"There's more to Tulear than meets the eye" Toliara by CatherineReichardt

Toliara Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 33 photos

Let's face it, Toliara (more commonly known by its colonial name of Tulear) is not a first division tourist destination, and we only ended up there because we had made the road trip from the stunning Isalo massif and were en route for the rather less wonderful Anakao (more on that elsewhere).

Nontheless, we had part of a day to kill in Tulear on our return from Anakao before catching our connecting flight to Fort Dauphin, which gave us time to explore a town that the tourist guides gave a rather lukewarm write up. As it turns out, the two tourist attractions that we did visit were utterly wonderful, though frankly the rest of the town was a bit of a dive, and unmercifully hot into the bargain. I was left with the impression that I wasn't overly bothered that we hadn't had more time there, but that we had made the best of the time that we had.

Would I recommend it as a destination? Well - like most places in Madagascar, it's a long way from anywhere, and I'm not sure whether it' justifies the time and effort of getting there just on its own merits. However, if you are going there anyway because you're en route for somewhere else (particularly Isalo), then it's worth taking a day or so to recharge your batteries, restock your supplies/provisions (since it is by far the biggest town in the region) and enjoy what it has to offer.

Oh, and if you do make it to the wonderful arboretum, raise a glass of chilled baobab juice in my honour as you order the cheese salad!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The arboretum and the ichthyology museum are unexpected gems!
  • Cons:A dessicatingly hot town of limited charm on the edge of the world
  • In a nutshell:By all means go because it's on the way somewhere interesting, but hesitate to visit on the basis of its own virtues
  • Last visit to Toliara: Dec 2008
  • Intro Updated Oct 12, 2010
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Reviews (5)

Comments (2)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Oh wow, yes, this Arboretum sounds like ultimate fun! I love it when devotion to guiding and education is seen in museums. And it seems that the restaurant is equally fun and good. Baobab juice... interesting!

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Sep 20, 2013 at 4:16 AM

      Only enough for one glass each, so we had to savour it! Funnily enough, our local greengrocer has started to sporadically stock baobab flavoured sweets (effectively creme of tartar). Not unpleasant, and quite good as novelty gifts if you're travelling overseas.

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Sep 20, 2013 at 4:16 AM

      Only enough for one glass each, so we had to savour it! Funnily enough, our local greengrocer has started to sporadically stock baobab flavoured sweets (effectively creme of tartar). Not unpleasant, and quite good as novelty gifts if you're travelling overseas.

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2010 at 3:06 AM

    i like the look of that town.

CatherineReichardt

“Never go the same way twice!”

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