73 km north east of the second largest city, Mahajanga, near the village of Mitsinjo.
Narinda area, Mahajamba bay.
(NAC: LW67 DDB0) (Longitude: 46.8833, Latitude: -15.5333)
|Open:||APR-OCT (dry season only)|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||Anjohibe: L=5,330 m, VR=39 m.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1940||electric lights installed.|
|2002||electric lights no longer working.|
The Grottes d'Anjohibe are located in the southern part of the dry sandy savannah of the Mahavo plains. There is no other source of water in this area, than the caves. Two poor villages are located in the neighbourhood of the cave. The road to the cave is a dirt road, and so a tour is only possible in the dry season, as the condition of the road is very bad during rainy season.
The caves are well known to the locals, the main portal is easy to find. However, in 1934 it was first recognized by the French. H. Bésairie, who published the Feuille Géologique de Reconnaissance de Tsinjomitondraka between 1936 and 1937, wrote the first article about the cave with a cave description and photographs.
The names using the plural tell it: there are many cave entrances which spot two neighbouring hills. Originally the entrances got different names by the locals, as they did not know about their connections. Later, during the explorations many different parts of the system were connected. Today it seems there are two different cave systems which extend under two limestone hills, about 2 km apart.
Grottes d'Andranoboka is the collective name of all the caves of the area, Anjohibe (Big Cave) is the name of the south eastern cave system. It is the original name of the biggest and most easy to find cave entrance. This system has 13 entrances and is more than 5 km long with many roomy passages. The other cave system, two kilometers apart is called Anjohikely. It is also possible to visit this cave, which is said to be better preserved, because of less visitors.
The caves have a rich amount of speleothems, beatuful calzite and aragonite crystals, helictites and much more. An underground river in the lower parts of the cave system is home to cave loving animals, like eels and turtles. Because of the many entrances, there is also a rich fauna in the dry parts of the cave. Small rodents, snakes (pythons of beautiful size), sweetwater turtles, birds of prey and many other birds live in the cave.
The Vazimba are a long-vanished people which lived in this area. They are long gone, but they are said to haunt the area. The Malagasy living around Anjohibe Cave believe, that spirits of Vazimba reside within the caverns.
The Anjohibe is very popular with adventure tour operators. And thats the common way to visit it. The operators make day trips, for example from Mahajanga, to the caves. Drive, food and cave visit are included, as are local fauna and flora. The alternative to drive on your own is not recommended. For the roads a 4WD is obligatory.