ToliaraToliara Province of Madagascar.
By planeAir Mad connecting flights from Antananarivo (daily), Morondava (once a week), Ft. Dauphin (twice a week). Book your flight early as these flights often fill up.
By bus (taxi brousse)Mini-buses are the cheapest way to get to Toliara. In Tana you can catch them at the Fasan-karana taxi brousse station. They leave around 09:00 and 16:00. They cost 35,000 Ar and take 18 - 24 hours to get to Toliara depending on the quality of the car and the number of times you break down. You can also catch a taxi brousse to Toliara from any of the major cities on the RN7.
By carMany travellers rent a car and work their way down the RN7 over a few days. This is a great way to see a lot of different parts of the country. Major attractions on this route are Parc National Ranomafana (near Fianarantsoa) and Parc National Isalo. Cars usually run 130,000 Ar a day plus fuel. Car rentals almost always come with a driver.
Rickshaws, locally called, "pousse-pousse" are seemingly everywhere in Toliara. They are the cheapest form of transport available and are great to get you out of the hot sun or to go short distances with heavy luggage or shopping bags. While it may seem a bit odd for the first-time tourist to be pulled around the street by a man, rest assured that this awkwardness is only one way. These guys are proud of their pousse-pousse and the work they do. These aren't just for tourists, everyone uses them so go ahead and hop on-board!
phone: +261 34 07 600 15This impressive botanical garden outside of Tulear gives you a taste of the spiny forest. English speaking guides are extremely knowledgeable of the plant life. Birds, chameleons, and other lizards are sure to be spotted.
La TableLa table is a small table mountain outside of Tulear. The 15-minute climb to the view point is fairly scenic. From the Arboretum d'Antsokay, it's 3 km further out of Tulear, walkable in 45 minutes.
MoneyATMs are located at the BNI, BFV and BOA banks in town, 24/7. The former two will accept MasterCard and Visa, BOA will only take Visa.
BFV Bankphone: +261 20-2261010address: Rue FlayelleHas a Mastercard and Visa card ATM.
Etoile de MerLarge restaurant with a thick menu, this restaurant serves French and Indian dishes as well as pizza. There is a wide, breezy terrace and a pool table. Occasionally the restaurant is closed to the public for marriages or private events. Free Wifi.
La Maisonaddress: Avenue d'IndependenceFrench restaurant and bar with a slick atmosphere a big TV (usually playing music videos softly) and a pool table. Many of the French residents of Toliara frequent this restaurant for a taste of home. Free Wifi
La Terraseaddress: Toliara Centre, near Galana stationFrench-owned restaurant on a terrace. Specializes in breakfast (including English breakfast), salads, and pizza. Offers large glasses of fresh made juice. Has free wifi, but charges a small fee to plug in to power socket.
TraveauxThe local watering hole, this is where Toliara's residents turn out in force to drink beer and spirits, each kebabs, grilled chicken, and taro and generally just hang out. Food and bars start serving around 18:00 but the place doesn't get going until 20:00. This is the only place to get food in Toliara past 22:00.
phone: +261 34 07 600 15address: ToliaraA wonderful place to stay on the grounds of the Arboretum d'Antsokay. The bungalows are clean, spacious, and luxurious much attention is paid to detail. You'll wake up to the sound of birds who call the arboretum home. Being far out of the city, this is a place to get away relax. A swimming pool and restaurant round out the grounds. Free Wifi. Accept Visa and MasterCard payments.
Bakuba HotelThis African-themed luxury hotel is guaranteed to stand out as one of the most unique lodging options of your trip. Designed and managed by a couple from Belgium, the lodge has three spacious rooms and two suites, each custom decorated with a specific theme. Meals (with enormous portion sizes) and drinks are prepared in a spacious central room, with options for dining on a second-floor patio that overlooks the ocean, a first-floor deck that overlooks the hills, or inside in a communal kitchen area. The lodge has a pool, and is a five minute walk from the beach. It is worth noting that this lodge was designed by an artist, and there are some aspects that may seem odd - the bathroom and shower area are not separate from the rest of the sleeping area in a couple of rooms, and some of the custom light fixtures or plumbing fixtures may seem a bit odd. Despite these inconveniences, however, the lodge is an experience, and the owners make every effort to ensure an enjoyable stay. The location is about 14 km outside of town and 7 km from the airport along a dirt road.
Central Hotelphone: +261 20 94 428 84, +261 32 02 553 25, +261 34 01 410 80address: Bazary beSmall hotel in the center of town with spacious rooms and terraces overlooking the street. Terraces have swings which are perfect for napping in the hot mid-day sun. Rooms have large ceiling fans and internal showers. Some rooms have internal toilets, others share. Don't let the central location put you off, the center of town is very quite during the night, whereas other areas can be very noisy with dogs, music, and roosters. The market starts to get a bit noisy at 07:00, but not enough to really disturb. Rooms are very reasonably priced and discounts can be wrangled for longer stays.
Chez LalaRooms are basic and a bit dingy, but the price is right. WiFi is available in the restaurant area, and you are close enough to walk anywhere else in Tulear.
phone: +261 20 94 440 39, +261 32 02 542 83address: Boulevard LyauteyToliar's largest hotel and main conference center. Has a pool and a small internet cafe.
Le RefugeSmall, smart hotel with beautiful garden and swimming pool
phone: +261 20 94 411 73, +261 32 05 600 39address: Boulevard Philbert TsirananaSmall hotel with 8 rooms downtown. Has free Wi-Fi connection in the rooms and a nice tea parlor overlooking the street.
Hotel VictoryA modern hotel with 43 rooms and suites fully equipped in a beautiful tropical garden with swimming-pool. Large menu. Very good English spoken here. 10 minutes from the airport with pick-up by hotel bus. Many possibilities for excursions, sailing, diving, snorkelling, big game fishing.