Deep South Tour

Helinirina Raharomanana – Madagascar Tours Guide

Deep South Tour

Deep South Tour - Itinerary

Circuit : Antananarivo – Toliara – Anakao – Itampolo – Lavanono – Berenty – Fort Dauphin

  • Day 1 – Antananarivo
  • Day 2 – Antananarivo – Toliara
  • Day 3 – Toliara – Anakao
  • Day 4 – Anakao
  • Day 5 – Anakao – Itampolo
  • Day 6 – Itampolo – Lavanono
  • Day 7 – Lavanono – Berenty
  • Day 8 – Private Reserve of Berenty
  • Day 9 – Visit of the Nahampoina reserve
  • Day 10 – Excursion and pirogue ride to Lokaro
  • Day 11 – Fort Dauphin
  • Day 12 – Fort Dauphin – Antananarivo
  • Day 13 – Antananarivo – Country of origin

Deep South Tour - Details of the itinerary

Day 1 – Antananarivo

Welcome to Madagascar, the 3rd largest island in the world! Our goal is to make your trip to the Big Island a unique and unforgettable experience throughout your life. Upon your arrival at Ivato International Airport, our guide will welcome you and settle you at your hotel while waiting for the departure of the next day for the Deep South Tour. Among ten circuits already available, we are also able to realize ideas of circuit according to your wishes.

Once you are settled in your hotel, we will take advantage of the free time to visit three key places of the capital in Antananarivo:

    • The upper town on the side of the Andohalo district where stands majestically the Queen’s palace or the Rova of Manjakamiadana. This palace was built in 1839 by Jean Laborde, a French architect under the order of Queen Ranavalona I;
    • From this high place of the kingdom of Madagascar, we go down towards the Anosy Lake and its famous statue of angel erected in the middle of the lake, at the end of a small alley lined with flowers. Today, the district of Anosy is the seat of the different public ministries, the Senate and the famous stadium of Mahamasina;
    • To finish the day and before going back to the hotel, we take you to the district of Analakely which means small forest, because of the presence of a dense forest during the royal time. Analakely is particularly known thanks to the independence avenue and the famous zoma market (Friday market) until the 90s. Today, this district has become the seat of many stores and shopping centers held mainly by Indo-Pakistanis.

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Toliara

Depending on the schedule of your flight to Toliara, our driver will ensure your transfer to Ivato airport where you will take the domestic flight from Antananarivo to Toliara, a city in the South of the Big Island.


Once installed at the hotel, you can then make a small tour of the city, the capital of the Vezo ethnic group. You can see the shellfish market, near the waterfront where there are not only shellfish but also handicrafts, even mohair carpets that are famous in the region. Taking a look at the populous district of “sans fil” where bush cabs disembark and embark their passengers towards the north, i.e. towards Antananarivo, will give you an idea of the importance of the economic activity of the region. Although you may not have enough time to visit it, you should know that there is a Maritime Museum of the Institute of Halieutic Sciences in Toliara where a prehistoric coelacanth is kept.


Even if Toliara has a cosmopolitan population where the 18 tribes of Madagascar cohabit in harmony with populations of Indian, Chinese and European origin, it is essentially populated by Vezo. The Vezo are traditionally fishermen. Their outrigger canoes are made from a very light wood.

Day 3 – Toliara – Anakao

In the morning of this third day of your trip to Madagascar, you will embark on a speedboat for a crossing of about 1H30mn to Anakao. After your installation at the hotel, you can enjoy this afternoon of freedom to walk in Anakao. Vezo village, located in the mouth of the river Onilahy, Anakao is very appreciated for its paradisiacal beaches which run along a turquoise blue sea.

Day 4 – Anakao

In front of Anakao, is the dream island of Nosy Ve. You will go there for an excursion in a traditional vezo dugout and you will be able to appreciate this means of locomotion of the fishermen of the region.


Diving, snorkeling, or simply lazing and relaxing on its heavenly beach of fine sand: this is how Anakao invites you to spend the day you dedicate to this dream island.


You will spend the night in the same hotel as the day before.

Day 5 – Anakao – Itampolo

Departure early in the morning on the coastal track of the big South for the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, one of the most important natural reserves of Madagascar and which extends on approximately 43 000 hectares.


The Deep South tour makes you discover the Salt Lake where pink flamingos and aquatic birds come to rest. Birdwatching in this wetland, classified as a RAMSAR site, is of great interest given the number of endemic bird species in the park.


Caves lined with stalactites and stalagmites, refuges of blind fish, are found on the Circuit le grand Sud profond, as well as baobabs and secular banyan trees.


As in all the reserves of Madagascar, lemurs live in this park. The vegetation is often shrubby and thorny.


We continue our hike to the small village of Vezo fishermen, located on a paradisiacal beach: Itampolo. Itampolo is remarkable for its fine sandy beaches. We will spend the night at the hotel.

Day 6 – Itampolo – Lavanono

Still on the tracks of the great south, direction Lavanono. In this desert landscape, tombs surmounted by funerary sculptures, the “aloalo” tell the story of lives, of passions. Funerary art is expressed here through wood carvings of figures representing perhaps the unfulfilled dreams of the deceased: a plane for example, a car…


Zebu horns cover these tombs, recalling the wealth of the deceased. Such is the custom of the Mahafaly, inhabitants of this southern part of Madagascar.


It is necessary to cross the two rivers Linta and Menarandra to reach the destination. The water of the two rivers is rather dry. Lavanono is enclosed in a canyon and its inhabitants live from fishing. The problem was the lack of water, and the inhabitants had to travel several dozen kilometers to find it. Their situation has improved since the creation of a track and an ecolodge in the area.


We will spend the night in a local lodge.

Day 7 – Lavanono – Berenty

Destination Berenty en empruntant la piste sablonneuse qui passe par Ambovombe, capitale de l’ethnie Antandroy. La végétation luxuriante et les palmiers vous indiquent que vous êtes dans l’Anosy.


Arrivé à Berenty, vous passerez la nuit au gîte.

Day 8 – Private Reserve of Berenty

Located on the banks of the Mandrare River in the extreme south of Madagascar, the Berenty Reserve is one of the rare forest galleries of Madagascar. Called paradise of makis, this place allows to observe the sifakas (glass lemurs) or makis, a species of lemurs very familiar with the man.


For the 8th day of your tour Private Reserve of Berenty, your tour guide will take you to this open-air scientific laboratory founded as a result of a private initiative with the aim of protecting a few hundred hectares of thorny and dry forest galleries of the southern region of Madagascar.


The private reserve of Berenty is a meeting place for botanists and zoologists coming from all over the world to study lemurs in their natural environment. It is a particularly preserved place in which you can observe natural treasures of the Malagasy south in particular endemic fauna such as makis, an emblematic figure of the country, bats, turtles, reptiles and many species of avifauna. This site is home to a wide variety such as the dancing sifakas, the players, the curious, the minis or the shy makis. Berenty is a real sanctuary of wild fauna particularly protected thanks to the initiative of the De Heaulme family since 1936.


Thanks to preservation actions, the reserve of Berenty becomes a privileged ecotouristic destination in the south of Madagascar. Excursions and discovery tours of the unique ecosystem of the south as well as its rich fauna are organized there. Documentary films made in the reserve only increase its fame throughout the world. Berenty attracts all kinds of visitors, from local visitors to researchers and students, as well as famous personalities such as Alison Joly, an American naturalist, and Bill Gates, the American entrepreneur and billionaire in the computer field.

Day 9 – Visit of the Nahampoina reserve

Day 9 of this  deep South tour: the day is devoted to the visit of the reserve of Nahampoina which owes its fame to the richness of its flora. In order to allow the acclimation of new varieties of plants in Madagascar, this reserve was created during the colonial era and welcomes plants from all over the world.


But not only… The characteristic flora of the Malagasy South keeps all its rights there while river, waterfalls, natural swimming pool give to the surroundings a free course to a humid tropical vegetation. The fauna is just as rich and you will also observe birds and butterflies, as well as lemurs, crocodiles and chameleons.

Day 10 – Excursion and pirogue ride to Lokaro

On this 10th day of your trip in the deep South, you leave for an excursion to the Bay of Lokaro. The trip is done by pirogue to this small paradise of the Indian Ocean overhung by some granite mountains.


The variety of landscapes, the tropical forest give you another dimension of Madagascar, an island of dreams.

Day 11 – Fort Dauphin

This day of freedom in Fort Dauphin, you can savor it by strolling quietly in the city. You can watch the biggest market of Fort Dauphin, in Tanambao, at the exit of the city. You can also go back to the past by taking an interest in Fort Flacourt which dates back to the 17th century, in the Fort Flacourt museum and in the historical site, witnesses of the colonial history and the civilization of the local ethnic groups.


You can admire the sunset on the beach of Libanona, take an interest in the rocky platiers or observe the return of the fishermen in the morning to the Old Port and see their women who are busy going to the market to sell the products of can also stroll on the main street of Fort Dauphin.

Day 12 – Fort Dauphin – Antananarivo

On the program of this day, your transfer to the airport of Fort Dauphin where you will take the plane for Antananarivo, the capital, main point of departure of the international flights.


Our driver will welcome you at the international airport of Ivato, and will accompany you to the hotel where you will be installed.

Day 13 – Antananarivo – Country of origin

At about twenty kilometers from Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital, stands Ambohimanga, the blue hill, sacred hill where lived in the XIIIth century, the king Andrianampoinimerina. It is this site with particular doors, classified, that you discover today at the end of your trip in the Big Island.


The hill of Ambohimanga offers a unique panorama of forests, plains and all the sacred hills of Imerina from an exceptional point of view notably from a rock. At its summit, the royal city is bathed in an atmosphere of study that confers the sacred character of which it is impregnated. Pilgrimages but also sacrifices take place there. The fortified enclosure which surrounds it, shelters the hut of the king Andrianampoinimerina, the pavilions of the queens Ranavalona I and II, a sacred basin which was used for the bath of the queens, a park with oxen which will remind you the importance of this animal in the life of the Malagasy people… By discovering Ambohimanga, you will revisit the glorious past of Imerina and you will plunge into an atmosphere crying of authenticity.


Direction Andralanitra where a charismatic man, Father Pedro, has accomplished a miracle: to get hundreds of thousands of Malagasy out of the spiral of poverty. Instead of the dumps where starving people were trying to survive, there are now several villages with roads, schools, workshops, nice houses where an active population lives in peace. The miracle of Father Pedro was not only a breath of fresh air, but a real miracle in the socio-economic context of the country.


Return to the same hotel.


Depending on the flight schedule for your return to your destination country, our driver will accompany you to the airport. Depending on the time you may have, he will be pleased to make a stop at the craft market located on the road to the airport, if you want to take with you, in addition to all these images and emotions that you have experienced in this dream island, Malagasy handicrafts as souvenirs of Madagascar … to offer and to offer yourself …


Deep South Tour - Map

Deep South Tour - Video