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Tulear (Toliara), Ifaty and surrounds

Why visit Tulear, Ifaty and surrounds?

Tuléar (Toliara) is the capital of the South of Madagascar, and makes a great stopover before exploring the south west coast and fishing villages such as Anakao. The resort of Ifaty is renowned for snorkelling and diving, and most notably for its position at the heart of the country’s magnificent coral reef.
Reasons to visit Tulear, Ifaty and surrounds include:

  • Absorb local history and culture at Tulear’s art museum, jewellery shops and seashell market
  • See how many of the 900 species of plants you can spot in the Arboretum d'Antsokay. About 12km from Tulear it’s an excellent way to see a ”˜condensed’ version of the region’s famous spiny forest. 
  • Take a short drive out of Tulear and hike up La Table mountain to enjoy the views.
  • Snorkel or dive in the coral reef, or look for migrating whales in the waters off the lovely beaches of Ifaty. 
  • Explore the mangroves in a traditional Vezo dugout canoe. 
  • Visit the Tananan’ny Sokake (Tortoise Village), a sanctuary for tortoises, especially the critically endangered Radiated tortoise, which is unique to Madagascar. 
  • Go birding in Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, where over 100 species including pink, greater and dwarf flamingos - live in the wetlands of the vast lake, and amongst the sand dunes and spiny forest. 
  • Take a boat trip to the Vezo fishing village of Anakao, and watch the fishermen’s sail boats head out to sea, or go inland and spot ring-tailed lemurs.
  • En route to Tulear consider visiting Zombitse Vohibasia National Park. 150km east of Tulear, it’s noted for its bird life, with about 47% of the island’s endemic species found here.

When to go to Tulear, Ifaty and surrounds

This is an arid region, with virtually no rain, other than from January to March. Tulear is cool in the evening but can be extremely hot during the day.  June to September are the most comfortable months and also the best for watching migrating whales. September to December is great for birding.

How to do it

The easiest way to reach this area is by light aircraft. Ifaty is just 22km from Toliara airport. This beautiful beach area combines nicely with a tour of the central highlands.

Where to say in Ifaty and the surrounds

There are some lovely beach lodges in this area, each with their own style. If you are looking for a small and intimate lodge close to the beach then you may be spoilt for choice.  We really like Le Paradisier. Not only do they have a stunning location but they use 100% solar power and also support a school with 100 pupils.

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Tulear (Toliara), Ifaty and surrounds accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT +3 hours

Flight time:

Flights from Europe to Madagascar take about 10/11 hours.

Language: Malagasy and French are Madagascar's official languages. English or German is spoken by a municipal workers and guides.A basic working knowledge of French will make communication easier.

Visas:

Most nationalities require a Madagascar visa, obtainable from the High Commission in London (or on arrival into International Airport.

Health:

Malaria is present in most of the country. No vaccinations are compulsory.

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