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

Luxury holiday in Madagascar

If it’s luxury you’re looking for then Madagascar is your oyster, and where to find its pearls is entirely up to you. For chilled-out beach bliss, cocktails and massages, look no further than the upmarket lodges around Nosy Be, Mahajanga and Antsiranana. If it’s Madagascar’s unique fauna and flora that fascinates you, you’ll find almost all of the national parks have at least…

Mahajanga

Mahajanga is the largest commercial port town on Madagascar’s west coast and the hub of the country’s trade with East Africa. As one of the first points of contact between mainland Africa and Madagascar, it has a rich history and a wonderful mix of culture coloured by merchants and traders. Set along the Bomboteka River delta, there’s lots to see outside of town and most…

Madagascar in September

September is springtime in Madagascar and temperatures start to rise gradually across the country. Evenings on the west coast and the highlands remain cooler, while the northwest and northern coasts experience daytime averages of 25°C (77°F) and sporadic showers. The southwest and south are a little warmer and remain dry, with steady winds along the south coast that are not quite strong…

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…

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…

Madagascar in July

July is generally dry across Madagascar although the country’s two microclimate regions (the northeast and northwest) still receive regular, light rains. Temperatures average around 22°C (72°F) along the coast, but can often reach 28°C (82°F), especially in the east. Conditions inland are considerably colder with daytime highs seldom above 21°C (70°F) and cold evenings that dip to…

Popular Madagascar Safaris

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

 | 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...

 | 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...

 | 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...

 | 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....

Ready to start your adventure?

+27 (0)21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2