Geography of the South
The south of the island, in the shape of a left foot, promises a variety of landscapes, especially if you travel along Route Nationale 7 (RN7) by car. It is divided into two main areas: the southwest corresponding to the province of Tulear and the southeast, a mixture of Tulear and Fianarantsoa. Tuléar has the largest surface area among its sister provinces in Madagascar, 161,405 km², and “Toliara”, commonly known as “Tolozy”, is occupied by 2.2 million inhabitants, mainly the Mahafaly, Vezo, Bara and Antandroy ethnic groups.
A unique geography in the south of Madagascar
As Madagascar is a tropical country, the geography of its southern part differs from the other provinces of the island. Indeed, the south generally has a semi-arid or semi-desert climate as the trade wind blows from the south-east. Nicknamed the “City of the Sun”, Tulear is on average 25°C and offers a high average annual sunshine of 3600 hours with low rainfall, between 300 and 400 mm. Its relief is characterized by the deltaic plain of Fiherenana and lively dunes or dunes decorated by vegetation.
The south-eastern climate also remains semi-desert, but leans a little towards the humid climate of the east, especially in the Haute-Matsiatra region (Ambalavao, Fianarantsoa, etc.). The Ihorombe plateau shows you this desert aspect. You will find spectacular rocky mountains such as “Les portes du sud” on the RN7, bordered by dry savannahs and harsh brush. Isalo National Park will give you more details about the scenery of southeastern Madagascar.
The extent of southern Madagascar
The province of Tulear has four (4) regions. Androy’s is located in the southernmost part of the country with the district of Tsiombe at the southern tip of the island. Next to it on the south-eastern flank is the Anosy region, which has three (3) districts, including Tolagnaro or Fort-Dauphin. Going up to the southwest, you will pass through the Atsimo-Andrefana region where you can visit the quarry of Sakaraha and the city of Tulear (Tulear I and II). Still along the southwest coast, the Menabe region offers you the beaches of Morondava and the “Baobab Alley” on the road to Belon’i Tsiribihina. This region ends with the Miandrivavo district to the west, bordering the territories of Majunga.
For its part, the southeast, represented by Fianarantsoa, begins with the Ihorombe region dominated by the Ihosy district in the central southeast. Going towards the coast, you will pass through the Atsimo-Atsinanana region which means “south-east” with districts such as Befotaka, South Midongy and Vondrozo. The south-eastern coast bordered by the Vatovavy Fitovinany region with the districts of Nosy Varika, Manakara, Mananjary and some districts of the previous region, including Farafangana and Vangahindrano. The coast offers you its varied beaches as well as the exotic fruits of the country.