The main 980 km highway, the RN7, leads from Antananarivo to Toliara / Tuléar.
As a road trip it's a long relatively well-tarmacked and stunningly scenic one to the island's semi-arid Southern region, passing majestic mountains, baobab forests, desert-like plateaus with exotic plants, herds of zebu (cows) and colourful local villages.
With a few exceptions, the coast is sandy often with reefs and lagoons. North and south from Toliara / Tulear there are beautiful beaches, tropical islands and coral reefs .
The beach villages of Ifaty, Salary Bay or Anakao are becoming popular as these secret beach hideaways are not so secret any more.
Also not so secret is the fact one of Earth's largest known alluvial sapphire deposits was discovered in 1998 turning Ilakaka into a wild south west mining boom town with a population that soared from 40 residents to over 60,000 ten years later.
Across the region on the south eastern tip, Fort Dauphin harks back to colonial times. Surrounded by mountains, dry forests, nature reserves and beaches Fort Dauphin is the biggest city in the deep south.
Fianarantsoa is one of the most popular towns in the Madagascar highlands not least because of the local wine farms with the closest vineyard at Lazan'I Betsileo, 15km to the north.
Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe region is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, a palm-lined oasis and grassland. A total of 340 fauna species have been recorded inhabiting the area, including 82 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles, 15 species of frogs and 14 species of mammals. Treks in this vast 815km² park can last from several hours to a week or longer.
With the exception of the Vezo ethnic fishermen and some migrants such as the Antanosy of Middle Onilahy, there are two large ethnic groups who share these territories, the Mahafaly and Antandroy, 'people of the thorns' on the coast.
MAJOR CITIES/TOWNS: Fort Dauphin, Morombe, Toliara formerly Tuléar, Ilakaka, Sakaraha, Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao.
NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES: Berenty Reserve, Bezaha Mahafaly, Cap Ste. Marie, Isalo National Park, Tsimanampetsotse National Park, Zombitse-Vohibiasa National Park.
Turquoise water and fine sand beach coves where waves come crashing over rocks. Welcome to Lokaro Bay, a site still preserved from mass tourism...
Located on road leading to Toliara, the protected area of Tsinjoriake is,a newly created nature sanctuary with caves, a table mountain and hundreds of pink flamingos who live in the area all year long near the mangrove swamp that boards the mouth of the Onilahy river...
The South Midongy National Park is located in the south east part of Madagascar about 90km from Vaingaindrano and 42km from Befotoka in the Atsimo-Atsinana Region, 872km from Antananarivo...
Five kilometres off the coastal village of Anakao (south of Toliara) there is this small piece of paradise called Nosy Ve...
About 30km north of Tuléar, you will find Ifaty, consisting of small fishing villages and spots of rare beauty...
Nosy Mangabe or Nosy Marosy, is a small island 5 km from Maroantsetra, is a perfect destination if you are looking for an authentic unspoilt place rich in history...more
The Island of Maurice, located in the south west part of the Indian Ocean is best known for its beaches, but there is also a whole world of nature to discover...more
Scuba diving in Nosy Be is an unforgettable adventure. The National Marine Park of Nosy Tanikely is both exceptional for diving and for snorkelling...more
During a stay at Diego visit the Sacred Lake of Anivorano or Antagnavo. This lake contains many crocodiles that according to legend were once men...more
The South Midongy National Park is located in the south east part of Madagascar about 90km from Vaingaindrano and 42km from Befotoka in the Atsimo-Atsinana Region, 872km from Antananarivo...more