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Ifaty is a small fishing village with idyllic palm-fringed white beaches on the southwestern coast of Madagascar, and is an ideal place to relax after visiting the central highlands.

Although unprotected, the spiny forests inland from Ifaty are of great interest to birdwatchers and botanical enthusiasts alike. Two of the island’s most threatened birds, the long-tailed ground roller and sub-desert mesite, are often see here, on early morning bird walks. There is plenty more of interest, not least an excellent diversity of other birds and some of the most bizarre flora imaginable – fascinating spiny forest of Alluadia madagascariensis in which the crazy waving branches of devilishly-spined octopus trees contrast sharply with the squat, rounded forms of bulbous baobabs.

There are a few basic beach resorts with bungalow accommodation along the coast. Diving and snorkelling on the nearby reef is possible, and local fishermen also take visitors out in their pirogues.

Ifaty is located 22 kilometres from Toliara airport and a few hours’ drive from Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: banded kestrel, horned chameleon, long-tailed ground roller, sickle-billed vanga, sub-desert mesite
  • Where: Atsimo-Andrefana Region, Madagascar

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Madagascar Lemurs

This trip idea visits a variety of Madagascar’s habitats, all brimming with endemic fauna and flora. Enjoy guided day and night walks in the forest to search for a multitude of species, including diademed sifaka, black and white ruffed lemur and the tiny nocturnal Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Southern Highlights

Journey through the highlands to the dry spiny forest of Ifaty, home to an excellent diversity of birdlife and the most bizarre flora. Staying in comfortable accommodation, this trip also visits the Andasibe-Mantadia rainforest for virtually assured sightings of indri, brown lemur and rufous mouse lemur.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,245 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Madagascar’s South & West Photography

Join wildlife photographer Chris Mattison on a unique trip, taking in the best of Madagascar’s prolific wildlife. Visit prime rainforests at Ranomafana and Andasibe and explore equally spectacular dry habitats, with incredible opportunities throughout to photograph the island’s lemurs and other charismatic endemics.

  • When to go: Sep-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 20 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Hotel le Paradisier

This charming and remote resort sits right on the gorgeous Ifaty beach in south-western Madagascar, and makes a wonderful spot to relax after visiting the interior, or for diving off the local reef. It offers around 20 comfortable, rustic bungalows, an infinity pool, kayaking and good birding trails.