Memories of Itampolo

 
Itampolo is characterized by its white sand dunes. There was a drought that lasted for several years, making the village famous as a paradisiacal desert. Nature has dried up two rivers and transformed the beaches, where the fine sand stretches as far as the eye can see, in front of crystal clear water and rows of coconut palms. Itampolo is also famous for its culture and especially its funerals, which are a major cultural event. In the heart of "Mahafaly" (literally "making people happy"), sadness is not accepted. Ancient objects adorn the village, symbols of the joy that reigned there. The deceased are remembered via funeral poles or "Aloalo". The inhabitants spend weeks or even months celebrating the memory of their loved ones during a traditional festival, to which visitors are welcome. At this moment, the customs and habits of the village are presented. On the road to the beach, tourists can meet zebu carts, which seem to have been made in the prehistoric past but are still operational! It is a means for transporting goods from neighbouring villages.  Geographically, Itampolo is located 360km south of Tulear. The village was built by the Vezo people. They make their living from fishing.
 
This article was featured in Prime Magazine November 2018

Useful Information

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When to go

The perfect season to travel to Itampolo starts in the middle of the year. From July to mid-September, the good weather doesn't stop.

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How to get there

This coastal part is accessible by boat. The village of Itampolo is located an hour's drive away from Tulear, which can be reached via the RN7.

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Where to stay

The bungalows of the hotel "Sud Sud Sud Itampolo" are welcoming and pleasant. A motorhome is available for those who prefer to be mobile.

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Where to eat

The locals offer fried prawns or lobster just off the beach. But the restaurants in the hotels provide a more refined menu.

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What to see

During the season, there is a high chance of spotting whales. It is interesting to visit the caves where lemurs sometimes take refuge. Or take a stroll along the Mahafaly plateau, which shelters the ancestors' souls, materialized by the "funeral post" tombs (the erected Aloalo). With a little luck, the protected turtles will come out.

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