Andrafiabe: the most beautiful cave in Madagascar


From a shady cavity that opens into a very steep escarpment, formed as a result of the erosive action exerted by the sea on the rocky coast, three kilometers of tunnels start which, intersecting each other, lead towards cyclopean rooms and petrified fantastic landscapes.

Cave of Andrafiabe

To the north of Madagascar, the large island of Antankarana, there are various caves of great interest, including the Cave of the Mountain of the French, located near Diego Suarez.

But the cave of Andrafiabe surpasses them all, being the longest, the most suggestive and the most mysterious of all.

Although his exploration began in 1962, when the French speleologist J. de Saint-Ours made the first topographic surveys, the inventory of the cave is not yet finished, due to the great underground development of the cave.

The Andrafiabe Cave, 9 km long, deservedly holds the first place among the largest caves of Madagascar, and the second place in the list of African caves.

The topography of this cave represents an example of speleogenesis of particularly eloquent tectonic origin.

Leaving Andrafiabe, along a track heading north, you reach the steep escarpment of Andrafiabe, which looks like a straight wall, a tectonic mirror in turn cut by three faults perpendicular to the surface.

Between the first and second fault, the wide open mouth of a cave opens onto the extensions that make up the Andrafiabe Cave.

Inside, a corridor with an irregular pattern leads to a series of underground corridors, which extend practically straight for a length of 2800 meters.

This axis is parallel to the front of the outer slope and perpendicularly intersects two of the three faults that split the cliff.

In the bowels of the cave, a second axis of corridors, parallel to the previous one and to the escarpment, forms a rectangular checkered net with the first and the faults, the length of which is close to 3 km, while the width is about 800 meters .

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Numerous galleries on the sides, tunnels and diverticula, make the geometric layout slightly more complicated.

At the intersection of the tectonic lines, erosion has created large rooms in the rock, including that of the Ramanavy and that of the Campo, which forms an irregular square of 80 meters on each side.

Various conduits, such as the gallery of the Milky Way on the first axis of corridors, and the gallery of the Pianos, on the second axis, present spectacular limestone deposits, which give the Andrafiabe Cave its magnificent underground landscape.

Tags: Madagascar