Culture: Love Coffee? Get it local.

You’ve probably heard of Madagascar vanilla, but not coffee, as it is not (yet) widely exported. However, coffee is wildly consumed locally and has a long and rich tradition in Madagascar. Indeed, it we could say that it has an important part of daily life for many Malagasy people. Coffee is grown in various regions of Madagascar, and the island’s highlands all along the eastern coast, are particularly known for their exceptional coffee beans.

One of the unique aspects of coffee in Madagascar is how it is often consumed. Malagasy coffee is typically served with sugar. A lot of sugar. In fact, the sugar often becomes just as much a part of the coffee experience as the coffee itself. The sugar is used to balance the bitterness of the coffee, and it is not uncommon to see people add several spoonfuls, and if milk is used, it is usually sweetened condensed milk.

Kids Drink Coffee!

Another interesting aspect of the coffee tradition in Madagascar is that it is often given to children. While coffee is reserved for adults in many other countries, in Madagascar, it is common for children to enjoy coffee with a heavy dose of sugar. It is common to see children as young as five or six years old drinking coffee with their parents or grandparents. It is seen as a way of passing on tradition and simply a way of starting the day for families working in rice paddies or herding zebu.

Ceremonies and Welcomes

In addition to being a popular beverage, coffee also plays an important role in social customs in Madagascar. It is often served to guests as a sign of hospitality, and it is customary to offer coffee to visitors as a way of showing respect and making them feel welcome. In some parts of Madagascar, coffee is used in traditional ceremonies and rituals. For example, visit a the body of someone recently deceased. There will be coffee served in small cups to the guests throughout the day, and especially at night, when the family stays with the body (in the Antanosy traditions of the South this is done fro three days).

Overall, the coffee tradition in Madagascar is a unique and important part of the country’s cultural heritage. From how it is served with sugar to how it is given to children, coffee plays an important role in daily life and social customs. By understanding and appreciating the coffee tradition in Madagascar, we can better understand the country’s rich and diverse culture.

Ordering Coffee

In many restaurants patronized by foreigners, you will be served imported espresso from a coffee pod. Unless you ask for “cafe allonge” or the “cafe Maison.” When ordering coffee in a local spot or along the road, it most likely already be loaded with sugar, and it may be served in a communal cup, which may not be sanitary. If you can, ask for a fresh brew and rinse your cup with hot coffee before drinking. We generally drink black coffee at home, but after a long drive in the car, a stop along the road to drink the sweet, fresh coffee can be oddly refreshing.


Your best bet, if you are a coffee addict and or not fond of sugar or questionable water, is to buy and have roasted your grounds and travel with a thermos when venturing out for the day or a road trip. We always travel with an insulated thermos and sometimes a small percolator.

Buy Me a Coffee

enamel cup on cardboard -- street coffee!

In some areas of Madagascar, this phrase is used as a traditional and respected form of begging. The idea behind this practice is that the person asking for coffee is not simply asking for money but rather for a small act of kindness and hospitality. It is seen as a way for individuals to help each other out and/or make a request after someone has offered assistance, such as helping a stuck vehicle, answering a question, or giving directions. While it is ultimately up to the individual to decide whether or not to give money or buy a coffee for someone who asks, it is important to respond to this tradition with respect. In my own experience, it is generally older folks who make this request.

House Roasted Coffee

cowboy coffee
coffee over an open flame while camping

While coffee is an important part of the culture in Madagascar, it’s important to note that not all coffee is created equal. If you’re looking for an authentic experience, it’s best to avoid instant coffee or imported espresso and instead ask for Grandma’s house-roasted coffee.

At places like Voky Be, our coffee is roasted weekly in a large wok over an open flame, resulting in a rich and flavorful brew that’s best enjoyed black, without sugar. When we take clients camping, we always heat our fresh grounds with Tatirano over an open flame. Cowboy coffee is what we call this in Colorado, pouring off the top and leaving the grains in the bottom of the pot!

So, if you want to truly experience the coffee culture in Madagascar, seek out the local spots and try our traditional methods.

Embark on Epic Madagascar Natural Tours for Adventure in the South

faux cap direction ankoba
Embark on Epic Madagascar Natural Tours for Adventure in the South!

Are you ready to embark on an epic adventure in the southern regions of Madagascar? If you’re seeking the perfect blend of breathtaking natural beauty, thrilling activities, and rich cultural experiences, then look no further. Voky Be offers custom-curated Madagascar Natural Tours to those seeking a unique opportunity to explore this enchanting part of the world. Get ready for a journey filled with pristine beaches, diverse landscapes, and the chance to get up close with lemurs in Madagascar.

1. Overview of what you might see on a Madagascar Natural Tours

Madagascar’s southern region is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From majestic mountains to unblemished sandy beaches, this part of the island offers a wide range of activities. Whether you’re into snorkeling, surfing, hiking, or simply relaxing in the sun, you’ll find it all here. The diverse climate and geography allow you to explore deserts, mountains, rainforests, and stunning beaches, all within a day’s drive or less.

One of the unique aspects of this region is the opportunity to traverse both well-maintained and adventure-worthy, poorly maintained roads, perfect for quad rides. Additionally, you’ll have access to incredible wildlife, including the iconic lemurs, chameleons, and rare tortoises. The friendly local population adds to the charm of this destination, and it’s a place where the natural beauty is still relatively untouched by mass tourism.

2. The Southern Gem: What Makes Madagascar Natural Tours Special

During the day, Madagascar is a nature lover’s dream, and at night, Southern Madagascar is a stargazer’s dream, with the Southern Cross bright in the night sky year-round. The lack of light pollution allows you to witness the Milky Way and stars shining brilliantly. During the day, you’ll experience more sunny days than rainy ones, making it possible to enjoy water sports almost every day. The best times to visit Taolagnaro are from October to December and April to June for water sports, but rest assured that you can partake in most activities throughout the year.

3. Planning Your Adventure

View from Ankoba Beach Hotel
View from Ankoba Beach Hotel

Now that you’re excited to explore this beautiful region, let’s talk about planning your Madagascar Natural Tours adventure. To make the most of your trip, consider Voky Be Tours. They offer custom-curated Madagascar vacations with various activities, from quad trips and surfing to 4×4 expeditions and hiking. Our owner, Yves, is a native of Taolagnaro, speaks multiple languages, including French and English, and brings a wealth of knowledge and stories to enhance your experience.

Chabani Travel is another excellent option, renting reliable 4x4s with experienced drivers. They’re also associated with the luxurious Ankoba Beach Hotel, offering an ideal combination of adventure and comfort. You can find more information at

Luxury travelers can explore other regions with Dadamanga Travel, starting in Tana. Their all-inclusive trips are well regarded, but to experience the beauty of southern Madagascar, we recommend joining Voky Be.

Air Fort Services, also based in Taolagnaro, is associated with the Talinjoo and Hotel Vintana; and is best for large groups. Find more details at When it comes to planning your family vacation or travelling as an individual or small group, tour Operators such as Voky Be or Miliba Voyages will provide that custom-curated touch and experience.

4. Destinations in the South

Enjoy an afternoon in a hammock
Enjoy an afternoon in a hammock

Your adventure wouldn’t be complete without exploring the remarkable destinations in the southern region of Madagascar. Here are a few must-visit places:

  • Musee de Flacourt: Learn about the historical significance of the region.
  • Tsitongambarika: Discover a lowland forest with exciting flora and fauna.More info
  • Park Saidi: Explore the natural wonders of this park and see rescued lemurs living on small islands.
  • Reserve de Nahampona: Get up close with the local wildlife, including several species of lemurs, tortoises and chameleons.
  • Zone de Conservation Mandena: Experience various ecosystems, including humid forests and xerophytic bush.
  • Ambatotsirongorongo: Home to the Lavasoa dwarf lemur, a rare species found only in this region. This region is still in development and may be best suited for academic research. More info
  • Park Andohaela: Encounter diverse ecosystems, from dense humid forests to bush and transitional forests. More info
  • Domaine de La Cascade: Explore a vast area near Fort-Dauphin, bordering the last lowland primary forest in the southern region. More info
  • Lokaro, Evatraha: Pristine beaches and breathtaking views await you.
  • Pic St. Louis: Plan an early morning hike with a guide up Pic St. Louis for the best views in the region.

5. Adventure Activities

Pic St Louis:
Pic St Louis: Embark on Epic Madagascar Natural Tours for Adventure in the South!

Even if your goal is simply Madagascar Natural Tours, there are many other enjoyable activities such as hiking, ATV sports, water sports, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or new to such experiences, southern Madagascar has something for everyone.

Southern Madagascar is an adventurer’s paradise, offering a wide range of thrilling activities that will ignite your passion for exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned thrill-seeker or new to the world of adventure, this region promises unforgettable experiences for everyone.

  • Hiking Adventures: The diverse landscapes of southern Madagascar provide ample opportunities for hiking enthusiasts. From dense rainforests to spiny deserts and pristine beaches, you’ll find a multitude of trails to explore. Get ready to trek through some of the most beautiful and untouched natural areas, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of this exotic land.
  • Quad Biking Excursions: If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, our quad biking adventures will not disappoint. The old roads, new trails under construction, and badly maintained roads create the perfect terrain for an ATV excursion. Experience the thrill of off-roading and discover the hidden gems of southern Madagascar, from remote villages to breathtaking viewpoints.
  • Water Sports Galore: The sunny weather and the endless coastline of the south make it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re into surfing, snorkeling, swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking, you’ll find the ideal spot to indulge in your favorite aquatic activity. And even on rainy days, the region often surprises you with a few hours of sun, ensuring that you can enjoy water sports throughout the year.
  • Boat Rides through Mangroves: Explore the enchanting mangroves of southern Madagascar on a relaxing boat ride. These unique ecosystems are teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Glide through the calm waters, taking in the serenity and the fascinating biodiversity that surrounds you, and then sleep at Nepenthes in Evatraha or continue on to camp in Lokaro.
  • Getting Up Close with Wildlife: Southern Madagascar is home to an array of unique and endangered species, including the famous lemurs, chameleons, and the rare tortoise. The region provides an opportunity to witness these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat. The lemurs are particularly friendly and curious, making your encounter with them even more special.
  • Camping Adventures: Spend nights under the starlit skies at pristine locations like Lokaro, experiencing the true essence of nature. Camping in southern Madagascar is not just about stargazing but also about immersing yourself in the local culture, sharing stories around a campfire, and waking up to breathtaking ocean views.
  • Surfing: Ampotatra Beach, with its consistent waves, is the perfect spot for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a pro or just starting, you can catch some great waves here. Ampotatra’s relaxed atmosphere and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean make it an ideal place to learn or improve your surfing skills.

These adventure activities are just a glimpse of what southern Madagascar has to offer. The region’s rich and diverse landscapes make it a playground for explorers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re seeking a heart-pounding thrill or a serene escape into nature, the adventures here will leave you with memories to cherish.

6. Choosing Your Accommodations

Selecting the right accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and memorable stay. We’ve categorized them into Rustic, Basic, Recommended, and Luxury Lodging options to suit your preferences:

Rustic Accommodations (may lack running water, wifi, or reliable electricity):

  • Chez Anita
  • L’Euro
  • Le Tournesol
  • Mahavoky

Basic Accommodations

Should have running water and electricity; wifi may be unreliable:

  • Port Hotel
  • Hotel Vintana
  • Anja Guest House (B&B style)
  • Auberg’inn (short term room rental)

Recommended Accommodations

For an excellent experience, service, comfort, and design; with hot water and reliable Wi-Fi:

  • Hotel La Croix du Sud
  • Talinjoo
  • All Voky Be Lodgings (found on Airbnb)
  • Also found on Airbnb: Le Mitouf, Hotel Lovasoa, Kerala Residence
  • Nepenthes offers lovely cottages in town and boat trips as well as bungalow rentals in Evatraha. Website | Business Site

Luxury Accommodations:

  • Ankoba Beach Hotel
  • Dauphine & Vohitsy Apartments by Vokybe
Our Master Chef preparing a local Malagasy dish
Our Master Chef preparing a local Malagasy dish

7. Exploring the Culinary Scene with Voky Be Tours

While it may not be the most exhilarating aspect of your journey, understanding where to dine is an essential part of any Madagascar adventure. It’s crucial to be aware that hygiene standards and refrigeration practices can vary, and recent years have witnessed a few instances where unwelcome protozoa disrupted some travelers’ experiences.

Street Food (Prioritize Your Health, Opt for the Fresh and Hot Meals)

Indulging in street food can be a memorable part of your trip, but safeguarding your health is paramount. We strongly recommend selecting street vendors that can guarantee freshly made and piping hot donuts, mofo gasy, and or other items, reducing the risk of health concerns. Avoid any pastas, sandwiches, sambos or other room-temperature foods on the street or in small “gargots.”

Malagasy & French Food – Choose the Menu of the Day, Prioritize Fresh and Hot Meals

For those eager to savor the authentic flavors of Malagasy and French cuisine, we advise dining at the following establishments renowned for their commitment to providing tourists with fresh, hot, and safe meals:

  • Marina (Chez Bernard)
  • L’Arrivage (Ankoba Beach)
  • Pizza Express
  • Le Dauphin
  • Saint Pas
  • Ankoba Beach Hotel
  • Talinjoo
  • La Kabane
  • Hotel Vintana
  • Azura Hotel

Exercising Caution for Overseas Tourists

To ensure that your culinary experiences are as enjoyable as possible, we recommend overseas tourists avoid dining at certain establishments that may not adhere to international standards of hygiene and food safety. While these places might be suitable for locals, we advise against the following. If you do choose to eat at one of these establishments opt for “menu of the day” and avoid salad and uncooked items, including fruit. Drink your beverages straight from the bottle and not from a glass.

  • Chez Vivie
  • Chez Anita
  • Le Tournesol
  • Les Chasseurs

Starting Your Day Right

Kick off your mornings with a delightful breakfast at the following establishments, known for their quality offerings:

  • Vintana (Kaleta) Bakery
  • L’Arrivage

Pizza Lovers’ (and delivery)

If you have a penchant for pizza, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy a whole pie at these recommended pizzerias:

  • Pizza Express: Whether you opt for dine-in or delivery, Pizza Express offers a variety of meat and vegetable options, with no pork on the menu. Pizzas are simple and they are SQUARE. The size of a medium-large pizza box.
  • L’Arrivage: Featuring dine-in and delivery choices, their pizzas come with options that inlcude bacon and ham. Classic, round, French style pizza.
Coffee on the beach in Mangily, Toliara
Coffee on the beach in Mangily, Toliara

Eat with Voky Be & Cafe Bar Colorado:

For our guests we offer a breakfast menu, we can prepare (safe) sandwiches and picnic foods, as well as, prepare classic Malagasy dishes or fresh seafood, with advance notice. Please see us for options.

As you explore the southern regions of Madagascar with Voky Be Tours, take the time to relish the distinctive flavors this remarkable destination has to offer. Immerse yourself in the essence of Malagasy cuisine, all while ensuring your culinary experiences are both appetizing and safe.

8. Safety and Health Tips

Staying safe and healthy during your adventure is essential. Learn about vaccinations, local customs (carry hand sanitizer as many toilets offer only water or no handwashing facilities), and potential risks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

The CDC has current recommendations on traveling to Madagascar. We also recommend that for long-stay travelers (3 months or more) a visit to the local medical center for informations on parasites that you can pick up with prolonged exposure.

9. Local Culture and People

Discover the rich culture and warm hospitality of the locals in southern Madagascar. While some areas may ask for assistance or offer to buy them a coffee, it’s important to understand the local context. The region is generally safe, with potential concerns in crowded markets (pickpockets) and some rural roads at night (bandits). Many of the traditional dances, clothing, and face painting seen in Madagascar come from the tribes in the south

10. Booking Your Madagascar Natural Tour

When it comes to booking your Madagascar natural tour in the south, it’s crucial to ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience. Voky Be Tours is here to guide you through the process, offering expert insights and personalized assistance.

The first step to planning your adventure is choosing the right tour operator. Voky Be Tours specializes in crafting custom-curated Madagascar vacations that start from Fort Dauphin or Taolagnaro, Madagascar. We take care of all the details, from arranging accommodations and transportation to planning exciting activities for adventure travelers.

What sets Voky Be Tours apart is the personal touch.

Our owner is not only a native of Taolagnaro who speaks all dialects of Malagasy, as well as, being fluent in French, and English. With his unique background, including retirement from the French Special Forces and extensive culinary expertise, you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind adventure. From quad trips, surfing expeditions, and 4×4 journeys to easy and challenging hikes and walking tours, we offer an array of experiences to choose from. We’ve got you covered for those who seek the thrill of camping in hidden spots like Lokaro.

If you prefer to rent a reliable 4×4 with a driver, Voky Be Tours can assist you in organizing a 4×4 rental through Chabani Travel for your convenience.

To book your Madagascar adventure, please fill out our trip request form here.

By providing us with your preferences and details, we can tailor a unique experience that matches your interests and ensures a hassle-free journey.

Please note that we take a deposit and include a service charge for all tours.

11. Testimonials and Stories

Experience the magic of southern Madagascar through the eyes of those who have embarked on epic adventures with Voky Be Tours. These personal anecdotes and testimonials capture the essence of this captivating destination and the unforgettable experiences that await you:

Julien’s Adventure

“Que faire ? Pour un séjour dans un bungalow idyllique en Airbnb… vous trouverez tout le confort pour visiter Fort-Dauphin. Yves Alisson et les enfants vous réservent un accueil sans égal où vous goûterez à la culture malgache, tant par la cuisine que par vos hôtes. Vous rêvez d’aventure ? Sous l’œil bienveillant et sécurisant d’Yves, ancien membre des forces spéciales françaises, vous découvrirez sa ville natale, sa région d’enfance, que ce soit en quad ou en randonnant… du sable, des parcs naturels, l’aventure vous attend avec un guide hors norme…” – Julien

Lumar’s Remarkable Journey

“It was an amazing experience to stay at Alison and Yves’ place and to go outdoors with Yves! He owns beautiful land that you only have access to if you travel with him. He will do everything with you, organize everything you want around outdoor sports: surfing, hiking, camping, kayaking, SUP, snorkeling, quad… He is super excited about this region and a very positive and interesting person to be around. He is generous and very welcoming. I highly recommend staying at his place and exploring Fort Dauphin and its surroundings with him!” – Lumar Google Review

Angela’s Unforgettable Journey

“I expressed interest in coming to Madagascar, and someone recommended that I look into Voky Be Tours. This was my first time traveling there, so I did not know what to expect. The representative was very nice and reassuring. Coming from the US, I was not sure how to arrange the flights and connections. Voky Be Tours assisted and took care of all the airfare connections, transportation, and shuttles. I felt very safe. The facility was very nice, well-kept, and secure. I had AMAZING ocean views from my room and experienced the best sunrises and sunsets. I enjoyed hanging out at the bar to grab a bite to eat or just take in the scenery. I experienced local cuisine as well as a burger or veggie burger and fries when I wanted a taste of home. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I had a lot of questions, and they were very patient to help me understand the culture.

I booked a tour, and the guide took me on a boat ride and hike to a remote island where we had lunch and enjoyed the beautiful beach and scenery. I also arranged to go to a park to see the lemurs. There is so much to take advantage of in Fort Dauphin at Voky Be. Outside of my tours, I enjoyed relaxing at the local beach, which is within walking distance, and visiting the local vendors. The locals in Fort Dauphin are very warm and friendly. I did not have any bad experiences. I look forward to returning to Voky Be in the future!” – Angela Google Review

These captivating testimonials offer a glimpse into the incredible experiences that await you on your own journey through the southern regions of Madagascar with Voky Be Tours.

Please fill out our trip planning form today, and join us and create your own extraordinary memories.