Southern Madagascar has some of the island’s most compelling attractions: the gaunt sandstone plateau of Parc National d’Isalo, cut by oasis-like canyons; the towering mountain fastness of Parc National d’Andringitra, with its grasslands and moors on one side and almost unexplored rainforest on the other; the spiny forests and glorious beaches, surfing and diving of the dry southwest; and the seductive rolling landscapes, scalloped bays and diverse forest ecosystems of the far southeast, around the port of Fort Dauphin. This is also Madagascar’s poorest region, however, and more prone to lawlessness – generally manifested in cattle rustling and highway banditry – than the rest of the country.

The climate of the south is relatively more extreme than that of central and northern Madagascar. The Tropic of Capricorn carves through the region, and the dry southern or austral winter brings cooler weather from May to August than in the north of the island. Much of the southwest, spiny forest country, is also very arid, while facing the cyclones from the Indian Ocean, the beautiful forest of the southeast coast is bathed in moist air for much of the year.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Madagascar features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 reasons why Madagascar should be on your radar

8 reasons why Madagascar should be on your radar

Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, is a giant wonderland of natural sights and experiences. It's a place of diverse landscapes, climates and tribal …

20 Mar 2018 • Kirsten Henton insert_drive_file Article
Passport to write: the runners-up!

Passport to write: the runners-up!

After weeks of deliberation, we're thrilled to announce the results of the Rough Guides and Journeys are made @gapyear.com writing competition. The winning p…

03 Jul 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Incredible forests of the world

Incredible forests of the world

Spiny Forest, Madagascar On an island filled with weird and wonderful living things, the spiny forest has to be Madagascar's most unusual ecosystem. Endemic…

03 Oct 2014 • Alison Roberts camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs