Cheap Flights to Fort Dauphin Airport
Naturalist Charles Darwin, best known for his work "Origin of the Species," was enamoured of the varied wildlife in Madagascar, an island off the eastern coast of Africa. Today, this still very wild place brings scientists and nature lovers, eager to see the variety of species found when evolution takes the fast track in a place of relative isolation. Fort Dauphin Airport (FTU), also known as Tolanaro Airport, is on the south-eastern tip of Madagascar, about five kilometres from the town of Taolagnaro. Skyscanner's innovative online booking site can help you find your way to this island paradise. Find the cheapest airfare as well as your hotel accommodations. Then it's your turn to follow in Darwin's footsteps.
Getting to Fort Dauphin Airport
Travelling to Fort Dauphin Airport means first flying to Ivato Antananarivo International Airport (TNR), in the capital of Madagascar. Air France, using partner airlines such as WestJet and Air Canada, offers one-stop flights from Toronto or Montreal. Multiple connection options are available from Calgary. These are codeshare flights, meaning you buy an Air France ticket, but fly on a partner carrier on one or more segments. From Ivato Airport, an easy to navigate one-terminal facility, you catch an Air Madagascar flight to Fort Dauphin. This is a long trip, so you may consider spending a night in Antananarivo to break up your journey. This also makes it easier to connect to the one round-trip daily flight on Air Madagascar. You'll also find hotel accommodations in Fort Dauphin.
Fort Dauphin Airport is small. Its one terminal easily handles the handful of scheduled flights that arrive and depart, as well as private plane traffic. One ATM is available, but it's a good idea to exchange some Canadian cash for the accepted Malagasy ariary at the larger Ivato International Airport, your connection point. Once you get into town, about a five-minute drive, you'll find ATMs and banks. Most hotels and some shops do accept credit cards. Car rentals are an option, but the rental firms are located closer to town. Most people choose taxis for the ten minute ride into town, which have negotiated rates. It's common to book a taxi for a set period to do local sightseeing as well.
Things to do in Fort Dauphin
- Founded in the mid-1600s, Fort Dauphin is known for not only its white sand beaches and wildlife, but for a smattering of historic architectural sites. You'll find colonial buildings, such as the oversized white house that belonged to the Kaleta family, adjacent to the hotel Dauphin. Remnants of the forts built in the 17th century sit side by side with the new mosque. Fort Flacourt, built in 1643, is fairly intact. To get an overview of the area, take a hike to the top of Pic Saint Louis, a 529-metre peak that gives you a bird's eye view of the town, beaches, and the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Nahampoana Natural Reserve, only seven kilometres from town, is known for its lemur population. Your entry fee includes a guide who leads you along trails where you'll find four species of these comical creatures. Watch for the collection of black and white tails wiggling as the ringtails wander by. The Sifakas lemurs are the pride of the park, with their white fuzzy heads and distinctive black faces. You'll also find Madagascar palms, collections of bamboo and native flowers as well as splashing waterfalls.
- Libanona Beach is a wide strip of white sand that fronts Fort Dauphin. It's the perfect spot for that stroll along the sand or for doing a bit of surfing or windsurfing. Nearby is the even quieter Lokaro Beach, fronting Lokaro Bay. Many of the hotels in town are within steps of these beaches, some even having oceanfront bungalows along the shore.