Tulear, the city of the sun and the Tropic of Capricorn
Tulear is Madagascar’s southern region capital which is also called Toliara from its’ Malagasy name. The city is sunny all year long and will offer you an outstanding cultural asset. You are off to discover a warm and welcoming people which will leave you unforgettable memories. Enjoy the region’s dream beaches where idleness will be your everyday life.
Toliara, city of the West coast of Madagascar, at the level of the Tropic of Capricorn is fast becoming one of the first tourist areas of the Red island. The city, bright light under the hot sun of the Tropic of Capricorn, consists of broad avenues lined with tamarind trees and flamboyants, groomed streets of sand by a population active, warm and colorful. Tulear's colonial style buildings, grand lanes and innumerable multi-coloured rickshaws (pousse pousse) make a lasting impression on its visitors. Here locals prefer rickshaw transport over cars. The result is an unusually unpolluted city for its size and population, which makes the town well worth exploring for at least a couple of days.
Tulear is the final city along RN7 (National Road 7), which is a tarred road in very good condition starting in Antananarivo. A local airport connects Tulear with Antananarivo, Morondava and Fort Dauphin with daily scheduled flights.
The city is a true rainbow of bright colors with its mosaic of ethnic groups living there. Life in Tulear is cadenced by the tsapiky music which fills the streets and gives the city a lively atmosphere. The city also has its own batch of museums for you to learn about the local culture. The marine museum which is on the way towards the commercial port holds a collection of shells and fossils. The Mahafaly arts and traditions museum is one museum not to miss because it traces the Great South’s arts’ and customs’ evolution. Other attraction of Toliara is its market, which is lively and interesting, as well as one of the best places to buy lambas (pareos). Alongside the city’s cultural aspects, Tulear also shines for its many bars and restaurants where you will enjoy dishes full of flavors, influenced by many parts of the World: India, China and Europe for instance.
While Tulear itself is missing a perfect swimming beach, many beautiful beaches can be found either further north of Tulear, at Ifaty-Mangily, Salary Bay and Andavadoaka, or south of Tulear at St. Augustin Bay, Sarodrano, and Anakao. Tulear usually serves as a gateway to these destinations.
Other out-of-town attractions suitable for day-excursions include the botanical park of Antsokay Arboretum (l'Arboretum d'Antsokay) as well as the viewpoint from Table Mountain. Also well-worth a visit is Reniala Nature Reserve.
ENJOY THESE... out-of-town attractions and activities:
*Excursion Tsinjoriake Protected Area and Table Mountain. Tsinjoriake, a beautiful site of Madagascar. The site is classified as “natural monument and protected harmonious landscapes” and understandably justify its name. The place is breathtaking and will take you on a journey between earth and sky. You might climb mounts and enjoy a 360° vantage point as well as roam underground to uncover hidden corridors. Adventures await you!
*Camping trip Nosy Ve. The visit to the nearby island of Nosy Ve with a traditional pirogue is a big favorite and highly recommended. A about 5 km of Anakao, this long island plate lined with sandy beaches, is located inside the coral reef protecting the lagoon.
*Honko community-based mangrove reserve. The Bird's haven. Visit the first fully developed community mangrove reserve in southwest Madagascar and truly support the local community!
*Kitesurfing tour Vezo-coast from Tulear. For independent kitesurfers with good level, we organize kitesurfing trips Vezo-coast from Tulear and to take back up the kite... Quads follow you by the road. A real pleasure!
*Quad-tours from Tulear. Quad tours remain the most accessible way to discover many areas, mainly along south-western coast of Madagascar. Ready for the adventure?
*Excursion Miary’s Sacred Banyan. The tree, which is protected by a wooden fence, is so large that resembles a forest itself! Miary’s banyan is repeatedly cited as the most representative of the island’s essence.
*Adventure trip Assassins Bay and Mikea Forest. "Sea geysers” and the mystical forest. This adventure trip of several days from Tulear is as interesting on quads as on a sailboat or by 4х4 car.
*visit Arboretum d'Antsokay - is a botanical garden specialized in the flora and fauna of Southwest Madagascar that should not be missed by anyone. On a surface of 40 hectares there are almost 900 species of plants, 90% endemic to the region.
*visit a forest of baobab trees Reniala Private Reserve. Located just 800 meters from the sea on 60 ha, Reniala protects baobabs and spiny forest, it is an ornithologic reserve, a research and preservation center for lemurs where visitors can observe rare birds and reptiles.
*Private Baobab party. Private dinner in the Reniala reserve at the foot of the big millennial baobab at sunset. On the menu, grilled fish, traditional Malagasy dishes, creole and European cuisine. For our guests to have an unforgettable moment during journey.
*Nightclubs. Club ZaZa. It is the oldest and most popular club in town. Clients are a mixture of locals, expats and tourists, music is a mixture of local and western hits as well (the dancing competitions are really funny!). There is also a restaurant inside. There might be local girls looking for white men. Please do not practise sexual tourism. Bo Beach. Next to the jetty to Anakao, this beach bar opens every evening until midnight. Beautiful terrace towards the sea to have a drink or a snack, play billiard or dance with the local people. Fun for sure! Tam Tam Café (former L´Hacienda). New club by the sea. Opened everyday except Tuesdays from midday until late at night. There is a big dancing floor, lots of cocktails and snacks, and live music at weekends.