The modern city of Toliara in southern Madagascar was designed in 1985 by a French architect whose dedication to planting trees around the city has paid off in spades today. Green branches offer respite from the sweltering heat of the sun while the bustling and dusty city is nicknamed ‘the white’ due to the white-washed French colonial buildings which stand among ornate, domed mosques.
The city features two important museums: the Museum of the Sea and the municipal museum. Visitors can ogle at the prehistoric coelacanth, gain insight into the culture of the area, and view fascinating exhibits such as the Sakalava erotic tomb sculptures. The coast is dense with marine life and is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving. The privately run Arboretum d’Antsokay and Reniala Private Reserve are in proximity to the city and offer an affordable but well-rounded experience.
Toliara is becoming southern Madagascar’s leading city and is in proximity to the beaches around Ifaty. Ifaty is a promising beach destination, which draws travellers looking for a romantic getaway far from the crowded beaches in the north. The city is located at the end of the RN7, the long and well-maintained road that extends to Antananarivo.
- A modern city designed by a French architect who lined its streets with trees to protect inhabitants from the sweltering heat
- On the fast track to becoming southern Madagascar’s leading city
- Two museums offer insight to the culture and marine life of the area
- The Arboretum d’Antsokay and Reniala Forest are must-sees
- Close to Ifaty’s beaches which are uncrowded in comparison to those in the north
- Easily accessible from Antananarivo by the RN7