Tulear and Infaty
Tulear and Infaty
You either start your journey on the RN7 in Tulear with a domestic flight from Antananarivo or you end the RN7 on the Mozambique canal. South of Tulear there are a number of beautiful lodges, but most visitors decide to travel a little further (1 hour approximately) to the beautiful bay of Ifaty. Here you find a few atmospheric accommodations located between the fishing villages, making the whole setting very authentic. The beaches are not quite as beautiful and tropical as on the islands Ile Sainte Marie and Nosy Be, however the sunsets are definitely to write home about. Besides, there are many fun activities to book making this a very pleasant spot to rest a few days here and enjoy the sea breeze.
The Spiny Forest visit is an unmissable activity when you stay a few nights in Tulear or Ifaty, southern Madagascar. Approximately 95% of the flora in this stimulus forest is endemic, making it the most unique eco-region in the country. With a local guide, you walk (maximum 2 hours) comfortably through the overgrown grounds of Reniala. The guide tells you about the endemic plant and animal species making this area so special. Do not forget to some pictures with the impressive protected ancient Baobabs here.
Snorkelling and diving Ifaty
Ifaty has very interesting snorkel and diving locations. Almost every hotel offers dives or has a particular diving school with which it cooperates. Therefore, snorkel and dive sessions are easy to organize. The dive sites offer a wide variety of fish, coral and turtles. Between the Manombolo and Fiherenana rivers mouths you find a wide bay with a coral reef. This bay extends over approximately 40 kilometers. Rose Garden is a patch reef in the middle of the lagoon situated near the south pass. It is 6 meters to a sandy bottom and just 2 meters to the top of the reef. Other prominent coral colonies include Fungia or mushroom shaped coral, Acropora or table corals and branching corals. Rose Garden boasts over 150 species of fish as well as lobsters, shrimps, rays, and octopus. The local NGO Reef Doctor is currently undertaking a coral plantation project and the local fishermen's association has installed anti-fishing devices to deter illegal fishing and shell collecting within the reserve.
Go back in time on an interesting excursion from Tulear to the small village of Saint-Augustin. This is where fossil egg pieces of the extinct giant ostrich or Elephant Bird (Aepyornis Maximus) can still be found today. Also, the numerous graves in the bay of Saint Augustin will give you some insight of the time sailors, pirates, adventurers and slaves dominated the scene here. Located in a bay inlaid between two huge rocky walls, this village was founded by a company of puritans in 1645. Enjoy the view from the cliffs overlooking the majestic Onilahy river flowing into the sea. When lucky you can find the flamingos at the river delta as well. On the way to the village you can pass by the sacred cave of Sarondrano and the sacred Banyan tree of Miary in the royal village of the Masikoro clan. The tree, which is protected by a wooden fence, is not only sacred but also immense! The roots of this fig tree come out of the earth like tentacles and resembles a small forest on its’ own. Malagasy usually come there to worship their ancestors and deposit offerings.