Fort-Dauphin, located in the south-east of Madagascar, about 1000 km from Antananarivo, is one of the most beautiful coast of the island. The city is nestled on a narrow stretch of coastline, bordered on one side by lush vegetation and on the other by the golden beaches of the Indian Ocean. The region offers a particular panorama, it presents an assortment of landscapes at the same time green, desert and mountainous.
The city of Fort-Dauphin or Taolagnaro in Malagasy is a historic city that keeps vestiges of the past. A stroll in the colonial city is essential for lovers of history. It was long occupied by Europeans during the seventeenth century. The name of the city comes from the fort of the same name, built by the French in 1643. Fort Dauphin, having served as a trading post, was named in honor of King Louis XIV.
Sainte Luce, also called the village of Manafiafy, is the place where the French landed the first time. The site houses a historical museum reminiscent of that era. The village is nestled in the heart of Filaos and coconut palms. It is also bordered by a magnificent sandy beach. A detour in the village of Sainte Luce can trace the history of the city because it houses many monuments marking the passage of Europeans: Fort Flacourt, the Fort of the Portuguese, etc.
The peak Saint Louis dominates the region and rises to 529 meters. Trekking enthusiasts will be delighted to climb it. The summit can admire lush vegetation where ravenalas, raphias, orchids, periwinkles intertwine. From the top, the panorama of the region is superb: Sainte Luce, the bay of Lokaro, the Dauphine cove, the beaches of Libanona, the false bay of Galions, Cape Ranavalona, the island of the Portuguese, ...
The Saïadi Botanical Garden is a must for lovers of Malagasy fauna and flora. A walk in this garden allows to discover all the varieties of the local flora: orchids, palms, tree ferns, ravenalas, etc. We can also see lemurs in freedom including makis, sifakas, and fulvius. Many species of crocodiles, birds and butterflies also make the site rich.
Fort-Dauphin is full of natural sites to visit, among them the Vinanibe and Anony lakes. Lake Vinanibe, located 8 km from the city, is suitable for lovers of board sports. The practice of windsurfing and flysurfing is very pleasant. Both lakes offer beautiful white sand beaches accessible for those looking for calm. Lake Anony also offers "tanosy" fishing scenes, typical of the region.
The bay of Lokaro, located about 40 km from Fort Dauphin, on the road to Sainte Luce, is a beautiful wild site that deserves a detour. Excursions are organized to appreciate the beauty of the site. It is famous for its coves where swimming and scuba diving are pleasant. A boat trip through the marshes and canals allows you to observe a particular vegetation: "elephant ears", pandanus, reeds, ravenalas, etc., litter the lagoons.
Reserves that concentrate a rich biodiversity
A course on the theme of nature is perfect for a stay in the region of Fort Dauphin. In fact, there are three nature reserves for an integral discovery of local biodiversity: the Berenty reserve, the Nahampoana reserve and the Andohahela national park.
The route of the Berenty reserve includes a stop on a nepenthe carnivorous plant reserve and another on a thorny forest. The valley of the Mandrare River offers an uncommon landscape opening directly onto immense sisal plantations. These mingle with other plant species in the area. The presence of comfortable bungalows will allow you a stay in full nature, in the reserve. At Berenty, everything is done to facilitate the observation of lemurs. They are also very friendly to visitors. Three groups of lemurs dominate the reserve: maki, sifakas and gidros. The latter are especially talkative and curious; they like to meet visitors who deign to try their language. The reserve is also home to a zoo where turtles, crocodiles and snakes live. A botanical garden exposes the endemic varieties of the local flora.
The Nahampoana reserve, located 7 km from Fort-Dauphin, is an ideal place to rest. You can relax by a waterfall or a natural pool. The reserve is a concentrate of endemic plants coexisting with a magnificent bamboo forest. Five species of lemurs including Bamboo Happalemur, crocodiles and turtles evolve amid lush vegetation.
Andohahela Park is located 40 km north-east of Fort Dauphin. It is composed of a great diversity of ecosystems: the chains of Anosy hinder the trade winds, allowing a cross between the humid tropical forest and the dry forest. On the wildlife side, Iguanidae live in the park. These lizards are found only here or in Latin America. About thirteen species of lemurs also frequent the park. It is one of the few places in Madagascar where you can meet the red-collared lemur and the Microcèbe, the smallest nocturnal lemur. Alongside the lemurs, 129 species of birds of which 65% are endemic, 61 species of reptiles and 49 species of amphibians frequent the park. It is also populated with endemic plants such as trihedral palm, Vanilla Madagascariensis, etc. The visit of the park takes place mainly on three sites to have a breathtaking view on all the riches in local flora and fauna: the Tsimelahy site, the Malio site and the Ihazofotsy site.
A trip to the coast of contrasts will delight everyone. Fort-Dauphin combines seaside tourism, sports tourism and ecotourism: a cocktail that will delight those who are looking for a well-filled stay.
10 excursions not to be missed during your stay in Fort-Dauphin
Nestled in the southeastern region of Madagascar, Fort Dauphin seduces with its wild landscapes, lush vegetation and bays of Eden beauty. Zoom on the 10 main tourist attractions not to be missed during your stay in this part of the island.
- The Berenty Nature Reserve
Located at the gates of Androy, 86 kilometers west of Fort-Dauphin, the Berenty Nature Reserve is spread over an area of 250 hectares. Showcase of the fauna and flora of southern Madagascar, it is home to centuries-old tamarinds populated with lemurs, chameleons and other typical animals of the South.
- Lokaro Bay
Forty kilometers from downtown Fort Dauphin, Lokaro Bay is known for its secret coves and crystal clear waters for scuba diving.
- The bay of Sainte Luce
This corner of paradise nestled 53 kilometers from Fort Dauphin is a former Dutch counter. A subtle mangrove cocktail, woods potted with the traveler's tree, fields of Nepenthes and savannah borders the sandy beaches of Sainte Luce.
- The islet of the Portuguese
Just 10 kilometers from Fort Dauphin, the Ilôt des Portugais is home to an old bastion built by Portuguese shipwrecks in 1505. The stone building erected on the site served as a weapons warehouse at the time.
- The Saint Louis Peak
This rocky spur culminating at 529 meters above sea level offers an exceptional panorama of Fort Dauphin and the surrounding villages.
- Vinanibe Lake
Lake Vinanibe is a haven of rest nestled 8 kilometers from downtown Fort-Dauphin. This vast expanse of clear water fringed with pearly sand is a delight for snow sports enthusiasts.
Andohahela National Park
About forty kilometers from Fort-Dauphin, the Andohahela National Park fascinates by its endemic fauna. It is here that we discover the smallest nocturnal lemur, the red-collared lemur and Iguanidae, a variety of lizard found only in this park and in South America.
The Saiadi Botanical Garden
The Saiadi Botanical Garden is a haven of greenery that is home to all kinds of tropical plants like ravinala, trihedral palms, orchids, hibiscus and ferns.
The Nahampona Reserve
It is in the heart of lush vegetation that lemurs, turtles and crocodiles of the Nahampona reserve evolve. This preserved sanctuary is located just 7 kilometers from Fort Dauphin.
The Manantantely Waterfall
Standing at the edge of a nursery teeming with endemic specimens, the Cascade de Manantantely is only 9 kilometers west of Fort Dauphin. The natural pool that unfolds at its feet is a delight for swimming enthusiasts.