The main 980 km highway, the RN7, leads from Antananarivo to Toliara / Tuléar.
As a road trip it's a long relatively well-tarmacked and stunningly scenic one to the island's semi-arid Southern region, passing majestic mountains, baobab forests, desert-like plateaus with exotic plants, herds of zebu (cows) and colourful local villages.
With a few exceptions, the coast is sandy often with reefs and lagoons. North and south from Toliara / Tulear there are beautiful beaches, tropical islands and coral reefs .
The beach villages of Ifaty, Salary Bay or Anakao are becoming popular as these secret beach hideaways are not so secret any more.
Also not so secret is the fact one of Earth's largest known alluvial sapphire deposits was discovered in 1998 turning Ilakaka into a wild south west mining boom town with a population that soared from 40 residents to over 60,000 ten years later.
Across the region on the south eastern tip, Fort Dauphin harks back to colonial times. Surrounded by mountains, dry forests, nature reserves and beaches Fort Dauphin is the biggest city in the deep south.
Fianarantsoa is one of the most popular towns in the Madagascar highlands not least because of the local wine farms with the closest vineyard at Lazan'I Betsileo, 15km to the north.
Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe region is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, a palm-lined oasis and grassland. A total of 340 fauna species have been recorded inhabiting the area, including 82 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 15 species of frogs and 14 species of mammals. Treks in this vast 815km² park can last from several hours to a week or longer.
With the exception of the Vezo ethnic fishermen and some migrants such as the Antanosy of Middle Onilahy, there are two large ethnic groups who share these territories, the Mahafaly and Antandroy, 'people of the thorns' on the coast.
Fort Dauphin, Morombe, Toliara formerly Tuléar, Ilakaka, Sakaraha, Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao.
NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES:
Berenty Reserve, Bezaha Mahafaly, Cap Ste. Marie, Isalo National Park, Tsimanampetsotse National Park, Zombitse-Vohibiasa National Park.
Prime Magazine Featured destinations in the Southern Region
The bay of St. Augustin is a unique and special place in the province of Tulear. This site has all the ingredients to guarantee you dream holidays....Read more
These two naturally sculpted rocks eroded by time attract the attention of any traveller taking the road to the south of Madagascar. A true national heritage, its photo is affixed to the Central Bank's 1000 Ariary banknotes.....Read more
The Mahafaly people live in the southwest of Madagascar about 150 kilometers from Tuléar. These people have a culture that, in many ways, deserves attention.....Read more
Pearl of south-west Madagascar, Fort-Dauphin and its surroundings abound of sites suitable for holidays between sea and sun. One of the most famous is the Lac Vinanibe, a surfing paradise preserved from mass tourism.....Read more
Counting the number of the most prestigious hiking destinations in Madagascar, the special Reserve of the peak of Ivohibe was created in 1964. On this incredible land of endemism, you will be able to meet several rare specimens.....Read more
Belo-sur-Mer is a city in the southwest of Madagascar where you will not get bored. You will have so many discoveries to be made that your time will seem too short. Enjoy a guided tour to see the salines of Antsira and know more about the daily life of the local population.....Read more
The Tsimanampetsotsa National Park stretches around an eponymous lake, whose name means "there is no dolphin". Well-known as a wintering place for many species of migratory birds, this place located 85 km south of Toliara - next to a village called Ambola - is full of treasures that we invite you to discover.....Read more
The bay of Sainte-Luce, known in the past as Manafiafy, is a charming fishermen village located about fifty kilometers away from the city of Fort-Dauphin. This small piece of land with a rare beauty will make you dream during your visit to this region.....Read more
If the Morondava region is known for its alley of baobabs, lakes and resorts, this area is in the heart of the Sakalavady Nastie is also characterized by art sculptures. See you in the village of sculptors: Marofandilia.....Read more
A forest that has its history and its stature in Madagascar and that shelters rare and endemic species; the Mikea Forest is a forest where one can visit and see up close. Contains several natural resources unique to Madagascar; an unforgettable visit is assured.....Read more
Apart from the well-known Baobab Alley, the Menabe region contains other exceptional landmarks, such as the Andranomena Special Reserve. Escape for a hike by discovering its lakes and endemic animals.....Read more
Fort Dauphin is the capital of the Anosy region, located in the South East of Madagascar. It is a region full of resources that embraces its name: the city of diversity.....Read more
29 kms north of Ranohira in the region of Androy in the south of Madagascar, is the majestic Anjofo Fall, where the flow of water whispers in your ears. The flora and fauna found there also represent the richness of the place.....Read more
Andohahela National Park is located in the Anosy Region, it is situated 42 km south-west of Fort- Dauphin, via the National Route 13 (RN13), from the city of Amboasary. It sits between two districts, Fort -Dauphin and Amboasary South. It is the only park in the world that can be found with three types of forest: humid, transitional and dry.....Read more
Mandena, translated as "wet", is a conservation area 6 km north of the peninsula of Fort Dauphin. Authentic and discreet, it offers you the luxury of a harmonious landscape where nature is the key word.....Read more
Fort-Dauphin or Taolanaro is located in the southern part of Madagascar. Capital city of the Anosy region, this port city is one of the best destinations because it is full of cultural, seaside and heritage interests, which explains the celebration of the World Tourism Day in this region in 2012.....Read more
Toliara, in Malagasy, or Tulear, in French, is a city located in the extreme south of Madagascar. At nearly 1,000 km from the Malagasy capital, the main tribes of this city are Antandroy, Masikoro, Vezo and Mahafaly.....Read more
Bedo Lake is one of 20 wetlands designated as Ramsar sites in Madagascar today. Located in the Menabe Region, in the western part of the Big Island, the Bedo wetland extends over 2000 hectares of which the lake area alone is 412 hectares. Since 2007, it has been inscribed on the list of wetlands of international importance.....Read more
Ihosy is a district of Madagascar, located in the southeastern part of the province of Fianarantsoa, in the region of Ihorombe. It is composed of seventeen rural and urban communes. Ihosy is a key step in travelling to the South of Madagascar. Located at the crossroads leading to Taolagnaro (Fort Dauphin) and Tulear, Ihosy is best known for its surroundings, including the famous Isalo National Park.....Read more
Bezaha Mahafaly Park is on the National Road 7 from Antananarivo to Andranovory, then branch off to the National Road 10. Then take the road to Betioky-South, at Betioky-South is the fork to Bezaha Mahafaly.....Read more
Beheloka is a beautiful bay located 63 kilometres from Tulear, in the south-west of Madagascar. With a very peaceful life, punctuated by the activities of the sea, it is a unique destination far from mass tourism. Its beach with blue waters bordered by stretches of white sand, a dream.....Read more
The Ehoala port was created in 2009. It was initiated by the ilmenite extraction project by the QMM company (Qit Madagascar Minerals), which planned to reforest the excavated land. This port is located in Fort Dauphin, in the extreme south-east of Madagascar, 1100 kilometres from Antananarivo. Multifunctional port recognised in the public interest, it is the second port in deep water of the Indian Ocean (15,75 metres deep).....Read more
A tourist attraction of Andringitra, the Tsaranoro Valley is known for its hiking, climbing and paragliding sites. Listed internationally, it is one of the most famous spots in Madagascar. Tsaranoro is located in the Vohitsoaka commune, near the Andringitra National Park, south of Fianarantsoa.....Read more
Until the end of 1998 there was just a hamlet in the Ilakaka area, stretching about 150 km long and about 50 km wide in the extension of the craggy mountains of Isalo. The city is named after the river which crosses – and where today a great multitude of miners gather to sift their gravel.....Read more
The Domaine de la Cascade encompasses an area of 125 hectares and is bordered by the last low altitude primary forest of the great south. Located near the city of Fort-Dauphin this place has been trying for fifteen years to make its contribution to the development of the region, to protect and enhance the environmental heritage.....Read more
Already since 1938 protected, the Sayadi Park is located 5 km from Fort Dauphin on the RN 12A. It covers 40 hectares and benefits from an extraordinary botanical and animal diversity. We find a multitude of endemic species such as orchids, nepenthes (carnivorous plants), ravinalas (traveler's trees), pandanus, and palms.....Read more
Tulear, capital of the Atsimo Andrefana Region and capital of the old province, is a quiet city whose hospitality is admirable. These people will welcome you because you are their "Longo" (friends). The Cultural Museum is connected with the University of Tulear, more precisely to the CeDRATOM or Center for Documentation and Research on Art and Oral Traditions, the Museum of Arts and Traditions of the South.....Read more
Ambakivao is a small fishing village located between the Tsiribihina River and the Mozambique Channel. It consists of five hamlets or encampments, belonging to the Delta Community, in the Belo / Tsiribihina district, at the Eastern Centre of the Menabe region. There are about 300 mainly Vezo tribe households that live mainly from sea fishing but also hunt freshwater fishes, shrimps and crabs.....Read more
Leaving Fort-Dauphin towards Amboasary, the excursion to Anony Lake will lead you from the wet Anosy region to the drier Androy region to discover another particular vegetation.....Read more
This southern most cape of Madagascar was first named as “Cap Sainte Marie” in 1546 by the French priest and cartographer, Pedro Descellier.....Read more
As a site only accessible by river, Benjavilo is renowned for the purity of its air, the tranquility and the green side of its vegetation. An ideal setting for a holiday in nature. Benjavilo is located in the Melaky region, district of Antsalova, municipality of Masoarivo.....Read more
The story goes that at the beginning of the 16th century, four Portuguese vessels were shipwrecked off the Androy coast. Out of 600 sailors, only 70 were saved. Near the shores at Anosy, these survivors built a stone fort.....Read more
Literally meaning "lake without dolphins", Lake Tsimanampesotse, the main attraction of the park, is itself a mystery just waiting to be explored. It is the first Ramsar site and the only salt lake on the Big Island, covering an area of 1,700 hectares. Its particularity is that it changes colour three times a day.....Read more
The white dune coast of the southern region of Madagascar is full of unique and paradisaical sites. Between the angular stones and the fine sand, there are provisional villages whose outside temperature varies from 20°C to 38°C. This part of the Big Island is the perfect place to be in harmony with nature and to gain memorable experiences.....Read more
Seven kilometres from the town of Fort-Dauphin, Lake Andriambe, also known as "Lake Ambinanibe" which in Malagasy means "the great pass" since it communicates with the ocean, is an ideal place for those who love peace and quiet – and nature. The best wave spot in Fort-Dauphin, it is well known by surf lovers.....Read more
A typical Malagasy city, it has a western flair due to the many cattle, goats and sheep that are kept in this arid landscape. But Ampanihy is famous for its mohair rugs. Here, livestock farming is part of the daily life of the locals.....Read more
The peak of Saint Louis in Fort-Dauphin rises to an altitude of 529 metres and offers a panorama across the magnificent bays of Sainte-Luce or Lokaro. It also gives a view over the lush flora of this south-eastern part of Madagascar and in particular of the Berenty and Andohahela reserves.....Read more
Itampolo is characterized by its white sand dunes. There was a drought that lasted for several years, making the village famous as a paradisiacal desert. Nature has dried up two rivers and transformed the beaches, where the fine sand stretches as far as the eye can see, in front of crystal clear water and rows of coconut palms.....Read more
So much Malagasy diversity! In the Manombo reserve, a site located 2km from the city of Farafangana, you can watch endemic lemurs such as the "Eulemur Albocallaris" or the "Varicia Variegata" or even 32 species of ants, snails and birds.....Read more
Its white sandy beach, calm and serene, lets you dream. Separated from the hinterland by what are known as the "five countries with seven mangrove species", the Bosy peninsula is lulled by a turquoise sea, full of fish.....Read more
Its biodiversity and the relief are second to none. The mountain chain harbours a surprising biotope and exceptionally rich fauna and flora, with more than 80 species endemic to Madagascar, and it is now registered as a protected area of Madagascar.....Read more
With its lagoon surrounded by a coral reef about 100km long, located in the "sun region" of Madagascar, Ifaty is one of the best seaside spots in the south-west of the island. It is also an annual destination for whale watching.....Read more
A true sanctuary for water birds, in August, Lake Ihotry welcomes thousands of pink flamingos.....Read more
With three types of specific habitat, exceptional endemic fauna and flora, welcome to the special reserve of Bezà Mahafaly.....Read more
Fifty hectares of forest, what more could you ask for? During your visit you will certainly come across lemurs, Nile crocodiles, radiated turtles, vanilla pods, flower paths, elephant ears, Brazilian cherry trees, huge bamboo specimens and so many more natural wonders, all in one single reserve: that of "Nahampoana".....Read more
Looking for exceptional panoramas? To enrich yourself with wilderness? To meet with lemurs? Then this destination is right for you: the Zombitse Vohibasia National Park, which is located in the southern part of Madagascar.....Read more
The village is rich in ancestral structures that arouse the visitor's curiosity and spark a passion for discovery. The Antandroy, one of the Malagasy ethnic groups, have erected tombs that shape an exceptional scenery of rare beauty, almost supernatural when you look at it from a distance.....Read more
Miandrivazo was the place where King Radama I awaited his sweetheart with impatience and anxiety. Today it is an important tourist city. According to the legend, "miandry vazo aho" (literally "I am waiting for my wife").....Read more
A village with white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, Sarodrano is a world-famous tourist site, a destination waiting to be discovered and rediscovered.....Read more
'Nosy’ meaning island and ‘ampela’ meaning woman, so literally ‘island of women’, is a village that has became well known for its waterfall and natural swimming pool, where the women of the village would come and wash their linen.....Read more
The protected area of Amoron’i Onilahy is partly covered by a dense dry forest, creating an extraordinary contrast with its luxuriant wetlands of swamps and lakes.....Read more
Strolling with the lemurs with rare birds flying above: such unforgettable experiences are possible for those who come to spend their holidays in the south east of Madagascar.....Read more
Lavanono is an enclave. Occupied by fishermen, it has no running water, but has become a tourist spot. A Frenchman who loved surfing named it Lavanono (his first name was ‘Gigi’).....Read more
The nature reserve of Kalambatrita, with an area of 28.55 ha, has a unique rich wildlife with high bio-geographical value. Here, there are species from the south, the east and the high plateaus of the island.....Read more
With its natural pools for swimming surrounded by rare birds and butterflies the Waterfall of the Nymphs in the national park of Isalo is truly a magical place.....Read more
Beaches of fine sand, beautiful landscapes, great marine biodiversity without forgetting the rich Mahafaly culture, Anakao is all that.....Read more
Salary, on the south-west coast of Madagascar, approximately 100km north of Tuléar, is a village where an atmosphere of total calm and serenity reigns.....Read more
With a natural heritage of 320,000 hectares of mangroves (coastal forest consisting of several varieties of mangrove), Madagascar has the largest area of mangrove in the Indian Ocean, representing two percent of the planet's mangroves: it is an immense wealth to be preserved and waiting to be discovered.....Read more
With the hot climate that characterises the south-west of Madagascar, the water of Faraony benefits from the pleasant temperature and the surrounding scenery is all the more appreciable.....Read more
The open spaces, the mountains, the spectacular waterfalls with orchids growing and lemurs leaping from branch to branch, all accompanied by gentle birdsong: welcome to the Andringitra National Park where ‘nature lives’.....Read more
They are, without any doubt the most impressive waterfalls in the south-east of Madagascar, with the water crashing down from a height of 300m. In addition, the twin falls of Riandahy and Riambavy are said to have magical properties.....Read more
If the view at the edge of the forest is absolutely stunning, exploring the forest is even more memorable for lovers of nature. The forest of Ifotaka is like an open-air museum, home to a large number of endemic animal and plant species.....Read more
Against a backdrop of the comings and goings of small fishing boats, the little village of Belo-sur-mer has become a must for any tourist visiting the region of Menabe, in the south-west of Madagascar.....Read more
Already since 1938 protected, the Sayadi Park is located 5 km from Fort Dauphin on the RN 12A.....Read more
Turquoise water and fine sand beach coves where waves come crashing over rocks. Welcome to Lokaro Bay, a site still preserved from mass tourism...Read more
Located on road leading to Toliara, the protected area of Tsinjoriake is,a newly created nature sanctuary with caves, a table mountain and hundreds of pink flamingos who live in the area all year long near the mangrove swamp that boards the mouth of the Onilahy river...Read more
The South Midongy National Park is located in the south east part of Madagascar about 90km from Vaingaindrano and 42km from Befotoka in the Atsimo-Atsinana Region, 872km from Antananarivo...Read more
Five kilometres off the coastal village of Anakao (south of Toliara) there is this small piece of paradise called Nosy Ve...Read more
About 30km north of Tuléar, you will find Ifaty, consisting of small fishing villages and spots of rare beauty.....Read more