Take A Trip To The Makay Mountain Chain

The mountain chain of Makay is a 175km long natural barrier covering an overall surface of 4000km² near Ranohira in the south-west of Madagascar. It is located between the Tsiribihina river in the north and the Mangoky river in the south. The geological formations of brittle sandstone domes, criss-crossed by lush green canyons, are several thousands of years old. While the south-west of the island is dry and arid, the mountain chain shelters rainforests almost identical to those in the east.
The Makay mountain chain has become a paradise for hikers. However, it does not only attract naturalists and backpackers, it is also interesting for social sciences researchers, notably archaeologists and anthropologists. A trip into these mountains is an adventure to a barely explored region, including encounters with a nomadic population, the Bara people, or with the Sakalava, the first population that actually settled here.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine October 2019

Useful Information


When to go

Take a 4X4 and drive along the RN7 as far as Antsirabe and then take the road west as far as Sakoazato. Once you arrive in the village, trackers and porters will accompany you during the whole expedition.


How to get there

You can explore the Makay mountain chain at any time of year as there is a very low risk of rain or bad weather. However, you should always remember to take sunscreen and anti-mosquito lotion and wear clothes to cover your body.


Where to stay

Go on an adventure and stay with the locals, or take a tent and stay at the heart of the mountains. For those who would like more comfort, there are hotels close to the mountain chain: Chez Alice, Isalo Rock Lodge, the Satrana Lodge or the Relais de la Reine Isalo.


Where to eat

There are villages in the area that have small traditional restaurants and snack-bars serving local specialties.


What to see

Sail along the Menapandaha river. The thousands of kilometres of natural maze are a real wonder: a fascinating adventure of discovery. Extend your visit to the National Park of Isalo and the village of Isalo to discover the great Bara culture, of Bantou origin, by staying with them or hiring them as guides.

Prime Magazine Madagascar 2018 | All Rights Reserved