Introducing South of Toliara
Along the shoreline south of Toliara a string of rather unspoilt Vezo fishing villages, interspersed with some of the most pristine white beaches in Madagascar, offers less touristy resorts than those to the north, even if they’re a little harder to get to. Anakao, Nosy Ve and, further south, Beheloka and Itampolo are the area’s main attractions. The tide doesn’t go out as far in the southern beaches, making swimming possible for most of the day.
If you’re just heading to the southern beaches such as Anakao or Beheloka for a few days, your best bet is to take a boat transfer from Toliara (Ar65, 000).
To travel by road through the spectacularly arid landscapes between Toliara and Fort Dauphin you will need either a good 4WD vehicle or the willingness to put comfort (and any sightseeing) aside and spend two to three days squashed into the back of a lorry. There are two routes: most travellers and all public transport follow the inland RN10 via Betioky and Ampanihy. Simple accommodation is available in both places.
During the dry season between May and late October it is possible, and often faster, to take the coastal route via Beheloka, Itampolo and Saodona. You will need your own 4WD for this as there is no regular taxi-brousse traffic, and you’ll have to ford at least two rivers (which is impossible in the rainy season).
If you are travelling to Fort Dauphin by camion-brousse, a few things are worth noting. Firstly, the vehicles that pass the towns en route are often full, so if you’re planning on doing the journey in stages, you could spend a lot of time waiting for a seat. Secondly, there’s nowhere along the way to pick up provisions, so stock up on some basics in either Toliara or Fort Dauphin. If you will be riding in the back of the truck, bring along a scarf and pullover for the dust by day and the cool wind by night.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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