As you head north along the coast out of Tuléar, the road starts unpromisingly, with acres of rubbish and landfill. After crossing the Fiherenana River and passing a quite demanding police barrier, it’s rocky, sandy and corrugated. Although the route runs very close to the seafront, don’t expect a tropical beach paradise: much of the zone immediately behind the beach is degraded scrubby bush and overgrazed goat lands. You’ll pass the occasional turning to a beach hotel, and several straggling small settlements, one or two of which will try to waylay you with rickety stalls of sea shells and dried marine specimens.
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- Ifaty, Mangily and around
You’re very likely to stop the night at the small town of MOROMBE, effectively the Vezo capital, if you’re en route by taxi brousse between Morondava and Tuléar. With the Mozambique Channel on one side and mangroves and tidal flats on the other, it’s almost an island – a couple of sandy, parallel streets back from a beach strewn with boats and fishing nets, and flecked with fish scales. Morombe is the Majunga or Morondava of fifty years ago – remote, isolated and, since the cancellation of Air Madagascar flights, a little forgotten.