Southern Madagascar

Top things to do

Top ChoiceNational Park in The Desert

Parc National Isalo

Isalo is one of Madagascar's most beautiful parks. It contains sculpted buttes, vertical rock walls and, best of all, deep canyon floors shot through with streams, lush vegetation and pools for swimming. All of...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Parc National Andohahela

Parc National Andohahela

This 760-sq-km park protects some of the last remnants of rainforest in southern Madagascar, as well as spiny forest and a remarkable 12 species of lemurs. It also boasts 129 recorded species of birds, and a...

Top ChoiceGardens in Tuléar (Toliara)

Arboretum d'Antsokay

This is the one must-see attraction in Tuléar. Essentially a 400,000-sq-metre distillation of the entire spiny forest in one place, it's a fantastic collection of 900 plant species; take a guide (tip expected) to...

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in The Cape

Domaine de la Cascade

This gorgeous park, about 9km from the Total station on the road to Ambovombe from Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro), covers 136 hectares, and with a budding ecotourism project in play, it consists of a nursery set in a...

Top ChoicePizza in Parc National Isalo

Pizza Liberta

Arguably the best pizza in Madagascar's south, this fine little place, run by the amiable Luigi, does real thin-crust Italian pizzas, with all the usual ingredients, as well as some local surprises like zebu...

Top ChoiceItalian in Tuléar (Toliara)

L'Estérel

Our pick of the restaurants in Tuléar, Italian-run L'Estérel has a tranquil garden setting and a menu that includes some of the best Italian cooking in southern Madagascar – pasta, pizzas and salads you can trust...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Ifaty & Mangily

Sur la Plage

This sand-floor restaurant offers the best of this stretch of coast – feet in the sand, grilled fish fresh off the boat, expertly mixed punches and cocktails – bliss! It also does huge plates of pasta and seafood...

Top ChoiceChocolate in Tuléar (Toliara)

La Chocolaterie Robert

The Tuléar outpost of this celebrated purveyor of fine Malagasy chocolates carries a small but exquisite range – buy by the piece or in prewrapped packs.

Top ChoiceInternational in Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro)

Chez Marceline

Many locals' pick for the town's best restaurant, Chez Marceline combines assured international cooking, local ingredients – the grilled fish or zebu steak are signature dishes here – and a fine location...

Nature Reserve in The Cape

Réserve de Nahampoana

This 0.67-sq-km forest reserve, 7km north of Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro), deserves much greater recognition. Its exotic tropical setting, with mountains for a backdrop, is prettier than Berenty. Add to this a...

Viewpoint in Parc National Isalo

La Fenêtre de l'Isalo

La Fenêtre de l’Isalo is a popular natural rock window that frames the setting sun, although we actually prefer it for the surrounding views of sweeping plains and weird-and-wonderful rock formations turned...

National Park in The Desert

Parc National Zombitse-Vohibasia

Parc National Zombitse-Vohibasia protects one of the last stands of dense dry forest in all of southern Madagascar, a bird-rich island of foliage in the heart of a denuded semi-desert landscape. The park's 36,300...

International in Tuléar (Toliara)

Corto Maltese

One of the best restaurants in Tuléar, yet moderately priced, this creative bistro offers an eclectic menu, ranging from steaks that look and taste the part to pasta, seafood brochettes and great desserts. Nice...

Nature Reserve in The Cape

Réserve Spéciale Cap Sainte-Marie

Madagascar’s southernmost tip, Cap Sainte-Marie is a thought-provoking climax to the ‘eighth continent’, a stark and windswept place that, like so many places down here, feels like the end of the Earth. This...

Nature Reserve in The Cape

Réserve Privée de Berenty

This well-known private reserve contains nearly one-third of the remaining tamarind gallery forest in Madagascar, nestled between the arms of a former oxbow lake on the Mandrare River. It was one of Madagascar’s...

National Park in Southern Reef

Parc National Tsimanampetsotse

This 432-sq-km park and its large, ancient salt lake hosts some part-time resident flamingos (April to October). Amid the spiny forest, watch also for a large banyan tree full of parrots and ring-tailed lemurs....

Wildlife Reserve in Ifaty & Mangily

Reniala Nature Reserve

This is a 0.6-sq-km spiny forest full of baobab trees and some birds. There are two circuits, one of 45 minutes to an hour and the other of 1½ to two hours. The Arboretum in Tuléar is better, but this one's still...

Bar in Ilakaka

Color Line Bar

To really enter the local scene in all its shadiness, attend the gem dealers’ party starting at 1am every Friday night at Color Line’s adjacent bar, known as Al2O3 (the formula for sapphire, naturally). This is...

National Park in Réserve Spéciale Beza-Mahafaly

Réserve Spéciale Beza-Mahafaly

Southwest of the RN7 from Andranovory, the Réserve Spéciale Beza-Mahafaly is better known as a scientific venture rather than a tourist destination, but travellers are welcome to explore its six hiking circuits...

Nature Reserve in Northern Reef

Mangrove Information Center

On the west side of the road, 12km north of Tuléar, a sign directs you to the Mangrove Information Center a 2-sq-km wetland complex created by Honko, a Belgian NGO. The main attraction is a 1.5km wooden...