Central to South Madagascar
: Wonderland

The provinces from the centre to the south of the country include major sites, which are among the most beautiful in the country, the favourites of many Malagasy people:
Ranomafana Park, Isalo, Tsingy Bemaraha Park and of course the famous
Avenue of the Baobabs, the emblematic picture of the country.



Ranomafana National Park

Province of Fianarantsoa 

Pronounce “Ranoumafane”. This isn't the most beautiful park in the country – it’s clearly not a must-see – but if you come to the region to go to the south, and especially if you don’t plan for others due to lack of time, it would be a shame not to stop for a day, if only to enjoy its natural hot water pool at 38°C and see its waterfall.

Parc Ranomafana
Parc Ranomafana

14€/pers., entrance + guide to be divided by the number of people.

Isalo National Park, the magic of the Malagasy South

Province of Toliara

Lézard Parc Isalo

Isalo, 2018
© Coumarène Permale

Throughout my journey, I questioned guides, drivers and a few travelers about their favourite site. All answered the Isalo without hesitation.
This park is the jewel of the country, from which some can act as a anteroom, or a miniature version. Often compared to the American Wild West, it is true that its plains, its relief of eroded sandstone, ridges, cliffs, canyons, its dimensions and its shades of ochre, make you want to ride a horse while playing harmonica, the Colt revolver with the sheath, having a fag. Oh yeahhhh!

The formation of the Isalo is older than Monument Valley, dating back to the Jurassic, between 200 and 130 million years ago.

Parc Isalo
Parc Isalo
Parc Isalo
Faune Parc Isalo
Chenille Parc Isalo


It's one of the busiest, but its size (over 81,000 ha) and the number of possible routes will help you avoid the impression of being in a Disneyland park.
It would be a shame to spend only one day there. I advise you to study the various possible circuits on the official page of the site and to take advice on the spot.
The sunset is a must, especially at the «window of the Isalo», a rock sculpted naturally, in which the rays pierce the stone.

Fenêtre de l'Isalo


Budget.16€/pers., entrance (per day) + guide to be divided by the number of people.


Morondava : The Avenue of the Baobabs

Province of Toliara

Emblematic picture of the country, the Avenue of the Baobabs spreads in fact only on 100 meters and is bordered «only» by a dozen baobabs, but these giants (30 meters high) of more than 800 years old, vestige of a primary forest many, much denser, offers an unreal spectacle, especially at sunset.
To fully enjoy the site, plan to get there in the late afternoon and return early in the morning to admire it under the most beautiful lights of the day (and enjoy a site with or without many tourists). Morondava baobabs are of the species Adansonia grandidieri.


The sunset on the baobabs offers an unreal color palette. No filter needed...
© Coumarene Permale. 2018


Go further to the "baobab in love" to see the romantic poetry of its trunks entwined.

Baobabs amoureux

Free entrance (this is not a park). There is only parking to pay : 0.50€

Descent of the Tsiribihina River : contemplation along the water

Province of Toliara

Fleuve Tsiribihina


Some of them move away from the classic circuits and join the useful with the pleasant while offering an authentic experience in the region, which fits very well in a visit itinerary of the sites described above : descening the river Tsiribihina in 3 days and 2 nights (120 km).



On the agenda :

  • Discover the fauna of the river: crocodiles, birds, lemurs venturing near the banks, bats.
  • Swimming in a natural swimming pool powered by a waterfall
  • Sailing around the Manambolo Gorge
  • Discovering small villages and their local life

At night you dock in camps on the outskirts.

Fleuve Tsiribihina


This is a great opportunity to travel the Malagasy kilometers in a different way, in an atmosphere of confidential exploration.
However be careful about the choice of  your service provider to avoid any safe inconvenience (in other words, don't get you robbed lol).

Budget. 390€/person (base 2 persons) on site. The more you are, the cheaper it will be. I suggest you search the forums for travellers planning this tour on the same dates, or “recruit” them on site. Via a Tour Operator this will cost you more but tours around and transfers will be included. Evaneos, Nomad Adventures, Marco Vasco, offer the experience.

Equipment. Sleeping bag, cap or umbrella (the sun can hit very badly).

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Central West. Melaky Region, Province of Majunga



The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers 72,000 hectares accessible to tourists on tours ranging from 2 hours (but that would be a shame) to two days.
The site being difficult to access (still these famous bumpy slopes), grandiose, and – almost – unique in the world, I recommend spending at least two days there to enjoy all that the park has to offer. The Tsingy of the Bemaraha have the same appearance and the same grey colour as those of the Ankarana, but the park is much larger (15 7000 ha against 18 225 for the Ankarana). This was 200 million years ago the bottom of an ocean.

Tsingys de Behamara


The park is divided into two zones, which will offer you different experiences: Small and large Tsingy.

The small Tsingy : for the canoe ride

The tour begins by canoe, bordering the massif to discover the fauna and flora of the place, then continues to the discovery of the small Tsingy.
An easy access circuit.

The great Tsingy : for the view

Different circuits are possible, to choose according to your fitness. Be careful if you are prone to vertigo (suspension bridge and climbing for some walks). Some narrow passages are not accessible to people who are too corpulent.
Visiting The great Tsingy is essential, as you will have an impressive view of the whole site from the top of a viewpoint.

Tsingy de Behamara

6 €/pers., entrance + guide according to the circuit (prices can be consulted on the website of the national parks by clicking on the description sheet of the chosen circuit. If you are a group it will cost you peanuts.

Equipment.Very good walking shoes (especially for The great Tsingy) and at least 2 liters of water per person + a picnic (no restaurant on site) that your hotel will prepare for you.

Sample itineraries :

The road from Ranomafana to Isalo Park is the most dangerous. Our driver strongly advised against it; he wouldn't have gone there. You have to make a huge detour to visit everything without taking any risks, even if you travel only during the day. If you plan to leave with a tour operator, there will of course be no problem, but if you travel alone I advise you to stick to one of these routes (according to the sites included in your schedule) :

Ranomafana park

Tsingy of Behamara

Morondava (Avenue of the Baobabs)


Back to Morondava


Ranomafana Park


Journey to Miandrizavo

Then down the river to Belo

Tsingy of Bemahara

Isalo Park

Or else

Antananarivo (or Antsirabe) / Miandrizavo (in 1 day drive)

Then down the river to Belo

Tsingy of Bemahara