Pachypodium in Isalo


The south is the most visited region in Madagascar. Almost forty percent of the tourists who come to the country spend their stays in the south. The road has been improved. Isalo is one of the most attractive places in the deep south since it receives 20,000 tourists a year. The majority of the country’s national parks are in the southern region, namely Ranomafana National Park, Isalo National Park, Berenty Reserve, etc.
The circuit to the deep south provides an excellent panoramic view of the beautiful landscape of the highlands with the spectacular drop in altitude of the South. In Isalo, there is the grand canyon and the famous Isalo window to watch the sunset; the natural swimming pool provides an unimaginable exotic place where tourists spend their relaxing day in the water, after a long walk.


The name of the city means, the “city where good is taught”, which turned out to be a civilizing mission of the Betsileo people to honesty. Four hundred kilometers from the capital by road, towards the south of the island, Fianarantsoa was built in 1830. It was built on a set of small hills and has a small lake.
It is the capital of the Betsileo ethnic group. The trip takes 8 hours by car from Tana.
The region is known for its tea and wine cultures. The Sahambavy tea plantation is located in a very pretty valley near Lake Sahambavy, 25 kilometers from Fianarantsoa along the railway to Manakara. Fianarantsoa is also famous for its wineries (Soavita, Lazan’ny Betsileo), on the way to Ambalavao.
A good number of churches exist in the city, due to the influences of Catholic and Norwegian missionaries between 1860 and 1870.
Fianarantsoa consists of three different levels including the old town or upper town, the modern middle town and the lower town.
Tolon’Omby (or Savika) is the famous sport practiced by the Betsileo during important events such as circumcision, big festival, holidays, etc.… Savika is practiced by young Betsileo men fighting zebus with their bare hands.


  • Tsara guest house.
  • Zomatel.
  • Hôtel Sofia
  • Hôtel Du Lac


Ambositra is 90 kilometers south of Antsirabe. It is the capital of craftsmanship with zafimaniry art including sculpture, marquetry, and woodcuts, also classified as world heritage by UNESCO in November 2003; the villages of the Zafimaniry are internationally famous. They also produce items from raffia and other materials. There is an abundant choice of cutout figures and marquetry in several shops. The best craft shop (the workshop) is at Jean et Frères, Chez Victor opposite the Grand Hotel.


  • Hôtel Violette
  • Hôtel Artisan


Ranomafana is a primary forest park, extending over 41,601 ha. It was classified World Natural Heritage of the Atsinanana in 2007. It is home to a great wealth of endemic biodiversity but currently in danger. There are rare and critically endangered species of lemurs. The park is also the genetic reservoir of certain rare and endemic plant species. It is traversed by many rivers which are the tributaries of the Namorona River.
Ranomafana is located 70 kilometers east of Fianarantsoa. The park has a good number of species of fauna and flora endemic to the island. Ranomafana means ‘hot water’. Its thermal springs and mineral baths are useful for curative treatments. It is very famous for its rare endemic lemurs, the greater bamboo lemur, Diadem sifaka, red lemur, white-fronted lemur, woolly Avahi, and the pygmy mouse lemur, the aye-aye, golden bamboo lemur, and the Sifaka of Milne-Edwards and crowned lemur.
There are many waterfalls of the Namorona river, often called the biggest waterfall in Madagascar and the forests there are so thick and dense that it is so difficult to spot birds, but the visit is very rewarding because you can come across Henst’s hawk, a rare bird, frogs and chameleons.


  • Setam Lodge
  • Domaine Nature
  • Hôtel Centr’est
  • Hôtel Cristo.


Manakara is the region of the Antemoro ethnic group. It is one of the major cities in the southeastern region of Madagascar.
Manakara is accessible by train or by car.
On the other hand, Mananjary is the hometown of the Antembahoka ethnic group having an Arab origin. Mananjary is not yet developed in tourism sector but the town provides lots of crops such as coffee, pepper and cloves which are export products of the country. The trip by canoe or boat through the Pangalanes canal is also one of the attractions because this canal allows you to reach Tamatave. The local tradition is known for its practice of Sambatra, which is a collective circumcision ceremony held only every seven years for boys under ten. The Southeast resembles the East Coast, either in its landscape or its vegetation, but it is necessary to learn about the customs and traditions that are strongly respected in these regions. In Mananjary, twin children should not be brought up under the same roof. One of them must leave the family home to be raised by other people or be killed outright.



  • Hotel Ampilao Beach Hotel
  • Parthenay Club Bunglow


  • Hôtel Jardin de la Mer
  • Sorafa Hôtel


Vohipeno is located about 45 kilometers south of Manakara; this small town is the capital of the Antemoro kingdom, of Arab origin. It is the town which, approximately 600 years ago, knew the Arabic script: the SORABE. It is from this famous Sorbian that we were able to retrace the historical evolution of ethnic groups from the North to the South of Madagascar. The visit of the ‘Tranobe’ is strongly recommended so that you can meet the king. “Tranobe” because it is a sacred place).
Vohipeno does not have hotels that suit you; in this case, you have to go back to Manakara for accommodation.


Heading south, Ambalavao is 56 kilometers south of Fianarantsoa, an hour by car. It is sometimes called ‘the passage to the deep south’. It is the capital of the famous “Antemoro paper”, this papyrus, type of paper soaked in dried flowers which is sold throughout the island.
Antemoro paper, following tradition, is made from the bark of the Eastern Forest avoha tree, but sisal pulp is now used.
When the bark is pounded and softened in water, it is smoothed over the covering trays to dry in the sun. Visiting Antemoro Paper is highly recommended.


Anja Park is a small reserve of a few dozen hectares, located 12 km south of the village of Ambalavao. Anja is home to the northernmost population of the most famous lemur: the ring-tailed lemur.
Lemurs inhabit the forest at the foot of the 3 Sisters massif: from left to right, Amboalady, Andrarambola and Iandrambaky, which culminate at 1475 m. The light of daybreak on the high plateaus is very exceptional. A v One of the stages in the manufacture of houses, the drying of bricks is found there.
The encounter with the lemurs takes place in their rocky habitat made up of steeply sloping granite blocks. The ring-tailed lemur is among the most comfortable lemurs in open environments.
The first of the lemurs to delight us is the Eulemur rufus (the red-fronted lemur). There are currently 75 species of lemurs in Madagascar which are divided into two large groups: nocturnal and diurnal. The red-fronted lemurs live in a group of about fifteen individuals generally dominated by a female.

Males can be recognized by their light gray color, black muzzle and rufous forehead while females have browner fur and gray heads. They feed mainly on fruits.

The largest of the chameleons lives in Anja. It is the Furcifer oustaleti which can reach up to 60 cm. Contrary to popular belief, chameleons do not change colors depending on the support but on their mood.
This spider, endemic to the island, is the huge Madagascar spider spider Nephila madagascariensis. It is the leading silk supplier with 65 km created per month. It is easily recognizable with its black and white ringed tail. Its size can reach 1m in length (tail included), and it feeds on fruits and flowers, sometimes a few insects and small vertebrates.
And why not some bananas kindly offered!!!
It spends its day looking for food in an arid environment made up of rocky bars to spend the night in safety in a cave, within its group of about twenty individuals.
The main predators of the ring-tailed lemur are, in addition to tourists and their cameras, the Fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox), the largest carnivore in Madagascar, a few birds of prey, snakes and stray dogs.
Females usually give birth to one calf each year that will cling to its mother’s back for several weeks. Unfortunately, the mortality rate of the young is high and only 50% of them reach the age of one year.

The visit ends with the discovery of the bedroom of the Catta, huge natural cavities in which the roots of centenary ficus trees come to sink. Not far from there, tombs set in small caves recall the importance of ancestor worship among Malagasy people: the places of the dead are sacred, it is one of the many fady (prohibited) places in the country.


Andringitra is located 47 km south of Ambalavao along National Road No. 7, in the Haute Matsiatra region. The park covers 31,160 ha. Perched on the heights, its altitude varies between 650 and 2658 m.
Concentrated in endemism and diversity, the biodiversity of Andringitra is preserved by the layout of the park on a slope and by the rocky massifs.
Seven (7) species of crustaceans, 190 species of insects, including aquatic ones, 78 species of amphibians, 50 species of reptiles, 54 species of mammals (lemurs, carnivores, bats, micromammals) and 108 species of birds are found in the forest.


Are located south of Fianarantsoa and 80 km from Ihosy. The park, criss-crossed by rivers and their tributaries, covers 81,540 ha. This ruiniform massif is a continental sandstone plateau dating from the Jurassic. Heavily eroded, only witnesses broken up by sandy valleys and canyons have remained: a truly exceptional spectacle.
The animals of Isalo are typical of the climate, vegetation and geomorphology of the park. Most of them are endemic species. 77 species of birds live in Isalo including the Benson blackbird or Pseudocosyphus bensoni, an endemic species of Madagascar which is highly protected. There are also 14 species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs including 8 introduced and 7 endemic to Madagascar. Reptiles, amphibians, carnivores, insectivores and rodents complete the list. The Isalo National Park has more than 400 plant species. Many of them are endemic to Madagascar, such as Pachypodium rosulatum, Apocynaceae family, Catharantus ovalis, which is a medicinal plant found nowhere else in the world except in Ihorombe and on the Zomandao plain. The savannah of Isalo is colonized by palm trees typical of this region: the Bismarkia nobilis, “Satrana” which resists fire.


  • Hôtel Satrana Lodge
  • Hôtel relais de la Reine
  • Jardin du Roy
  • Hôtel Orchidée.
  • Isalo Ranch
  • Motel de l’Isalo


The Zombitse Vohibasia forest complex is made up of the Zombitse forest and the sites of biological interest of Vohibasia and Isoky. It is a protected area of 36,308 ha divided into three plots. Zombitse: 16,845 ha, Isoky Vohimena: 3,293 ha, and Vohibasia: 16,170 ha. Zombitse Vohibasia is home to 47% of Madagascar’s endemic birds and a local endemic species: Bernieria apperti. It also has eight species of lemurs, some of which are almost threatened, such as the Phaner furcifer pallescens. The best of the Zombitse Vohibasia fauna: The Berneria appertii or Ritrik’ala. This endemic bird is found across the Ritikala Circuit at all times.


From Tana to Tuléar, you have 950km to cover. Tulear is the capital of the southwestern region of Madagascar. There are five different ethnic groups in this last destination of the RN7: the Vezo known as great fishermen, the Mahafaly, the Antandroy (people of the thorny forest), the Bara, and the Antanosy (people of the ‘Isle).
The climate is very dry and hot with spiny forests in Ifaty. Tulear attracts many tourists due to its natural resource and having a rich marine life with excellent snorkelling and diving, the tombs of Mahafaly and Masikoro and a museum that put it in a remarkable context, the famous bush of the north and the south of the city. The beaches have fine fine sand and a brilliant coral reef that serve the Vezo fishing men, masters of colorful canoes, a lot. The island’s coral reefs are mostly off the western coast of Madagascar. There are many wonderful and colorful fish, whales, sharks, dolphins, ray turtles and incredibly rare fish. Coelacanths were caught in the region of Saint Augustin, south of Tulear.
Traditionally, having the zebu is a sign of wealth on the southwestern coast of Madagascar; the zebu is considered a sacred animal. Their main activity is based on cattle breeding. The zebu has great value for these people. Zebus are killed during ceremonies such as burial, the funeral ceremony, the main festival. The horns of the zebu are put on the wall of the tomb to symbolize the wealth of the dead person. A good number of images are engraved. They symbolize his wealth.


  • Hôtel Paletivier
  • Hôtel Victory
  • Hôtel Dera

IFATY (la plage au nord de Tuléar)

Ifaty is 27km north of Tulear; the road is not very well maintained. It has beautiful fine sand, beaches and provides water activities and whale watching.
LA RESERVE RENIALA is a reserve located near the sea, in the Baobab forest of South-West MADAGASCAR, at the exit of the village of Mangily which is 27 km from Tuléar. The reserve covers an area of ​​60 hectares.
This area has an exceptional flora and fauna richness with more than 1000 endemic plant species with remarkable xerophytic adaptations (to the dry climate), many endemic birds including Uratelornis and Monias, reptiles, turtles: Astrochelys, Pyxis, lizards, snakes …, mouse lemurs…
We have 11 salaried Malagasy employees: two guides for the botanical trail, two guides for the birds, two gardeners, two caretakers, a person in charge of reception and ticket sales, a person in charge of the maintenance of the natural fence, an environmental manager.
Open to the public since December 2000, Reniala brings together under the same name a botanical trail and an ornithological reserve.
We wish to inform as many people as possible of the biological wealth of this region and participate in the sustainable development of the region through the jobs created.
It is a place that has many endemic species of birds such as Long-tailed Coua, Runner Coua, Crested Coua, Striped Polyboroid, Chabert’s Artamia, Lafresnaye’s Artamia, Falculia mantled, the Mesite of the Sub-desert, etc.…


  • Dune Hôtel
  • Hôtel Le Paradisier
  • Hôtel Le nautilus
  • Hôtel Ifaty beach
  • Ikotel


The Tropic of Capricorn passes through Anakao. It is a small village of the Vezo, remarkable for its fishing activities with the colorful beach, the beautiful colorful canoes which are drawn from the water. In Anakao there is also a protected marine park where you can admire several species of fish in the coral reefs including the humpback whales which await you during the months of July and September because it is the migration season to heat. Anakao is accessible by car from Toliara, 250km away by a secondary road. Most tourists make the trip by sea: a Vezo safari or a motorized boat that does it in three hours depending on the power of the boat’s engine.


  • Hôtel Prince d’Anakao
  • Hôtel Longo Vezo


The village of Saint Augustin has traditionally been inhabited by fishermen from the Vezo tribe. Saint Augustin was built on the edge of a beautiful bay.


The Sarodrano Cave is south of the Mangrove Hotel, 4 kilometers from the peninsula. There are the incredible dramatic sand dunes, trees, pool, caves where you can also encounter the Maki Catta and the endemic birds of the south of the island.


  • Hotel Melody Beach
  • Chez Andrea.


Betioky is half a day by 4WD from Tuléar. In Betioky, the best hotel is Chez Claudia, 1 km before the town, with a family room and a good kitchen.


Ampanihy is the producer of the famous handmade mohair rug. The name of the city means “the refuge of bats”. Spending a day there is recommended so that you can visit the carpet factory and the largest baobab in Madagascar.

Where to stay?

  • Hôtel Angora (médium)
  • Hôtel Tahio (en bas)


Tsimanampetsotse National Park covers 43,200 ha. Lake Tsimanampetsotse is the first RAMSAR site in Madagascar classified by the International Convention on Wetlands. It is also the only protected area located on the limestone plateau and the coastal zone along the South West coast. Tsimanampetsotse includes, among other things, 112 species of birds including 5 species of Coua out of the nine existing ones, herpetofauna including 39 reptiles, 3 species of lemurs including 2 diurnal (Lemur catta and Pr) and 2 nocturnal (Microcebus griseorufus and Lepilemur). 185 plant species grow in Tsimanampesotse (opithecus verreauxii verreauxii).


Beheloka is located about 35 kilometers from Anakao. Beheloka Bay has beautiful beaches.


Domaine d’Ambola
Chez Bernard


Itampolo is about 150 kilometers south of Toliara. It is very famous for its beautiful beaches with colored pinkish sand; it is also a good place to surf.


  • Hôtel sud sud


Faux Cap is found deep in the southwestern region of Madagascar. Faux Cap is a small, secluded community with a beautiful beach and coral reef.


  • Hôtel Libertalia
  • Cactus d’hôtel


Andohahela National Park is located in the Androy region, halfway between the districts of Taolagnaro and Amboasary-Sud, on National Road No. 13. It extends over 76,020 ha, at an altitude of 120 to 1,972 meters.
The landscape, the fauna and the flora are of an astonishing variety in Andohahela because one finds there species of the South and the East. As in most national parks on the island, the rate of endemism is high.
Maki is not the only species that lives in groups, but the difference with other species is that a group of Maki can reach up to 30 individuals. It should also be noted that Maki is the only species that is often found on earth (in English: terrestrial). It is the only “philopatric female” species, meaning that the females remain in their natal group while the males leave their group when they reach the age of puberty.
Andohahela is home to 12 species of lemurs and 5 of them are dry forest lemurs, 129 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles and 50 species of amphibians of which four live in dry forest. Lemurs are the most sought after by tourists. But the Maki or Lemur catta wins the prize list. Gray with a ringed tail of white and black and 50 cm tall, the Maki which lives in groups can be seen in Ihazofotsy.
More than a thousand plant species coexist inside the Andohahela National Park. There are six of the eleven species of Didieraceae endemic to the South, 207 species and varieties of ferns, more than 90% of which are in the humid forest. Finally, endemic palm species are found in Andohahela and its surroundings. The bouquet formed by vegetation, tropical and humid forests and thorny trees promotes the development of the Dypsis decaryi or trihedral palm. It is the most endemic palm in this region.


Taolagnaro or Fort-Daphin is located at the bottom of the southeast coast of Madagascar. The town of Tolagnaro is nestled between dramatic mountains and the Southern Ocean, with a couple of ethnic groups such as the Antandroy and the Antanosy. Antanosy is the dominant ethnic group in the region.
The climate of Taolagnaro is composed of the Eastern climate, which is rainy, and the Southern climate, which is hot and dry.
Taolagnaro has beautiful beaches like the famous Libanon beach



The Berenty nature reserve is 86 km west of Fort Dauphin, with an area of ​​250 ha.
The road leading to Berenty will allow you to discover the particularities of the country of Anosy, lush landscapes and vegetation, carnivorous plants “Nepenthes”, cassava crops, sugar cane and rice fields, stop in the Anosy villages,
It was in 1936 that the Deaulme family decided to protect the animals of the forest from a gallery of hundred-year-old tamarind trees along the Mandrare River, but also from the characteristic “thicket” of southern Madagascar in an area adjacent to the reserve. Since that time, the lemurs that live there have partly lost their fear of humans and allow themselves to be observed. Four species of lemurs from the region are represented there: the Sifaka and the Maki (diurnal species), the Tsidy and the Sonygika (nocturnal species). October is the best time to find baby lemurs. There are also the brown lemurs, the white-fronted lemurs, the lemur, the white-legged lemur, the Verreaux Sifaka, and the mouse lemurs.
Berenty is very distinguished by the presence of the birds found there: about 100 species have been recorded, namely the giant Coua, and the flayer Vanga.
From mid-October until the end of December, migratory birds from south-east Africa such as the Malagasy Roller, the Madagascan Cuckoo and a good number of waders (Redshank, Greenshank, sanderling, the plover, the herdsman) stop there and a good number of reptiles, chameleons, and crocodiles.


  • Berenty Lodge.