The Belobaka Caves

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Less impressive than the caves of Anjohibe (80 km from Majunga), the Belobaka Caves are 11 km from Majunga and are accessible all year round. The name Belobaka literally means "where there is a lot of tobacco", lobaka meaning tobacco in the sakalava dialect. There was once a huge tobacco field near the village.

The visit of the caves is however not recommended during the season of rains because the risks of landslide are important. The site is not very well indicated; you have to turn left between the Star Brewery depot and the first gendarmes control. There is no guide on site; it is advisable to find one in the village or contact the ORTB directly.

The formation of these caves dates from the secondary era (about 65 million years ago) and continues until the Quaternary (2.5 million years). The high rainfall during this period allowed the water to erode limestone rocks and form these caves. The stalactites and stalagmites are unfortunately relatively damaged but it is still possible to observe some of them. Fossils of 18000-year-old lemurs and hippopotamuses have been discovered. You can observe them at the AKIBA Museum of Majunga University. The caves are still home to bats and owls.

The Caves of Belobaka are composed of 5 independent caves. The first is the most impressive: you go down 20 meters underground (remember to take lamps because guides do not have them). It is also a traditional place of worship where you can observe many offerings. Other entries including more difficult to find. You can enjoy the coolness of the place and end your visit with a picnic under the mango tree.

In addition to the caves, the neighboring villages are also worth a visit. The villagers make fat lime from the limestone rocks. The lime kilns are impressive. Nearby is also a career that seems straight out of story books. The extraction of stones is done manually by the men using masses, corners and bar. While women crush the smaller blocks. More industrial facilities are nevertheless present including BETON OUEST and STRAMCO.

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