Updated: Nov 12, 2019
We dedicate this post to Vladimír Dudlák and Sylvie Macle. This is a guide for anyone who would like to visit Makay without the help of a travel agency and for anyone who would like to know more about Makay.
Makay is a region in the South West of Madagascar. It is distinguished by its labyrinthine landscape of interconnected rivers and canyons, which provide exquisitely preserved habitats for its many wildlife inhabitants. New species are still being discovered in Makay.
Is it the same as Isalo? No, the landscape is different.
Where is it?
How to get there?
There are two ways to get to Makay, from the South and from the North. From the South, you need to take RN7 from Antananarivo to Ranohira. Follow this link for more info about the way from the South.
We entered Makay from the North: from the capital, you need to take RN7 to Antsirabe, then RN34 until Malaimbandy. From Malaimbandy, you need to go to Antsakoazato. The road is not paved from Malaimbandy to Antsakoazato. There are several rivers on the way. There are no bridges and no ferries, so with a car, you would only be able to go there during the dry season (March -> October). You can find guides in Antsakoazato.
What did we do there?
We trekked and camped for 4 days and 4 nights.
We swam and walked through some stunning canyons.
We climbed the canyon walls.
What will you need to bring?
4x4 and a great driver
A Malagasy or French speaker
Cooking pot(s) suitable for cooking on a fire
Food and water for 4 days. There is water everywhere in Makay, so if you don't want to carry too much, you can boil or purify the river water. Rice and/or dehydrated foods are recommended to save weight.
Hiking shoes: the terrain is mixed, with some rocky passages and a lot of walking on sand
Water shoes: some days you will walk for hours in shallow water
Waterproof bag (optional but recommended)
First aid kit
Good physical fitness
Note: if you go with a travel agency, some of these things will be provided. They will tell you what to bring.
How much will it cost?
The park entrance fee is 40000 ariary (10 Euros) per person per day. Each guide (minimum 2 per group) costs approximately the same.
Why do we think that people should go there?
Makay is truly a beautiful place to wander for Nature lovers. Tourism is a source of income for the local people and directly incentivises them to preserve Nature in Makay. Because of tourism, the people living near Makay stopped hunting lemurs for food. They see that tourism can improve their lives, and know tourists won't go there if all the wildlife is gone.
Fell free to ask in the comments if you have any questions. For more pictures of Makay and Madagascar, check out our Instagram page.
We thank Oliver Dudlák for allowing us to post some of his pictures.