Introducing Ifaty & Mangily
Ifaty is the collective name given to two dusty fishing villages – Ifaty/Mangily and Madio Rano – between which are strung a series of beach bungalow hotels. Ifaty is more visited than Anakao to the south of Toliara, and the beach is narrower and rockier, but the snorkelling is good. Diving, especially for sharks, is better here than further south. In July and August, you may see migrating whales pass nearby through the Mozambique Channel. Inland, a dry desert leads into sparsely scrubbed mountains with much of the terrain parched and several salt flats dousing the air with a sulphury odour. The Reniala Nature Reserve east of the beach is an otherworldly spiny forest with good bird-watching and a must for wandering through ancient baobabs.
There is nowhere in Ifaty to change money, and remember when choosing a hotel that the only sandy beaches are located to the north of Ifaty/Mangily.