Farafangana, a cradle of traditions with a natural and wild décor
Farafangana is a former colonial town, whose charm has not tarnished over time. Farafangana makes you dive into a picturesque setting where the many colorful markets will offer you all the region’s flagship products (coffee, cloves, pepper, rice, fruits). You will enjoy a peaceful, non-tourist and culturally rich town because three main ethnic groups live there: the Antefasy, the Zafizoro and the Rabakara.
Farafangana is the base city for visiting the Manombo Special Reserve and the major starting point for expeditions to the Midongy du Sud National Park - a tourist destination just for adventurous travellers and hardcore nature lovers. As the town is situated on the edge of a good R12 road, before reaching Vangaindrano, the expedition can buy with all the necessary provisions for the next days.
Farafangana is recommended for lovers of adventure and human contacts. Fara (meaning "end") fiangaina (translated into "walk" or "origin") means literally "the end of the journey" (Manakara is about 100 km north), and this apparent isolation of the place might explain the excitement of the locals when a “vazaha” shows up here. According to legend, the Antefasy people - in search of a place to live and after almost making the tour of the Big Island - stopped in Farafangana. The Antefasy may thus be the first to have populated the region, but it is also said that it was the French who founded the city in April 1897.
The unusual tranquility and beautiful scenery with many hiking opportunities in the nearby forests invite to stay longer. You’ll be able to go on excursion to explore the Manombo Special Reserve where numerous endemic lemurs live (the white-collared brown lemur and the black-and-white ruffed lemur). But you will also see a multitude of birds, reptiles, and batrachians which live together in a rich endemic vegetation. This site, located 25 kilometers from the city is a little corner of paradise almost intact. In order to add a little spice to your relaxation in nature and to meet crocodiles of the Reserve aboard a canoe, you need sail down the very interesting rivers Takoandra and Manatsimba to the beautiful Rianambo waterfall. You will walk to the natural swimming-pool where you will have a chance to take a bath on the lonely beach of Takoandra and where you will be able to make a small camp for your day's rest.
Still unrecognized, Farafangana offers a total change of scenery in a grandiose setting. The colonial power has made it one of the pillars of the economy of Madagascar. Farafangana is known for its production of cash crops, mainly coffee, but also pepper and clove, which you can easily find at the market. Shopping in all is by exchanging with a very hospitable population. Take a tour of the city to appreciate, among other things, the architecture of the houses built during the colonization.
Farafangana, a cradle of traditions with a natural and wild decor, is still unknown but attractive. The surrounding landscapes and the city's scenery have it all. The destination is really ideal for a unique journey. Change of scenery guaranteed!
Watch more photos about Farafangana here.