Ten Things to Pack for the Best World Schooling Trip to Madagascar

View over old port in Taolagnaro

We’ve compiled this post to help you determine what to pack for the best World Schooling trip to Madagascar. After many trips around Madagascar, living here for over five years, and hosting families at Voky Be Lodging here in Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro), we have seen what makes folks feel at home and safe and maximize their experience.

With over 90% of the plants and animals in Madagascar uniquely found in the country, Madagascar can be a magical addition to your World Schooling Journey.

People often think of lemurs and rainforests, which are considered Madagascar, but you can find almost all climates and types of geography except for snow and ice.

The eastern part of the country has mountains. The central part plateaus, the west and south, deserts. The entire coastline is relatively unblemished, with gorgeous beaches, sometimes with perfect white sand, other times with mangroves or cliffs.

Most tourists to Madagascar hire guides, not because the country is dangerous (it’s not), but because each region has different traditions and customs, infrastructure is weak, and most people don’t, in fact, speak English or French. Without a guide, you may find yourself lost, stuck, or stopping to pee someplace where it’s taboo!

Arriving at the airport in Tana for your World Schooling Trip to Madagascar
Arriving at the airport in Tana for your World Schooling Trip to Madagascar

What to Pack for the Best World Schooling Trip to Madagascar:

  1. Picnic Blanket and Hammock: Pack a lightweight, portable picnic blanket that can be a comfortable outdoor learning space. Additionally, bring a portable hammock that can be easily set up between trees, providing a cozy spot for reading, studying, or simply relaxing amidst Madagascar’s natural beauty. Picnic tables are uncommon; sand is everywhere, so these are essentials!

Our Favorite Hammock with a mosquito net built-in…

We have had a picnic blanket like this since 2016 and use it all the time! They do get stained, but otherwise are durable.

2. Reliable Laptop or Tablet: A sturdy and reliable device is essential for educational purposes, research, online resources, and communication with other homeschoolers or tutors. Make sure to pack a laptop or tablet that meets your needs and is suitable for educational activities.

3. Power Adapter, Outlets Adaptors, and Surge Protector: While most things in Madagascar follow French or European norms, sometimes folks will use different plug types in Madagascar. I’ve encountered German and British options, so bring a power adapter and compatible plugs to ensure you can use local outlets. Additionally, bring a surge protector to safeguard your electronics from power fluctuations, on-offs, and surges to ensure longevity. Madagascar generally operates on French 220-240 volt electricity with dual prongs (not always grounded three prongs), so pack the appropriate power adapters and voltage converters for your electronic devices. I have also seen German 3-prong outlets in some hotels.

4. Bug and Fish Catching Kit: Foster curiosity and hands-on learning by including a bug-catching kit with containers, nets, magnifying glasses, and field guides. Similarly, consider packing a small fishing net for catch-and-release activities, allowing you to observe and learn about the local insects and aquatic life.

5. Snorkeling Gear: Explore Madagascar’s stunning marine life by packing snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins. This will enable you to discover the underwater world and gain insights into the diverse marine ecosystem.

6. Outdoor Science Kit & Travel-Friendly Microscope: Pack an outdoor science kit with a magnifying glass, compass, thermometer, and microscope. These tools allow you to conduct scientific observations and experiments in Madagascar’s natural environments. Bring a compact and travel-friendly microscope that allows for a close-up examination of specimens. This will provide hands-on learning opportunities for exploring biology, botany, and other scientific subjects in Madagascar’s diverse ecosystems.

7. Wraps and or compact towels. Hidden beaches, swimming opportunities, or simply getting wet, are typical in Madagascar. A small and compact towel or wrap that you can use as a cover-up, to dry up or sit on is essential!

8. Field Journal and Art Supplies: Encourage creativity and documentation by including a field journal and art supplies in your pack. Use the journal to record observations, sketches, and reflections during outdoor learning. Pack art supplies like colored pencils, markers, and watercolors to express your creativity and capture the beauty of Madagascar’s landscapes.

Walking on the beach in Mangily north of Toliara.
Walking on the beach in Mangily north of Toliara.

9. Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Bring a portable Bluetooth speaker to enhance your outdoor learning experiences during your World Schooling trip to Madagascar. You can use it to listen to educational podcasts and audio lessons or connect to YouTube to listen to local Malagasy music to create an immersive learning environment.

10. Outdoor Safety Gear: Prioritize your safety during outdoor activities by packing essential safety gear, including items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sturdy shoes, a reusable water bottle, and a comprehensive outdoor first aid kit designed for backpackers. What to Pack for the Best World Schooling Trip to Madagascar that also ensures you can relax in remote regions is to ensure that you or your guide have a first aid kit on hand and know how to contact emergency services.

One reason that folks love to travel with Voky Be Tours for their World Schooling trip to Madagascar is the peace of mind provided by having a local guide who is also retired special forces.

This backpacker’s first aid kit should include adhesive bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, blister treatments, tweezers, a tourniquet, a syringe (for administering medication or cleaning wounds), and any necessary prescription medications. Additionally, consider including items like a CPR mask, emergency blanket, emergency whistle, and a multi-tool for added preparedness. With a well-equipped backpacker’s first aid kit, you’ll be ready to handle minor injuries and potential emergencies while enjoying the adventurous beauty of Madagascar’s outdoor environments.

Minimum First Aid



What not to pack
What not to pack and or what you must declare when arriving in or leaving Madagascar

Emergency Medical Insurance

Last but not least, Madagascar has decent but limited medical services. Travel Insurance with Medical Evacuation is crucial to prioritize your well-being and peace of mind while traveling to Madagascar. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical evacuation coverage. In the event of a severe illness or injury that requires emergency medical evacuation, this coverage provides assistance in arranging and covering the cost of transportation to the nearest suitable medical facility or even repatriation to your home country if necessary. Travel insurance with medical evacuation ensures you can receive the most timely and appropriate medical care, regardless of location, including air evacuation. It relieves the financial burden of emergency medical transportation. It’s vital to have in your travel preparations to ensure a safe and worry-free journey in Madagascar.

You may also wish to add insurance for trip cancellation when planning your World Schooling trip to Madagascar. Trips to Madagascar can be an investment, and many parts of your trip may require a deposit or pre-payment. For this reason, insurance for trip cancellation or interruption can be helpful.

Here are a few common ones (we do not endorse these or have any relationship, I have bought but never had to use Allianz Global and IMG Global):

Allianz Global:

Allianz Global Assistance provides travel insurance plans that include medical evacuation coverage. They offer various options to suit different travel needs, including single-trip and annual plans.

World Nomads:

World Nomads is a well-known travel insurance provider offering comprehensive medical emergency and evacuation coverage. They have policies specifically tailored for adventure travelers and backpackers.

AXA Assistance:

AXA Assistance offers travel insurance policies that cover medical evacuation and emergency medical expenses. They provide 24/7 assistance services to support travelers in need of medical assistance.

IMG Global:

IMG Global offers a range of travel medical insurance plans that include emergency medical evacuation coverage. They have extensive networks of medical providers and assistance services to ensure you receive the necessary care in case of an emergency.

What (not) to Pack for the Best World Schooling Trip to Madagascar

Here’s a list of 10 things not to pack for your World Schooling trip to Madagascar:

  1. Sunscreen (unless it’s reef-safe): When selecting a sunscreen, make sure it’s reef-safe to minimize harm to the delicate marine ecosystems in Madagascar. Avoid bringing sunscreen containing harmful chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can damage coral reefs.
  2. Battery-powered Devices: Instead of packing items that require disposable batteries, opt for solar-powered or rechargeable alternatives. This reduces waste and eliminates the need for battery replacements. Additionally, it’s important to note that battery recycling options may be limited or unavailable in Madagascar.
  3. Paper Books: Due to the high humidity in Madagascar, it’s best to avoid packing paper books. They can easily get damaged by moisture and add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Consider using e-books or digital reading devices as a lightweight and humidity-resistant alternative.
  4. Carry-ons that exceed 5 kg: Remember that Tsaradia, the local airline in Madagascar, has a strict carry-on weight limit of 5 kg. Ensure your carry-on bag does not exceed this weight limit to avoid any inconvenience or additional travel charges.
  5. Hair Dryer: Although accommodations in Madagascar may not provide hair dryers, there may also not be outlets available in bathrooms, and your hair dryer can flip the fuse, which is embarrassing. So, packing a hair dryer here is generally unnecessary and adds extra weight to your luggage. Consider air-drying your hair or using alternative hair styling methods during your trip.
  6. Travel Iron: It’s recommended not to pack a travel iron as laundry services are readily available in Madagascar, and most accommodations offer ironing facilities. Having your laundry done and ironed locally is a convenient and hassle-free option. And many places you won’t have anywhere to plug it in or use it.
  7. Non-Essential Valuables: Avoid bringing expensive jewelry, unnecessary electronics, or valuable items you don’t need during your trip. It’s always wise to travel light and minimize the risk of loss or theft. Only high-end hotels will have safes; you probably won’t want to leave these items behind. Gold bars. You might think this is a joke, but I recently saw a World Schooling post where someone claimed they traveled with gold bars. As you will note in the photo above, if you travel with gold, you must declare it.
  8. Excessive Clothing: It’s easy to overpack clothing items for a trip, but in Madagascar’s tropical climate, you can keep your clothing selection light and breathable. Pack versatile pieces that can be layered and mix-and-matched for different outfits to address various weather. Sandals and closed-toed walking shoes are a must. If you plan to stay for more than a month, pack a pair of walkable dress shoes; the likelihood of getting invited to a wedding or out to a fancy dinner is high!
  9. Bulky Towels: Most accommodations in Madagascar do provide towels for their guests, so there’s no need to bring bulky towels from home. That said, you should pack a towel; just opt for lightweight, quick-drying travel towels that take up less space in your luggage and can take to the beach or camping.
  10. Bulky Rolling Luggage: Avoid packing large, heavy rolling suitcases that can be difficult to maneuver on uneven surfaces and stairs. Many places in Madagascar have limited or no elevators, and sidewalks may be in poor condition. Instead, opt for a backpack or luggage with backpack straps and wheels, offering versatility and ease of movement in various terrains. This will make navigating through stairs, unpaved paths, and rugged landscapes much more convenient and comfortable during your trip.

By following these guidelines, you can pack efficiently and ensure a more enjoyable and hassle-free World Schooling trip to Madagascar.

Questions about packing for your World Schooling trip to Madagascar?

Remember that embracing imperfection is the best part of a big trip like this- you will forget, lose, and realize you should have packed something. And you will have a fantastic trip because one of the things traveling in Madagasar teaches you is that you don’t need much to be happy!

Food, family, a dry bed. Those are the basics. Everything else is a bonus!

Madagascar Weather: from Hot & Dry to Lush & Rainy

One thing to know about Madagascar weather is that it is rarely the same from day-to-day. If you were in Taolaganaro, Madagascar, last year (2022) for May and June, you would have experienced cold and rainy weather. This year (2023), however, we’ve had heat and drought. In fact, we’ve had pretty much perfect weather for a desert girl from Colorado like myself, cool nights, perfect for sleeping with a duvet, and warm sunny days.

Yesterday was particularly hot and dry. The social enterprise Tatirano where we buy purified rating water for the Cafe Bar Colorado and our drinking water, almost ran out. And then BOOM, out of the blue, around midnight, the monsoon started, and it hasn’t stopped.

School outing to a park yesterday. Hot and dry!
School outing to a park yesterday. Hot and dry!

Madagascar has a diverse range of landscapes, from lush rainforests to hot deserts, and Madagascar weather conditions can vary greatly depending on the region. When traveling in Madagascar, whether you are staying in a hotel, rental, or camping, you will be happier if prepared for the diverse weather conditions you may encounter.

In the rainforests, the weather is typically hot and humid during the day, with temperatures ranging from 20-30°C (68-86°F); occasionally, it gets hotter and sometimes much colder, in July in the highlands, we can get hail, and even near freezing temperatures!

In general, the nights can be cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 10-15°C (50-59°F); however, in the southern summer, you may encounter nights sticky humid nights without wind. Here in Fort Dauphin/Taolagnaro, that is rare, but in inland, be prepared. Packing lightweight, breathable clothing for the daytime and warm layers for the evenings is important, although you also probably want some light cotton sleepwear for warmer nights!

In the desert regions of Madagascar, the weather can be extremely hot during the day, with temperatures reaching as high as 40°C (104°F). However, temperatures can drop significantly at night, with lows around 5-10°C (41-50°F). Packing sun protection, such as hats and sunscreen, and warm layers for the chilly desert nights is important.

No matter where you are visiting, sleeping in a hotel, private lodging or camping in Madagascar, being prepared for rain is important. Madagascar has a tropical climate, and rain showers can occur at any time of year. Packing waterproof gear, such as raincoats and (if camping) tarps, is important to stay dry during wet weather.

You can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping trip by being prepared for the weather conditions you may encounter when camping in Madagascar.

How to Pack

When packing for a trip to Madagascar, it’s important to approach it as if you were going on a camping trip. With diverse landscapes and varying weather conditions, you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate gear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

As with any camping trip, it’s important to consider the climate and pack clothing that is both breathable and appropriate for the temperature. Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential in the hot and humid rainforest regions, while warm layers are necessary for cooler evenings. In the desert regions, sun protection and warm layers are necessary for chilly desert nights.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider other camping essentials such as a good quality tent or hammock, sleeping bag, and camping stove. It’s also important to bring along any necessary camping gear, such as a headlamp, portable water filter, and first-aid kit.

By approaching *any trip* to Madagascar as if it were a camping trip, you’ll be prepared for any Madagascar weather or environmental conditions that come your way, allowing you to fully enjoy the natural beauty and cultural experiences this unique destination has to offer.

Fort Dauphin: four (yes 4) climates in one!

Mangroves, mountains, beach, forest, city....
Madagascar Weather: a minute ago, the sun was shining, and now the clouds are rolling in over the mangroves and mountains!

The Taolagnaro District, Fort Dauphin region of Madagascar, is a unique destination that borders on four distinct climates: desert, beach, mountain, and rainforest. This means that when planning a trip to this region, it’s important to be prepared for various weather conditions.

In desert areas, temperatures can soar during the day and drop significantly at night, so it’s important to pack sun protection and warm layers. A sun hat is a must, as is a water bottle. The beach areas can be hot and humid, so lightweight, breathable clothing is a must. The mountainous regions can be cooler, so warm layers are necessary for comfort. And in rainforest areas, it’s important to pack waterproof gear to stay dry during rain showers.

By being prepared for all of these climates, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all that the Fort Dauphin region has to offer. Whether hiking through mountainous terrain, lounging on the beach, or exploring the lush rainforests, you’ll be ready for anything. So, pack smart and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this unique and diverse corner of Madagascar.

Best Season to Visit based on Madagascar Weather?

Many sites will tell you that Madagascar experiences two distinct seasons: a rainy season from November to April and a dry season from May to October; however, that is not always true. It is important to note that during the rainy season, you can still experience hot and dry weather, especially in the country’s northern, western, and coastal regions, including Fort Dauphin. Conversely, during the dry season, you may experience unexpected rain showers or several days of constant rain.

It’s important to be prepared for the potential for heavy rain during the rainy season and the occasional rain showers during the dry season. This means packing appropriate rain gear such as waterproof jackets, rain pants, and waterproof hiking boots. Packing lightweight, breathable clothing to stay cool in hot and humid weather and warm layers for cooler evenings is also important.

In Fort Dauphin, the ocean water is generally warm from November through March or April, but you will also get higher humidity at this time. And even though it is shorts and flip-flop weather most of the year, ensure you have a warm sweater, and long pants, in your bag!

By being prepared for the varying weather conditions during both the rainy and dry seasons, you can fully enjoy all that Madagascar has to offer. Whether you’re exploring the lush rainforests or lounging on a tropical beach, you’ll be ready for whatever weather comes your way.


King bed with a mosquito net at Voky Be
King bed with a mosquito net at Voky Be

The mosquito factor is another reason to ensure you have both warm and light weight pants and long-sleeved shirts. These little boogers love to eat your ankles and the backs of your arms and legs at dusk and dawn. Indeed, more recent research indicates that the risk of getting bit by mosquitos that transmit malaria is in the early evening (not at night while you are sleeping).

Day Time Protection

During the daytime, when malaria transmission is low, you will primarily want protection for hikes or outings in nature or if you will be sitting in a room or restaurant near the water. A natural repellent like Badger (Deet Free) offers is probably sufficient.

Early Evening Protection

During the early evening, say 30 minutes or so before the sun sets, and then for the next few hours, likely when you are sitting outside enjoying dinner, you should have stronger protection. This means long pants and sleeves and or effective mosquito protection. You will notice that many restaurants put out mosquito coils at this time of day, if you don’t see any, feel free to ask. Our lived experience is that candles and citronella are *not* effective despite what some folks claim at this time of day!

I’ve found that OFF Mosquito repellent sticks, wipes, or sprays such as this one with “Picardin” are the most effective. Use them on your ankles or exposed body parts. I prefer the sticks because you don’t get it on your hands or in the air. Avoid aerosols if you will be flying…

Sleeping Protection

Napping in our favorite hammock with mosquito netting, bought on Amazon.
Napping in our favorite hammock with mosquito netting, bought on Amazon.

At night, you may not need a mosquito net or protection. If you are staying in an apartment or hotel without a net and it is the higher end (more expensive), you may find that lighting a mosquito coil somewhere in the room is sufficient. For example, in our lodgings at Voky Be, we offer mosquito nets in our ground-floor units but not our upper-floor units, as they rarely get mosquitos.

When camping, be diligent about keeping your tent shut or use a hammock with a built-in net. My absolute favorite camping item is my camping hammock with a built-in mosquito net that folds up small and fits in a day bag! Not only does it let me watch the stars (you do want a fly in case of rain), it also keeps all the bugs away!

You will also find mosquito nets such as the one below sold in most towns; however, if you will be taking a road trip or staying in Airbnbs and you don’t see mosquito nets in the pictures, you may want to bring your own, as while you may not catch malaria while sleeping, even one annoying mosquito can ruin your night’s sleep!

Sunny Days

In addition to packing for diverse weather conditions and mosquito protection, it’s crucial to prioritize sun protection during your trip to Madagascar. The country’s stunning landscapes and outdoor activities often expose travelers to prolonged sun exposure, making sun gear, hats, and sunglasses essential items to include in your packing list.

The intense tropical sun can be harsh, especially in the desert and beach areas of Madagascar. To shield yourself from harmful UV rays, pack wide-brimmed hats that provide shade for your face, neck, and ears. A sun hat not only protects you from sunburn but also helps keep you cool in hot weather. Sunglasses with UV protection are equally important to safeguard your eyes from the bright sunlight.

Alongside hats and sunglasses, consider packing lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin to minimize sun exposure. Opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants made from light fabrics that provide both sun protection and comfort. Alison’s preferred sun protection after 5 years in Madagascar is a hat and UV sun clothing, such as this swim shirt, which I have in both short and long-sleeved versions.

When possible, it is highly recommended to avoid using conventional sunscreen or opt for reef-safe sunscreen while visiting Madagascar. Traditional sunscreens often contain chemicals that can harm coral reefs and marine ecosystems when they wash off in the water. All waterways in the south drain into reef systems, so to minimize your impact on the environment, consider using reef-safe sunscreen brands that use mineral-based ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide or, better yet, sun clothes. These alternatives provide effective sun protection while less harmful to coral reefs and marine life. By making this conscious choice, you can help preserve the pristine beauty of Madagascar’s coastal areas and contribute to conserving its delicate ecosystems.

By prioritizing sun protection and including a sun gear, hats, and sunglasses in your packing, you’ll take crucial steps to safeguard your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays and still be able to enjoy the beauty of Madagascar in comfort (no lobster skin)!


Remember, being prepared for weather fluctuations and mosquito protection is essential no matter the season or region you visit. Don’t forget to pack a variety of clothing options suitable for different climates, including lightweight and breathable clothes for the heat, warm layers for cooler evenings, and waterproof gear for rain showers. Additionally, take precautions against sun and mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants during the heat of the day and or early evenings, using effective repellents, and considering mosquito nets for sleeping arrangements. With these preparations in place, you can embark on your journey with peace of mind and immerse yourself fully in the enchanting landscapes, unique wildlife, and rich culture of Madagascar.

Read our blog post on What to Pack for the best bet given Madagascar Weather!

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 ankobabeach-hotel.mg/en.

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 airfots-madagascar.com/en/accueil. 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.