Toliara (Tulear)

Toliara is Madagascar’s southern paradise. Largely centred around St. Augustine’s Bay, this coastal town and its surrounds are blessed with an excellent mix of pristine beaches, clear tidal pools and shallow frontal reefs, making it a wonderful place to snorkel and swim. With less rainfall than the rest of Madagascar and consistently warm days even during winter, it’s also a year-round beach destination. Inland, a handful of truly exotic national parks and reserves are home to unique arid landscapes which support some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna, most famously a family of large spiny plants that look like they belong on another planet.

enter image description here

Highlights

Explore St Augustine’s Bay:

You’ll never tire of this 14-kilometre-long coastline. Stretching south from Toliara’s airport to the Onilahy River mouth, you’ll find a mix of open beaches, rock pools, caves and mangrove forests, while offshore, dhows lean gently over on the white sand, waiting for the tide to lift them up on gently rising, turquoise waters.

Go scuba diving and snorkelling:

The Toliara region was once Madagascar’s most popular destination for underwater activities, however overfishing and silting have left large parts of the seabed in poor condition. That said, there is still a good reef, called Massif de Roses, at Ifaty, which is 24km north of the town and is where you’ll find the best diving in the area.

enter image description here

Visit the Reniala Forest Reserve:

There are several small reserves a little way inland. Reniala Forest Reserve is one of the best and home to some of the typical flora and avifauna of the southern region – spiny forests, long-tailed ground rollers, sub-desert mesites – as well as Madagascar’s famous lemurs. Routes are well marked but walks are guided and should be booked in advance.

Go hiking, mountain climbing or horse riding at Isalo National Park:

It’s a four-hour drive inland from Toliara but a one- or two-night stay at Isalo National Park is incredibly rewarding for active travellers, especially hikers and mountain climbers. Here, deep canyons cut into the rock are home to extraordinary arid flora and succulents and there are several well-marked trails and rock pools in the reserve, plus number of midrange and exquisite upmarket lodges.

enter image description here

Practical information

  • Toliara offers a wide range of accommodation, from affordable backpackers to ultra-luxury lodges.
  • This is the driest and hottest part of Madagascar, sometimes getting no rainfall at all in a year. If you’re planning any physical activities, then start as early as possible as it gets extremely hot in the afternoons.
  • It takes two days (20 hours of driving) to get to Toliara from Antananarivo so flying is the best option for most visitors.
  • While Toliara itself has good facilities for holidaymakers (ATMS, shopping, clinics), the surrounding areas generally have very little so be sure to draw cash and buy supplies before heading out.

Our Recommended Itinerary

North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 1

  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 2

Encounter the beautiful three bays of Diego Suarez
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 3

Diego Suarez To Joffreville
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 4 to 5

Ankarana via Red Tsingy Special Reserve
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 6 to 7

Days of Leisure in Nosy Be
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 8

  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 9

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Madagascar in January

January is midsummer in Madagascar. In the northern and eastern regions, this is characterised by heavy rainfall – up to 340mm have been recorded on the east coast during the month. It’s a continuation of the ‘wet season’, which starts around the end of November and lasts well into March. It’s significantly drier in the south and southwest but there is still rainfall throughout…

Fianarantsoa

About 400km south of Antananarivo is Fianarantsoa, considered the cultural capital of Madagascar. Split into an upper and lower town, Fianarantsoa has a captivating historical charm. The upper, referred to as the ‘old town’, is perched on a hill with the Antranobiriky Church at its centre and there is a good mix of midrange and budget accommodation to be found. However, it’s the…

Nosy Be

Nosy Be is a small island a few kilometres off the north-western coast of Madagascar. It’s Madagascar’s quintessential beach-holiday destination, with a delightful climate almost year-round and white-sand beaches so pure they squeak. Its coral reefs are colourful and prolific and the tropical waters, warmed by the Agulhas Current, beckon you in. Inland, forested reserves and lush…

Madagascar in April

While there may still be significant rainfall in the east and north, the number of sunny days across the country increases dramatically in April and the countryside, from the highlands down to low-lying valleys, is at its most lush and green. It’s the hottest period of the year on the east coast, with averages temperatures of 30°C (86°F). On the west and south coasts, April marks the…

Nosy Boraha (Îl Sainte-Marie)

Nosy Boraha (formerly and still more commonly known as Îl Sainte-Marie) is a sliver of paradise off Madagascar’s northeast coast. A notorious pirate hideout in the late 17th century, it’s believed that this tropical islet once provided shelter for almost 1000 marauders. They would shelter in its calm bays between escapades into the Indian Ocean, plundering vessels as they returned…

Solo travel in Madagascar

Travelling alone can be daunting regardless of where in the world you go. On a remote island with a beleaguered infrastructure, it can seem all the more formidable. The good news is that Madagascar is absolutely fantastic for solo travellers. But that’s only provided you take one essential item: the right (casual) attitude. With a laid-back approach and, especially, a relaxed notion of…

Popular Madagascar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

One of the absolute highlights of this trip is a visit to the famous Baobab Avenue where you can watch a breathtaking sunset....

 | Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

With its spectacular rainforests, beaches and waterways, this former pirate hideout offers a relaxed ambiance and more than enough activities to keep guests occupied...

 | North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

Two of Madagascar's most popular destinations are yours to explore in this relaxed beach-based itinerary...

 | The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Take a Madagascar island adventure holiday and be one of the few to explore this mystical place...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:


   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2