Lemur Safaris, white sandy beaches and protected lagoons...
The south-west of Madagascar is very dry compared to the central highlands and the east coast. As you travel south, the lush green mountains give way to dry savanna plains. You start to see cactus, euphorbias, even baobabs in the surreal ‘spiny forest’, unique to Madagascar.
However, Southern Madagascar also has some stunning beaches for the perfect end to a southern Madagascar trip. Choose between Ifaty, Ankao or the greener, lush vegetation of Manafiafy Beach Lodge on the south-east.
The easiest way to get there is to fly. For greater reliability (assuming you stay there), use the 'scheduled charter' flights organised and part-funded by the two most up-market accommodations in the region; Manafiafy Beach Lodge and Mandrare River Camp. There are also scheduled flights into Fort Dauphin with the Tsaradia, the national airline. Or take a scenic road trip over several days down the central spine of the country. See our Rainforests, Mountains and Beaches of Southern Madagascar trip.
Ifaty lies close to Tulear on the South-west coast. It’s the ideal place to relax after your wildlife safari. Situated on the largest lagoon of Madagascar, a coral reef protects Ifaty and also offers good diving and snorkelling.
Ankao is accessible only by boat, a more remote alternative to Ifaty. Situated on a beach with emerald seas, it is one of the best spots for diving, kite surfing and watersports in Madagascar.
Alternatively, you can fly to Fort Dauphin and head to Mandrare River Camp deep in the spiny forest. Here you get a true sense of rural Madagascar life. You’ll visit remote tribal communities that have not been exposed to modern day pressures. These small villages, surrounded by ancient baobab trees, have a complex network of taboos and traditions which rule every area of their lives.
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