The Highlands | The North | The East | The South | The West
The South of Madagascar
General description | Climate | The highlights
South of Madagascar is the most arid region
of the island and perhaps also the most unique one in terms of scenery
flora. This bushy extension is spattered with strange baobab forest and
the only place on earth where travellers can admire the spiny forest, a
semi-desert ecosystem formed by huge cactus-like plants which only grow
The route along the southern coast is full up of huge white-sanded and
empty beaches which are indeed hard to reach, since the roads here are
just a path on the sand. But the effort is worthwhile! The RN7, rebuilt
assistance and constantly undergoing maintaining works, is the main
leading to the southern region of the country from
The timeless scenery of the Merina region is slowly left behind and being substituted by a gorgeous moonlike landscape of majestic mountains, vast endless deserts and superb vermillion-coloured cliffs and canyons. We are in the central mountain ranges of Andringitra and Isalo. Here cattle herds are likely to block the traffic. Further south, traffic is literally stopped by human crowds that move ahead in enormous numbers.
The road drives through the sapphire-metropolis of the Ilakaka, a town, which has developed almost out of the blue thanks for its recently discovered gem mines and has acquired now all attributes of a Western-town: brothels, anarchy and thousands of fortune seekers. We leave this outlaw place and finally reach the end of our journey: the Toliara province, a pleasant region with stable warm climate, spotless beaches and an abrupt coastline trimmed with countless bays and shelters.
Amazing baobabs grow amongst spiny forest © Madagascar Travel Guide
To move on you
will need a four-wheeled-vehicle and, moreover, a good one that can
with the far South’s sanded and potholed trails. Only those
travellers will undertake this multi-day hardcore journey through the
This arid region has a dry tropical climate with very little rain. The only period when it can rain is from January to March. The rest of the year is almost completely dry, especially on the south-western coast South from Tulear, which is the driest area of the country. On the eastern part around Fort dauphin it rains a little more. Temperatures get really high from February to Mai and between October and December (30° average), so be prepared for a burning sun during this period. The nicest period is during the winter, from June to September, where the temperatures are around 25°C.
- The coast North and South from Tulear has incredible beaches, tiny tropical islands, well maintained coral reefs and extraordinary landscapes. The beach villages of Ifaty,
- Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro): this charming city full of colonial buildings and located on a fantastic location, surrounded by mountains, dry forests, nature reserves and enormous beaches is the biggest city in the deep south and the starting point to an adventure in this remote region.