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Baly Bay National Park

Map Baly Bay

The Baly Bay (Baie de Baly) National Park is located 150 km southwest of Mahajanga on the northwestern coast of Madagascar and comprises a total surface of 58 km². It was created in 1997 and identified as an Important Bird Area in 1999.
The Park is very rich in terms of biodiversity since it includes both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, such as dense dry forests, mangroves, rivers and lakes, white-sand beaches, dunes and impressive coral reefs. The semi-intensive shrimp aquaculture adjoining the protected area has a special economic value in the region. Several Sakavala communities live in small fisher villages along the coast.

The main attraction of the park is the extremely rare and endangered ploughshare tortoise (locally known as angonoka), which is endemic to the park. Nowadays there are just 2000 individuals living in the wild.
Furthermore there are 13 mammal species, among them 8 of lemur, such as the Decken’s sifaka and the western bamboo lemurs, which share their habitat with 120 bird species and more than 35 reptiles, such as chameleons and terrestrial tortoises.
Green, hawksbill, Madagascar big-headed and loggerhead turtles lay their eggs on the beaches, whilst dolphins and dugongs swim in the swallow bay waters. More than 50 water bird species have been observed in the park, being five of them extremely endangered. The rare fish eagle, several heron species, sacred ibises, plovers and pink and greater flamingos are common sights in the park.
 
Madagascar fish eagle
  The Madagascar fish eagle is the

  largest bird of prey of the island
   © Muzzanese

The climate is warm all the year with temperatures between 23° and 28°. From April to November it does not rain at all, and despite the proximity of the sea, the air is quite dry.f Baly is 150 km from Mahajanga, in the heart of the Commune of Soalala and Ambohipaky. The Park covers 57,142 ha. Its major rivers are the Kapiloza, bordering the Park in the south, and the Andranomavo that flows in the Mozambique Channel in the Bay of Baly.

There are currently two circuits in Baly Bay. The fee is 120,000 Ar per person and day, since you must cross the bay by motor boat to find the rare wildlife.
The Angonoky circuit (3 hours) allows you to discover the star of the Park, the very threatened ploughshare tortoise as well as some lemurs.
The Ankoay circuit
(local name of the fish eagle)is focused on the rich birdlife found here. It usually takes two days, so you have to camp one night.Pork meat is forbidden in Baly and the peanuts are taboo, during the boat crossing. It is recommended to carry away material of camping and cream against the mosquitos. The nearest banks are in Mahajanga. The nearest health center, in Soalala that is covered by the telephone network of Telma.

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To join the Bay of Baly, you have the choice between one journey on a practicable secondary road of hand in November, the buses, the boat or the plane.

Indications

By Road:

Take the National Road N°19. Cross the Bay of Bombetoka to join Katsepy. From Katsepy, join the Commune of Soalala that is 150 km. This journey takes 8 hours. This secondary road is only practicable from May till November.

By Taxi- Brousse:

Join Katsepy by Taxi-Brousse. The service is done every day, but the departure depends on the filling of the bus.

By Boat:

The departure is in Mahajanga. The crossing takes 6 to 12 hours according to the boat. The boat is rented, depending on availability. Be careful peanuts are taboo on board!

By Plane:

The Air Madagascar Company provides a non-scheduled flight to the airport of Soalala. The transfer toward the Park is done by car, but it is necessary to negotiate with the owners of the vehicles in Soalala that is 5 km from the air
The fastest way to reach the park is by plane. Air Madagascar has a flight connection from and to Soalala, which lies just a few km from the National Park.
Baly Bay is accessible by road during the dry season. Nevertheless it can be a rough jouney as you must cross the Bay of Bombetoka to reach Katsepy. From here the transfer until Soalala takes from 6 to 9 hours depending on the road condition (there is a daily taxi-brousse connection between Katsepy and Soalala).
Another option is to rent a boat at Mahajanga which leads you directly to the Park. This nice trip can take 6 to 14 hours depending on the boat you have chosen.

Mangrove
 Mangroves  during the low tide  © Madagascar Travel Guide

It is possible to camp inside the park, although there is not a real campsite and there are no facilities at all. Most people prefer to stay at Soalala, which is not far from the park entrance.

We advice you to contact the Park Office in advance at Mahajanga for a better planning of your visit. Here you can arrange the transport and get the necessary equipment if you do not have any.

14 Rue Philibert Tsiranana, Mahajanga
Phone : + (261 20) 62 226 56 /
+ (261 32) 52 349 00 
Email : angapmjg@yahoo.fr 
mjg.parks@gmail.com

   There is also a smaller Office in Soalala itself.       

Parc National Baie de Baly / Namoroka :
Appartement EZIDINY – Soalala 420
Tél.: 033 11 968 89
Email: bbnrk.parks@gmail.com