Your Ultimate Travel Guide To Western Madagascar

Western Madagascar offers you the best opportunity to discover the wealth of the red island, where you will find a good adventure, nature and beautiful beaches. The big Island will always impress you with its sensational biodiversity, dazzling beaches, stunning landscape and unique culture. What comes first in mind when talking about Madagascar is the strange big trees and lemurs. Since about 30 years, Madagascar’s wealthy biodiversity became an enchantment for everyone and was added as a national monument.

Exploring Western Madagascar

The Baobab avenue : The West Madagascar iconic tree © WAU Madagascar

Western Madagascar is one of the best destination you shouldn’t miss during your journey in Madagascar. This part offers you a big adventure with its wildlife and dry weather during which, you will spend a pleasant vacation.

There are plenty of activities to do such as trekking, climbing and nautical activities. The tour should be done with a 4WD as the road is bumpy and sandy, nevertheless, it’s the reason why it is a perfect travel destination for anyone who seeks adventure. The dry savanna and rock mountains give an impressive scenery along the road. Forests in the west are rich in a biodiversity and are also a home for a lot of variety of endemic species of fauna and flora.

The main spots in Western Madagascar are the Baobabs, the Tsingy limestone formation and the river touring in Tsiribihina or Manambolo river. But this area has wild beaches which are almost unknown by public that makes this destination very interesting. In its splendid beaches you can do snorkeling, kite surfing, fishing…

Activities you can do

Have an overview of a tailored trip with us to Western Madagascar where you will discover a great adventure by practicing trekking, climbing, camping and many more.

If you’re ready? Let’s start by the descent of the Tsiribihina river or in Manambolo river, a little cruise by traditional pirogue during which you can paddle to have some physical exercises. At night, you have to camp on the coastline of the river which gives you the perfect opportunity to be one with the nature.

In Bekopaka, you will do trekking and climbing while visiting the Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park. These activities need some physical strength. For those who have not prepared for it, no worries as you can do it “mora mora”(slowly). As the Malagasy philosophy in life says “slowly but steadily”.

You will also discover the splendid beach in the west coast such in Belo sur Mer, Andavadoaka, Salary, Ambatomilo. You can practice nautical activities in those places as snorkelling, diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing or plainly relaxing on the beach and enjoying your stay at the hotel.

Depending on the season, from July to September, you will have a chance to see the humpback whale which come there for their breeding period.

Best time to travel

The climate in Western Madagascar is very cool during the dry season, May to November, and it is advised to visit this part during these period. During the wet season, most of the site are closed because of the bumpy road. However you can still visit Morondava with its Baobab Alley and also go further till Kirindy forest as the road is quiet good until there.

Top travel destinations

Bekopaka

Don’t miss the famous site classified by the UNESCO as a world heritage: “the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park”, it is located at Bekopaka about 220 Km from Morondava by a track road.

This park is very special and spectacular with its big rock of limestone inside primary forest where you can find lemurs and different species of birds. The view is breathtaking: a wonderful landscape full of endemic plants. You’ll also discover the Manambolo Gorge near the Small Tsingy in Bekopaka by sailing on a local canoe.

On the road that leads to Bekopaka, you will also discover Kirindy Reserve which is a dry and deciduous forest that is well known as the home of Fossa. There are many species of fauna and flora found here, you’ll see lemurs, Fossa ( fosa ), birds, lizards, baobab, medicinal plants.

Hanging bridge inside the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park © WAU Madagascar.

→ Where to Stay?

Le Soleil des Tsingy

This an unique luxury hotel in the site which was created to give to the clients a total comfort. The infrastructure of the hotel is in symbiosis with nature which is around the hotel site.

Olympe du Bemaraha

This is a nice and comfortable hotel located on the top of a hill from where the view is very pleasant especially from its restaurant. The bungalows are well separated for more privacy. You will have an appointment with the magnificent sunset and wonderful scenery with an apero.

Orchidée du Bemaraha

Located at the entrance of Bekopaka village, Orchidée du Bemaraha is a mid range hotel that will pleased you with its bar near the swimming pool and its restaurants. It’s comfortable and clean, very ideal to stay if you need a simple hotel.

Morondava

Morondava is always accessible as it is where the airport that connects flights from/to Antananarivo or Tulear can be found. You can reach this town from the capital city Antananarivo through a tarred national road. This town is essential to have a stop before and after the visit of Tsingy at Bekopaka, Tsiribihina river or Belo sur Mer. You will discover the famous “Baobab Alley” where you have an invitation with a magnificent sunset or sunrise through those giant trees. This city of the west is a cosmopolitan where you will find friendly locals and tourists alike who loves having fun.

You can have activities near the town where you’ll take a traditional canoe and explore the mangrove plantation then continue until Betania village known as a fishermen village.

Fine beach of Morondava © WAU Madagascar.

→ Where to Stay?

Palissandre Cote Ouest

Located at Nosy Kely which is the closest beach at Morondava, this hotel is very luxurious and comfortable. The hotel has a tennis court within their property which is perfect for the fitness and sports enthusiasts. This hotel is the best place to relax before and after visiting the Tsingy of Bemaraha. They have restaurant near the swimming pool where you can enjoy and taste the typical Malagasy foods, also the seafoods of this region.

Kimony Resort

Kimony Resort is located on the outskirts of the Morondava city in a quiet place near the Kimony beach known as the best beach in Morondava. This hotel possesses a private Zoo where you can see lemurs, Fossa and turtles. Kimony resort has its own cottages at the magnificent beach near the hotel where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. A wonderful place to spend time with family or if you are on a honeymoon.

Hotel Trecicogne

Hotel Trecicogne is a modern cosy hotel near the Helliot canal in Morondava. Fishing boats which pass to the canal can be seen in front of some rooms. The restaurant inside the hotel opens to a stunning landscape that gives view to the Mangrove. Here they served some standard menu fare of Madagascar and also freshly caught seafood. Taste their speciality of crab spaghetti or the seafood brochette!

→ Where to eat?

La Campannina

This is a famous restaurant specialized in Italian food at Morondava. In this spacious restaurant they served pasta, pizzas , and fish with Mediterranean flavors. Your culinary journey begins with the tasting of their hot and cold starters based on crustécées (shrimps, camarons, crabs, lobsters and more), then different types of fish (barracuda, tuna, swordfish, sole, etc.) prepared with original recipes. Finally, desserts based on exotic fruits, pancakes, ice cream and the famous tiramisu are served with a smile.

Chez Cuccu

This restaurant is well known by its speciality of game meat recipes. You will enjoy a rich and varied cuisine made with fresh local products that blend with the warm atmosphere of the restaurant.

Le Corail Chez Alain

Chez Alain is a great value restaurant in Morondava, it serves fresh sea foods in abundant portion on your plates. They also have local musicians that perform just for the customers’ pleasure in the restaurant every weekend.

Baobab Café

Both a hotel and a restaurant, Baobab café is the great place to have lunch or dinner during your stay in Morondava.The cook chief will propose you his best speciality. You can enjoy the bar with several kind of local rhums.

Belo sur Mer

Not to be confused with Belo sur Tsiribihina, this Vezo village is at 80 km south of Morondava. To reach this coastal area you will cross sandy roads with a very splendid landscape of dry vegetation including baobabs and the mangroves forest. You will observe the saline which is one of the activities of the local people to operate salt. Many nautical activities can be done here. You can visit the fishermen village and the shipyard where they build their traditional boat for fishing. You can also enjoy the beach or go for an excursion by a rapid boat to Kirindy Mitea National park.

Traditional dhow construction at Belo sur mer © Holy

→ Where to Stay?

Ecolodge du Menabe

This lodge is a terrific place for beach stay with its bungalows built like the traditional house in the village which are huts. In the restaurant, the meals that they serve came from the best of the village which make the meal very fresh and very delicious.

Entremer Hotel

A great and simple hotel in a quiet place where you can relax and enjoy the amazing beach near the hotel ideal for swimming and other nautical activities. Their bungalows have private terrace from where you have stunning view to the sea and taste their speciality of coconut punch.

Andavadoaka

For the beach lovers, Andavadoaka is one of the best place where you will find beautiful beaches and lagoons. Andavadoaka is located at 45 km off-road south of Morombe town in the coastal track southwest of Madagascar. This is a small fishermen village lying on the edge of a shallow lagoon which is protected from the ocean by a series of fringing barrier reefs. The marine world at Andavadoaka is very rich of biodiversity and presents many aquatic species. The reefs around Andavadoaka represent some of the most well-developed coral reef systems in the Indian ocean without forgetting sea activities that you can do during your stay there such as the snorkeling, and windsurfing.

The lagoons of Andavadoaka © Svet na dlanu

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Laguna blu Resort Madagascar

This hotel is located in Ampasilava beach at Andavadoaka, Laguna blu offers you bungalows made with stones, and there, you’ll have a view at the turquoise sea. Each bathroom has an open-sky roof that makes their bungalows original.

From their terrace restaurant, you’ll have a panoramic view to the dazzling sea. The restaurant serve daily fresh meals with fish and pasta, made by their Italian chief.

You can do a tour around the hotel site to find starfish, nutshells and enjoy all the activities that the hotel offers.

Manga Lodge

Manga Lodge is an hotel located in Antseranangy Bay, in the southwest of Morondava. The lodge is a paradise which welcome you with all their best services. The bungalows are located directly on the beach, on the dunes, overlooking the bay.

The restaurant is neat, made of fresh products, fish, poultry, seafood. You will enjoy wild oysters, sea urchins, lagoon fish, tropical fruits, crabs, lobsters in season.

Salary

The village of Salary offers you a very wonderful white sand beach. This is an inescapable step when doing coastal track in the west. There is a magnificent shades of emerald and turquoise blue lagoon where you can enjoy swimming or doing snorkeling, kitesurfing and diving. You can also do an excursion on the sea by a boat and enjoy the beauty of the region.

From July to September, it is possible to see whales because they come there for their breeding period. The safary whale will be a great adventure, seeing them up close is such a wonderful sight.

Salary bay hotel at Salary © Salary bay.

→ Where to Stay?

Salary Bay

Located in the southwest, this is the best hotel in this part with its three stars. From the hotel, you have a view on the sea and of course can enjoy it. The hotel has a restaurant where you can taste severals meals prepared by their top chefs. During your stay, the hotel can organise excursion for you such as the whalewatching, diving and to exploring the Vezo village with their daily life as fishermen.

Un peu plus au Nord

Un peu plus au Nord is a small hotel near the lagoon of Salary inside a spiny forest and put on a dune with the white sand. This is a simple hotel with a nice environment: forest, sands and beach. Their restaurant is a host table wich serve you delicious meals during your stay made by fish, squid, lobsters, octopus, sea cicadas, sea urchins, seashells and their garden herbs.

Ambatomilo

In a stunning setting, Ambatomilo is a nice place with its beautiful white sand beach. Time stands still when you spend beach stay there. This hotel is located in a far southwest of Madagascar, this site allows you to escape through its emerald and turquoise lagoon.

This wild immensity at the end of the world, nestled in an almost virgin nature that is very far from tourist turmoil.

All the nautical activities are able to do there, and you can visit the Vezo fishermen village and there is no problem for the villagers to take you on their traditional boat to explore the lagoon.

Ambatomilo view from Mamirano lodge.

→ Where to Stay?

Mamirano Lodge

Mamirano lodge is a nice hotel located in the Bay of Mamirano, in Ambatomilo area. This hotel has a structure as a lodge shop with its bungalows built in an ethnic style of this region.

All the bungalows are comfort and possesse a veranda and a private bathroom.

There is restaurant which will propose you an italian gastronomy and the sea-view is very impressive here.

Ankasy Lodge

Ankasy Lodge, is a small world, unspoiled by mass tourism which fits perfectly into its surroundings to offer you a moment of happiness and serenity.

Located at 80 km north of Tulear under the Tropic of Capricorn, Ankasy Lodge is the best place to stay with its spacious bungalows, great and comfort. Its restaurant offers you a tasty, well balanced and fresh cuisine to accompany your holidays at the lagoon.

Shangri-La Lodge

For nature and sea lovers, Shangri-La Lodge is the right place for your vacation. Shangri-la Lodge is a small tourist village built on beautiful rocky caves in just a short walk from the ocean.

This lodge offers you an unforgettable stay with its helpful staff who are always there to satisfy you.

Its has bungalows and a large restaurant-bar in the center of the village. You can admire the sunrise and sunset directly from your bed, because all the structures are arranged in a sea view and the position raised above the beach gives you a pleasant overview.

Bonus

Tsiribihina River

Tsiribihina means “do not swim”. Many years ago, there were a lot of crocodiles in this river which killed many people in this part, mostly children. Later, people started hunting them and was able to take out all. Tsiribihina has been quiet ever since.

Traveling on the river is becoming an increasingly popular trip nowadays and one of the destinations you shouldn’t miss. This is a tour that you can make with a traditional pirogue or by a motor barge, but both are interesting and bring great adventure.

The skippers will draw up the camp and you can participate to cook the dinner with the cooker.

Overnight on bivouac during the descent. Here you can make a campfire to have fun and discuss around it, while enjoying the night away under a billion stars.

Camping under billion stars -Tsiribihina river.

Are you ready to take in a new journey? Come and plan your tailored trips with us!

Want to explore more of Western Madagascar? Here’s something you might like as much! Tsingy de Bemaraha: The Small Tsingy