While it is more or less inaccessible by road, the beach area around the Vezo fishing village of ANAKAO, 30km south of Tuléar across Saint Augustin Bay, is one of Madagascar’s favourite getaways for locals and low-budget travellers – and increasingly for more upmarket visitors too. Be prepared for the lack of infrastructure at Anakao beyond the hotels’ compounds: the local poverty often jars uncomfortably with carefree tourism, as does the obvious lack of toilet facilities for villagers with enjoying the beach itself.

Nevertheless, the main attractions of this area, where scrubby dunes meet ocean, are the simple pleasures of sun and sand. The area is getting a world-class name for surfing and wind- and kitesurfing rather as much as snorkelling and diving, though marine life can be very worthwhile and the water conditions are usually good. Whale-watching is also good here during the migration season, from July to September. And if you’re interested in local culture, you’ll find the big painted cement tombs of Vezo ancestors, near the point, fascinating.

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