Ifotaka is a remote Antandroy village notable for its dry Tamarind gallery forests, two of only four stands in the Mandrare River Valley. Its ground-breaking community ecotourism project began in 2001 and the luxury Madagascar Classic Camping’s Mandrare River Camp is situated nearby.
From Easter through November you can explore intact, sacred gallery forest where the island’s national mammal, the Ringtail lemur, is commonly seen, as well as healthy spiny forest which travel writer Dervla Murphy so aptly Christened ‘Nature’s Botanical Lunatic Asylum’. The Baobabs in this part of the south are the large Adansonia za, standing like sentinels among much bushy Euphorbia, endemic aloes and tall, spiky Finger trees.
Reptiles such as the now critically endangered Madagascar radiated tortoise abound, and birding is rewarding, with specials such as Giant, Running and Crested couas being frequently spotted, along with garrulous Sicklebill vangas and Sakalava weavers.