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Ifaty has merged with a nearby town known as Mangily to the north of Toliara, and is a beach resort that offers sand, sea, snorkelling and beach bungalows. This is a good place to experience the waters on the western side of Madagascar.

Of the activities available, most revolve around the sea. With a beautiful view of reef protected beaches that allow for good snorkelling and diving, as well as whale-watching, it is a tranquil place to stay. Power-boat excursions to Nosy Ve and Anakao are also available, an exhilarating way to explore the waters.

If the sea doesn’t capture your fancy, there are beautiful gardens in which some wonderful insects such as butterflies and dragonflies frequent and after dark reptile hunting can be very rewarding. Demeril’s boa, geckos and chameleons are residents of the area.

With large areas of spiny forest as well, bird-watching is extremely rewarding, and the forests are easy to find and easy to spend hours in. A protected section known as Reserve Ornithologique et Botanique offers guided tours, and a sighting of a long-tailed ground roller and subdesert mesite is almost guaranteed.

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