingos that come with season between September and the March and rest near the dunes between the sea and the lake. During the rainy season, Lake Anony holds large numbers of water birds like Thamnornis, Madagascar Heron. Clumps of Euphorbia are the favourite habitat of Littoral Rock-thrush (Monticola imerinus). This is the only site in the region that is known to hold Madagascar Grebe (Tachybaptus pelzelnii). The bushland is a foraging area for forest birds. The lake contains a high density of Rhizostoma jellyfish.
Anony offers beautiful white sand beaches, accessible for those looking for calm. The site also offers fishing scenes of Tanosy, typical of the region. A dune about 1500 m long and 700 m wide rises on the west side of lake Anony. Despite its small size, this place is a true gem. Overlooking Lac Anony with the mountains to the east and the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean just to the south, this is a location with a truly distinctive feeling. The plants to be found on the dune also enhance the character of this locality. Particularly fine specimens of Aloe vaotsanla rise approximately 4 m into the air, next to Euphorbia stenoclada, twining among the shrubs and Pachypodium lamerei found here in bizarre shapes due to the prevailing windy conditions of this site. Some baobabs Adansonia and Salvadora scrub also occur, and there is a vast industrial plantation of sisal Agave near the lake.
For a full-day excursion, walk along the lake shore to a beautiful picnic spot, scale the 22-meter-high sand dunes for incredible views and go for a swim in the lake.
It is possible to bivouac along the lake and the wind is conducive to the practice of windsurfing or kitesurfing (beginner or advanced). The expanses of dunes along the ocean make up a fascinating lunar landscape – a paradise both for birdwatchers and botanists.
It is a beautiful spot, and from the top of the dunes there are views of blindingly white beaches whipped clean by the wind and pounding surf, the scene of innumerable storms and shipwrecks over the centuries. Yet, protected by the towering dunes, the lake shore is serene, gently lapped by clear, warm water with only the frayed echo of children's laughter to break the silence.
Watch more photos about Lac Anony here.