Mada Surf Tours is not a surf camp but more so a mobile surf trip with four main base camps in Tulear, Mangily, Sarodrano, and Anakao, it is if you like four surf trips in one. The 60km stretch of coastline between Ifaty and Anakao lays host to more than 18 breaks which are accessible by boat only. At least 12 of these breaks are world class on their day. We have a left hand reef break that looks like a mini Teahupoo and another two which are twice as long as Saint Leu in Reunion Island. We also have a right hander that resembles Kirra in it's heyday as well as large variety of other waves suitable for all levels of surfers, and to top it off the surf pumps all year round with the weather and climate excellent for surfing.
The winter months between May and September see large heaving ground swells pounding the coast and blasting the reefs. The winds and overall conditions can be very burly and wild and to my mind are more suited to the above average to competent and experienced surfer.
For part time and lower level surfers I would recommend coming here over the summer months from October through April which are relatively consistent with more small to medium size swells in the 4-5ft range and much more user friendly conditions which facilitate easing into rhythm with light offshore winds and glassy sunset surfs possible.
Base camp is set up in Tulear and each day according to the forecast we either surf locally at one of the 4 main breaks within close distance to home, or pack everyone up and depending on conditions, head north or south where we surf and sleep for as long as there is swell. We have great beachfront bungalow style accommodations in Anakao, Sarodrano, and Ifaty – Mangily where we sleep over until returning back to base camp in Tulear (See sample itinerary on Gash Pack link).
A mobile surf tour is the best and only real way of maximising potential surfing time in the region. The waves are quite fickle and local knowledge as well as a boat are essential in scoring the best waves on offer each day. Tulear is no real secret to SA, Reunion or French surfers as they have been coming here for some years now. However due to the complications I just mentioned a lot of surfers have not had the best experiences as they have had to just stay in one particular spot for their stay and have often missed the best waves. Add to this the dilemma of dealing with local fisherman to get out to the breaks as well as the lack of local knowledge (and safety issues) it hasn't always been an easy trip for nomadic surfers.
I have been living in Tulear since 2009 and surfing since the late 1990's so know the waves and local conditions like the back of my hand. We have the means and know how to get you to the best waves on offer everyday. Surfing in Tulear is definitely going to explode in the future as quality uncrowded waves such as we have on offer here are a very rare commodity nowadays. This place is basically a time bomb just waiting to go off!
How do I get to Madagascar?
If you're coming from Australia or New Zealand best bet is Air Mauritius from Sydney or Perth through to Antananarivo with a stopover in Mauritius on the way and direct connections on the return leg. Alternatively you can fly straight through to Johannesburg and then catch a flight through to Antananarivo. Once you arrive in Antananarivo (Tana) you will need to get yourself down to Tulear where we are based. Please see below transport options between Tana and Tulear (Toliara).
If you're coming from Europe best bet would be to get yourself to Paris, Marseille, or Milan and then take one of the numerous companies that fly to Tana including Air Madagascar, Air France, and Corsair. In saying that however savings can be made by flying Air Mad as you will receive a 40% discount on the domestic leg to Tulear! See links below for further details.
If you're coming from The States either go the Paris option mentioned above or get yourself to Johannesburg or Nairobi and then over to Tana and down to Tulear.
If you're coming from South Africa direct flights to Tana depart from Johannesburg with South African Airways.
If you're coming from Reunion Island or Mauritius check out the new direct flights with Air Madagascar / Air Austral direct to Toliara from Saint Denis.
Other airlines that fly into Tana include Kenya Airways from Nairobi. Turkish Airlines also have a new flight from Istanbul which is very competively priced.
For more detailed information on getting to Madagascar please check the following links.
NB: Please note that Air Madagascar has recently changed it's check in luggage policy. Please check following link for more info: http://www.airmadagascar.com/en/information/baggage-weight-allowances
For those with a little time to burn savings can also be made by using public transport for the Tana Tulear leg of the trip. Taxi B's which are like mini buses leave everyday from Tana to Tulear and cost around 15€ for a seat compared to the outrageous fares Air Mada demands. In saying this they are a bit of a mission and reserved for the hardcore only, 20 hours of non stop driving surrounded by burly locals on third world roads can takes it's toll and may also be dangerous for the health!
For the return option from Tulear to Tana we can also organise 4WD's for around 30€ a seat with an overnighter in Fianarantsoa which breaks the drive up into approximately two 8 hour stints. This is definitely a much more comfortable and safer option than the Taxi B!
NB: The airfares to Madagascar are often the most expensive part of planning any trip over here - You really need to book well in advance and try and be a little flexible with your dates if you want a cheap airfare. You should also compare your travel agent's fares with the Air Madagascar website before booking as rates vary considerably.
Do I need a visa before I come? No you get a free 30 day visa stamped in at the airport or for those staying longer a 60 or 90 day visa will cost you 45€ and 60€ respectively, both also done at the airport on arrival. NB: Customs have just implemented a new 35€ short stay visa to be paid on arrival. It is not yet sure if this is a temporary or permanent measure.
Arriving in Tana? Depending on your flight arrival time in Tana it is usually necessary to overnight in the capital as flights for Tulear usually depart before international arrivals. We have excellent contacts for meet and greet return transfers plus accommodation both around the airport and in the city if needed. There are money changers and an ATM in the international arrivals terminal. It is advised to avoid using the baggage carriers if possible as this may lead to unnecessary hassles.
Departing Tana. Try to leave yourself a bit of time between domestic arrivals and international departures from Tana as Air Mad is not uncommon to delays on their domestic network and if you leave it too tight you may just end up missing your outbound flight from Tana which can be a major bummer especially if you have other connecting flights there after. If possible try and arrive in Tana the day before your outbound flight just to be safe. We can sort you out with a good hotel and transfers and you can even do a bit of sightseeing if you like. There is also excellent shopping and restaurants in Tana.
Antananarivo – How safe is it? The capital city of one of the poorest countries in the world is of course a dangerous place if you don't know what you're doing or where you are going. Although walking around the city during the day is relatively safe aside from the odd pick pocket and beggars constantly hounding you for money, I would not recommend venturing too far out at night by foot. If you wanna check out the nightlife best bet is to get a central downtown hotel where you can safely access the local bars by foot and then taxi to night clubs or back to hotel. Taxi fares are super cheap, around 5000ar (around $2) per ride so best to play it safe and catch cabs at night time! For those wanting to do a bit of sightseeing I have a very trustworthy chauffeur guide who I have been working with for more than 10 years that will show you the sights for a reasonable price and as he's also a big bugger, he doubles as a very good body guard and will keep you well out of harms way! In any case if you want to overnight in Tana or do a bit of sightseeing drop me a line and I'll sort you out a good deal!
Getting from Tana to Tulear? As mentioned above this can also be very expensive as Air Madagascar has a monopoly for domestic flights around the country. Of course the fastest and easiest way of getting to Tulear (Toliara in Malagasy) is by plane but unfortunately it is also the most expensive, especially if you fly inbound with a different airline as you will not benefit from the domestic leg reduction with Air Mad. Good news is that boards are carried free on international flights with Air Mad. If you are on a tight budget and have a little time to burn the Taxi B may be an attractive option. If you arrive before 2pm we can also organise direct transfers from the airport to bus station plus same day Taxi B to Tulear. For those doing a combo surf – tourism trip to Mada we can also organise private car rentals from Tana to Tulear with trustworthy chauffeur guide.
NB: Air Mad have implemented a new luggage policy for domestic flights. You now can only check in one peice of baggage and must pay 50€ excess for second check in item. Best way around this is when you arrive in Tana throw as much stuff as possible into your board bag and just check this in. You also have carry on luggage so you can throw any excess items with that and take on board with you.
Tana to Tulear options:
NEWS FLASH: AIR MADAGASCAR HAS JUST LAUNCHED A NEW LOW COST SUBSIDIARY CALLED TSARDIA THAT IS SELLING DOMESTIC FLIGHTS BETWEEN ANTANANARIVO AND TOLIARA FOR AS LOW AS 120€ ONE WAY. THESE ARE THE EXACT SAME FLIGHTS AND PLANES WITH A QUOTA OF LOW BUDGET SEATS. PLEASE CHECK http://tsaradia.com/
2. Private taxi - Second best option but requires sleeping a night half way in Fianarantsoa or elsewhere as drivers do not drive at night time. This option is also quite expensive as it requires covering all the drivers expenses including return trip to Tana. Price is about 400 euros. Fuel is included but u need to pay hotel room in Fiana plus food probably between 15 and 20 euros per person. Arrival in Tulear around midday next day.
3. Private Taxi B - Great option for groups as you get the whole bus to yourselves so can sleep most of the way. Mercedes Sprinter will pick you up from airport and drive you non stop to Tulear. Price is around 300 euros. Only extra cost will be food along the way which is very cheap. Arrival in Tulear around midday next day. This option is also available from Tulear to Tana.
4. Taxi B - This is by far the cheapest option but also the longest and most difficult. If you want to do it very cheap you book just one seat each which will cost about 15 euros per person. Alternatively you can book the whole back seat of a mercedes sprinter for around 60 euros (4 places ) or a mazda PM for around 45 euros (3 places). Yo would also need to add your transfer to taxi B station in Tana from airport which would be about 20 euros for the car. Arrival in Tulear around midday next day. Please note that the Taxi B station in Tana can be pretty intimidating if it's your first trip to Mada. I strongly advise letting us look after your booking and transfers there to keep you safe!
5. Road Trip: We work with a very competent driver that does a 6 day Road Trip between Tana and Toliara or vice versa visiting the National Parks of Ranomafana and Isalo along the way. Please refer to Gash Pack link for further details.
6. Return 4WD: There are a lot of private chauffeurs that drive clients down from Tana to Toliara on sightseeing tours and must drive back up by themselves. We can usually find a pretty decent 4WD or People Mover to take you back up to Tana from as little as 30€ however there are no gauranteed departures and this option is only available between Toliara and Tana. If you decide to take this option you will need to give yourself a couple of days buffer between your departure from Toliara and your outbound flight from Tana.
Dont forget to compare Air Mad airfares all the way to Toliara as i said earlier you may find a cheaper flight to Tana with another company but when you add the extra expense of getting from Tana to Toliara it is usually just a little more expensive to fly all the way with Air Mad and you are also a priority passenger which means if they postpone or cancel domestic flights they will look after you until your outbound flight.
What's the story with Taxi B's? Depending on your travel dates prices between Tana and Tulear vary between 12-15€ per seat. However unless you're on a very tight budget and have time to burn I would not recommend travelling by Taxi B as they take a good 20 hours to get here and are uncomfortable, often overloaded, filled with burly locals that don't speak any English, and driven by madmen on third world roads, a classic recipe for disaster! To top that off do not expect any toilet facilities on the way down either, make sure you crap before getting on board, and you'll be leaking on the side of the road with the locals as well. Regarding food they do stop 2 or 3 times to eat but in roadside Malagsy restos with menu in local dialect and sometimes in French. You can however buy banana's, chicken, cakes, drinks etc at these roadside stopovers. All joking aside the Taxi B remains a viable option for budget travellers. Personally I would not recommend buying just one seat as you will be stuck between sweaty smelly locals, snoring, farting and possibly spewing on you along the way!
If you're travelling alone, book the whole back seat in a Mazda, will cost you around 50€ for the 3 seats but at least you'll be styling and able to sleep most of the way. If you're travelling with a friend book the whole back seat of a Mercedes Sprinter for around 60€ for the 4 seats and same deal, travelling in comfort with no burlies swamping your style. In any case if you're up for the Taxi B drop me a line and I can organise your transfer from the airport / hotel for you plus booking as doing it yourself could also be a major!
NB: Please note that you will not find people that speak English at the Taxi B station nor during the trip so unless you speak French or are a very good communicator avoid this option as not only is it very complicated and difficult but it is also very dangerous as I often tell clients you are risking your life to save a few bucks it's just not worth it!
Getting from Tulear to Tana? As mentioned above the quickest and easiest option is of course by plane. However if you are on a tighter budget with a little time up your sleeve you could also opt for the Taxi B option or we can organise a 4WD to take you back up for around 30€ per person (This option is not available between Tana and Tulear). For those wishing to visit the national parks we can also organize our chauffeur guide to take you on a 6 day tour through Isalo and Ranomafana National Parks (Please refer to the Gash Pack tab) before dropping you back off in Tana.
Making a reservation: As getting here is always the most expensive part of organizing any trip to Madagascar it is advised to research airfares before making a booking. Once you have locked in your travel dates we will need your exact arrival and departure dates ex. Tulear (Toliara) to lock in your booking and invoice. Rates may vary depending on season, number of travellers, and length of stay. To secure your booking we require a 50% deposit with the remaining balance due at least 60 working days before arrival. Please note you may start and finish any day but if tour is already in progress and boat is not in Tulear transfers to join or leave group will be at your own cost. Transfer costs should not exceed 15€ per person and will be arranged for you. For all bookings of one week or more the Secret Spots Add On is compulsory as tour will visit village and the extra cost includes supplementary fuel charges as well as child sponsorship package and general classroom support. In case of any last minute modifications we're pretty flexible so if you have to move back or forward a few days it shouldn't be a problem. In any case drop us a line and we'll be more than happy to help you out with any queries you may have.
What exactly is the Gash Pack Tour and how does it work?
The Gash Pack Tour is not a surf camp nor a boat trip it is kinda like a combination of both. We are in fact wave hunters that move from village to village depending on the forecast. We have two 24ft power boats that we use to transfer our clients from village to village and to go surfing with however we do NOT sleep on the boats. We work with various hotel accommodation suppliers and depending on the forecast we prebook our accommodation then pack the crew up and head off to wherever we think the waves will be best. Once we arrive at our accommodation we set up the clients in their bungalows and then we surf all of the breaks within proximity of that specific village, sometimes we will surf along the way it just depends on the forecast, tides, and winds etc. We usually stay in each village for a few days until the forecast changes then we pack everyone up and head off to the next village set up new camp and so on. All of the villages are unique in their own way plus they each have many differing waves so there's usually a multitude of breaks to choose from which cater for all different levels of surfer. As we visit so many different villages the tour also doubles up as a culutural discovery trip hence the popularity of our tours.
In peak season the boats are usually down in the villages most of the time and only really come back to Toliara for logisitical reasons or if that is where the waves are best forecast to be. As we have multiple clients arriving and leaving practically every second day if we are in the villages when you arrive you will be picked up by our driver at the airport and either transferred directly to wherever the boat is if that is a feasible option, or you may have to spend a night in Toliara first and wait for the transfer boat to bring you to the group the next morning. In both cases the necessary arrangements will be made for you. If you are doing a private charter or if the boat is in Toliara you will be picked up and transferred straight back to base camp here in Toliara for an immediate departure or an early morning departure the next day, once again this will depend on your arrival time and the forecast on the day. Same principal applies for departing clients if we are still in the villages on your day of departure the necessary arrangements will be made to get you back to the airport for your outbound flight or overland trip.
NB: Please note that we are getting very busy especially in peak season so it is strongly advised to book as early as possible to avoid dissapointment. Last year we had a lot of last minutes turn up that we had to turn away as well as clients who booked just a week then wanted to extend behind but we had no availability.
Is food included in the price?
Absolutely not! I actually started up doing B&B but you proved to be such a bunch of fussy buggers that I knocked that idea on the head and you are now free to choose what, where, and when you want to eat! Food here is dirt cheap and readily available at all surfing destinations and base camps. The hotels and good European standard restaurants usually charge around 4/5 euros for a main course or if you wanna get gasy with the locals you can eat for absolutely peanuts though you'd wanna be packing an iron gut. We also have an abundance of the freshest and cheapest seafood you have ever seen and you can even get the local fisherman to cook you up grilled lobster on the beach for around 5 bucks. If you want an idea of a good food and beverages budget if you allow 15 euros per day you will be styling everywhere we go (Unless you're a chronic Elky then you'd better double it !).
What other expenses do I have? All accommodation, village to vilage transfers, and surfing is included you just need to pay for your food and drink however if tour is already in progress and boat is not in Tulear when you arrive or leave transfers to join or leave group will be at your own cost. Transfer costs should not exceed 15€ per person and will be arranged for you.
Can I rent a board? Yes we have a variety of boards for rent for 10 euros per day. Speak to us for longer term rentals.
Can I get surf lessons? Yes we give surf lessons for 15 euros per day. If you're booking long term we will do you a deal.
Can I change money there? Yep, best bet is to bring a VISA card as there are several ATM's in Tulear. If you want to bring cash Euros are best option. You can also change USD in most places though do not expect a good exchange rate. Forget AUD, Rand and other currencies you will get ripped blind if you manage to find someone who will change them. Please remember you will need to cash up before heading up or down the coast as there are no money changers in the villages including Ifaty and Anakao and the hotels do NOT accept credit cards. Please note that alot of travellers have problems with Mastercard in Madagascar so if you just have that best bring a back up cash option.
Is there internet access in the villages? There is free wifi at basecamp hotels in Tulear, Mangily and Anakao. There is no wifi in the other villages however there is 3G network available everywhere. If you really need to be connected while you are here bring an unlocked smart phone and you can buy a local TELMA sim card and have 3G access 24/24 everywhere we go for next to nothing.
What sort of accommodation will we be staying in? Back to the basics beachfront bungalows which are clean and comfortable and ideally located on prime beachfront property at all surfing destinations. Please see below for further details.
Are there any sharks? Zero shark factor! You will not find a safer place to surf on the planet. For centuries now the local indigenous Vezo fisherman have been out from 4am fishing everything that moves and the sharks have long since relocated. The most effective shark net you could ever wish for keeps these little nasties well at bay!
Is it crowded? If surfing with just you and your mates is crowded then the answer is yes (non applicable for the black shorts and Kirra crew!). Zero crowd factor in off season though the winter peak season is starting to get a little more crowded especially when the swell is small and the only option is Jelly Babies in Anakao which is probably the most surfed wave in Madagascar. However when the swell is up and Flameballs or Kamikazes etc is pumping 90% of the punters are just trying to survive out there so no it's not really crowded!
What sort of waves will we be surfing? Mostly reef breaks although there are a couple of sand bottom breaks around Tulear that we do surf occassionally. In general most breaks are located on passes which facilitates paddling out as there is always a defined channel so no need to duckdive. You can paddle out the back without even getting your hair wet! Please check below for more details.
Is it shallow? Most of the breaks are pretty deep although some can get a bit shallow on low tide.
Do I need booties? Not really as we'll be getting to most of the breaks by boat. There are however a couple of breaks where we have to wade across the reef from the beach and at low tide booties could be useful. Personally I don't use booties at all.
What sort of wetsuit will I need? In summer boardies are fine with maybe a wetshirt to protect yourself from the sun. In winter a springsuit is more than enough. Personally I surf in boardie all year round.
What should I bring? Everything is dirt cheap here so I would recommend bringing a minimum of clothing as you can buy up big time when you get here. It is a good idea however to bring old hand me downs as they make great gifts for the locals and are well appreciated. Don't forget to bring wax, spare leg ropes and ding repair kit as they are a very scarce commodity around here and also make great presents for your surf guide! Also a good idea to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, a good waterproof jacket for the boat as well water proof bag for your stuff.
Is it safe in Tulear? Considering the fact that Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, yes it is surprisingly safe and robberies or aggressions are very rare indeed. In saying that, still a good idea to keep a very close eye on your valuables.
Are there any nasty tropical diseases? To be honest bugger all. I do not know of a single person who has caught malaria here your biggest risk would without a doubt will be getting a case of Bali belly which is quite common with first time travellers. Bring some good stomach meds such as Imodium as well as something for the runs and you should be covered!
Is the water drinkable? The tap water in Tulear is drinkable although if you have a sensitive stomach may be a good idea to buy bottled water which is available everywhere we go.
What's the climate like? Stinking hot in summer and a bit chilly in winter. Boardies from October through April then whack on either a springsuit or a pair or arms in winter.
What do I reckon? I first heard about Tulear Madagascar back in the early 90's when one of the guys who discovered Saint Leu in Reunion Island and Tamarin Bay in Mauritius myseriously went MIA after hanging for many years at the aforementioned breaks. I sorta went hang on a second what's going on here? Didn't need to be a genius to figure out why he'd bailed so I eventually tracked him down hiding away in this lost paradise where he's been ever since and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere in a hurry either. Myself I've been here since 2009 and wouldn't wanna be anywhere else on the planet including Indo, the Mentawais etc. I always remember thinking Geez how cool it would be to have been one of the pioneer surfers in Bali back in the 70's (I was hanging there in the late 80's early 90's game over). Well I reckon I got my ticket here and like I said am enjoying every single moment of it before the circus comes to town!
Between Mangily and the Secret Spots there are at least 30 breaks that we surf on a regular basis. Depending on the swell forecast we set up camp in one of the fishing villages and surf all the breaks in vicinity before moving onto the next village. We enjoy the local hospitality and unique charm that each village has offer not to mention the numerous world class breaks that they host. Below you will find a list of just some of the breaks that we surf on tour!
Ifaty – Mangily
The South Pass ****
Right and left hand reef pass situated a few kilometres off the beach. Great right hander which can handle 10 ft easily however the peak can be quite shifty and sectiony depending on the swell direction. The left although less consistent than the right can also pump on it's day. Access strictly by boat only. Classic wave. All level surfers when small. Intermediate to experienced surfers only on bigger days.
The False Pass *****
Probably the best wave when it's on, a huge grinding left hander which works best on a large ground swell. The waves however is very fickle and difficult to find if you don't know where you are going. The break is located around 3km from the beach and is accessible by boat only. World class. Intermediate to experienced surfers only.
The Right ***
This wave is located at the south entrance of the Ifaty lagoon. A perfect little hot doggy right hander with a soft little barrel section on it, this wave is located around 2km from the beach and accessible by boat only. Fun wave. All level surfers.
An insane left hand reef break which can handle anything that Huey throws at it. This wave holds 15 ft easily and can peel down the line for well over 500m. Located to the northern extremity of the Tulear reef access is strictly by boat only. World class. Intermediate to experienced surfers only.
A sand bottom left hander located at the entrance of the Mangily river mouth. This is a mellow fun wave excellent for beginners or lower to intermediate level surfers. Wave works best on a medium to large swell. On a bigger days Backdoor Pete's is also a great option for natural footers. A freight train right hander rifling down the line at 200km which also has a barrel section on it. There are also numerous other little beach breaks to the left and to the right of Pete's which are ideal for beginners. Break accessible by boat of by 4WD from the Tulear Groyne road at La Batterie. Fun wave. All level surfers.
My personal favourite and without a doubt the most consistent wave in the Tulear region. Googles is predominantly a left hander breaking over a sand and coral platform situated on a headland and old artery of the Mangily River. One of the best waves in the region on it's day, although very fickle and needs all of the elements to line up for it to be perfect. On high tide Backdoor Googles also offers a short right with heavy take off and tube section. When it's flat everywhere else you can pretty much be sure to get a surfable wave at Googles, there is not a wave in the area that I surf more often. Access by boat only. World class on it's day. All level surfers when small. Intermediate to experienced surfers only when big.
Kirra reborn! Located around 15km to the south of Tulear this reef pass breaks both left and right although the right is much better than the left. Best on a large swell stand up barrels are the order of the day when it's on! Access strictly by boat only. World class. Intermediate to experienced surfers only.
Filthy right hand reef break located at the southern extremity of the Tulear reef and around 3km from Sarodrano beach. Works best on a large swell and can also handle anything that Huey throws at it. A solid right with big barrel section on the inside, this wave absolutely pumps on it's day! Access strictly by boat only. World class. Intermediate to experienced surfers only when big.
Tony's Tavarua is reputed to be the best wave in the region. A long grinding lefthander which breaks over a submerged coral atoll, TT's is probably best in the 6-8ft range. When it's on 500m plus rides are the order of the day! Access by boat or 4WD to Sarodrano then pirogue to break. World class. Intermediate to experienced surfers only.
Located to the other side of TT's this right hander works best on medium to large swell. A hot doggy right with great speed sections, this is the perfect wave for pulling out ya bag of tricks! Access by boat or 4WD to Sarodrano then pirogue to break. Classic wave. Suitable for all level surfers.
Loacted to the other side of the pass from Inners, this left hand reef break works best on a large swell. Although less consistent and less surfed than the other Saro breaks this wave absolutely cooks on it's day and barrels are definitely on the cards! Access by boat or 4WD to Sarodrano then pirogue to break. Intermediate to experienced surfers only when big.
Three Rollers ***
The most consistent of the Saro breaks, a short fun left and right, this is probably then most suitable wave in the area for beginners or casual surfers. Access by boat or 4WD to Sarodrano then either paddle off beach or pirogue to break. Beginners wave.
Jelly Babies ***
Located to the southern tip of the main village in Anakao and around 1km offshore JB's is the perfect mellow learners wave although on a lower tide with a decent swell it can also be very hot doggy and fun! All level learners wave.
Pousse Pousse ****
Located to the southern tip of Nosy Vé, this right hander breaks over a shallow coral reef and unless it's perfectly lined up with a good offshore wind is very fast and sectiony. Good in all sizes this wave can easily handle a 20 ft swell although the freight train sections with gnarly coral heads sucking up the face can make it just a little more than precarious for even the most seasoned of veterans. Intermediate to experienced surfers when small and strictly reserved for kamikaze hellmen when big.
Often described as a mini Cloudbreak this wave definitely lives up to it's reputation. Best in the 4-6ft range the wave is always intense with a elevator shaft take off followed by an insane barrel section than screams off down the line at 200km. Tubefest for the game guaranteed and when it starts getting big strictly reserved for good surfers with big kahunas to go! Adenalin junkies and hardcore thrill seekers alike, FB's is definitely the place to get ya fix! World fucking class without a doubt! Upper intermediate to experienced surfers only.
The Secret Spots - Doradise Add On (Not included in Gash Pack)
Located a couple of km's offshore this is a classic right hand reef break with a perfect but barely ever ridden left breaking off the other side of the reef. Sandies is fast and hollow with a good tube section and multiple ramps for blasting off the top. Wave works from 2ft up and absolutely smokes in the 6ft range. All level surfers when small and intemediate and above when big.
Located to the other side of the Sanduna pass, this screaming lefthander actually has an inside and an outside section with the latter being about as heavy as it gets. The wave jacks up onto shallow reef and litterally throws out nearly as far as it is high. If you manage to make the elevator take off make sure you bring your pig dog to play as backdoor barrels are the order of the day. Reserved for madmen and pro's only, the inside section is however much more forgiving and can be surfed by mere mortals!
Located between the Ledge and Sandies this wedge shaped peak breaks over a shallow atoll and back towards the inside ledge point. Good take off with a barrel section the wave is relatively short but intense and lots of fun. There is also a decent left which breaks off the other side of the wave. Suitable for all levels when small and intermediate and over when big.
Located around 1km offshore, Sambo's is a great fun A-frame peak suitable for all the family! The waves breaks over a fairly deep coral reef and has a hot doggy left hander to one side and a mellow right to the other which is tailor made for beginners. Both waves work on small swells and Sambo's is the swell magnet of the area! Suitable for all levels.
Located to the other side of the pass from Sambosa, Bekays is a right hand reef point which breaks into fairly deep water. In general the wave is a big long wall perfect for whacking in turns and cutties although on a lower tide and bigger swell you can find some pretty big barrels on the outside section. Suitable for all levels.
Maki's is located in the middle of the lagoon around 500m from the beach and is one of the shallowest and gnarliest waves in the Tulear region. On a higher tide and small swell the wave is pretty mellow but as soon as the tide drops and the swell starts kicking it's basically just a free fall take off straight into the barrel with coral heads boiling up the face all over the show. If you're lucky you'll get blown out with the gas, if you're not you'll be eating a coral sandwich for breakfast! Though principally a right there is also a sick left reeling off the otherside for the brave or fool hardy! Suitable for one and all when small but strictly reserved for kamikaze hellmen once it gets a bit of size!
NB: There are numerous other breaks in the area that we haven't even surfed or named yet! This new discovery is an absolute goldmine of waves and could best be described as a real surfers paradise !!!
Secret spot location undisclosed. Perfect left hand reef break which has been described as just like G-land but longer! Waves starts breaking from 2-3ft and could probaly handle anything the ocean could throw at it. Have surfed it at 8-10ft and is an insane wave. Suitable for all levels when it's small and intermediate and above when bigger.
Secret spot location undisclosed. Sick left slab breaking onto shallow reef which was described by a pro as one of the heaviest waves he's ever surfed. The waves reels onto the inside reef and doubles up in the sickest barrel that is as round as it is thick. The take off can only be described as ridiculously heavy followed by a huge freight train barrel section. Break only works on a bigger swell but can be surfed from 3ft up and probably holds up to 10-12ft. Leaners beware wave reserved for high level experienced surfers only.
Secret spot location undisclosed. This wave can best be described as a mini Teahupoo although apparently it's longer than it's predecessor! A heaving seething left hand slab breaking over a very shallow reef the wave sorf of appears from nowhere and jacks up so fast you can hardly even see the thing coming. Heavy elevator take off guaranteed followed by a huge frothing barrel that actually impodes on itself and spits out the back of the wave. Wave breaks from around 3 feet and is quite managable though once it hit's the 6ft mark it transforms into a nasty heaving monstor that just wants to hurt you. Needless to say learners will not be let off the boat and will be put on photy duty! Intermediate level surfers could give this wave a shot when it's small though when it's big the wave is strictly reserved for Kelly Slater and John John Florence or those equipped with a huge set of kahunas and rising sun headband!
Anakao to Androka in the south and Mangily to Morondava in the north *****
There are so many perfect unsurfed reef breaks, passes, atolls, and islands that I couldn't even begin to detail them. For the most part these regions are totally unexplored by surfers as we have so many uncrowded waves in the Tulear vicinity that there is basically just no need to go any further. Unless you're a hardcore nomad on a mission from hell the only real way of accessing these waves is also by catamaran or yacht and to date very few have ventured in these practically unchartered waters. In June of 2014 we will be organising our first discovery explorer charter between Tulear and Morodava and a similar expedition from Anakao down to Androka is already on the drawing board. If you're interested drop us a line and we'll see what we can sort out!
What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
Beachfront hotel in Tulear and beachfront bungalows when travelling to southern or northern breaks. Although all our accommodation is clean, comfortable and well located on beach front property in some of the sweetest little fishing villages you could ever wish to visit, this is as I said a back to the roots surfing adventure in one of the poorest countries in the world so if you're looking for 5 star comfort, luxury, and crowds probably better to book a trip with the rest of the conventional surfing world to the Mentawais!!!
Base camp is set up at a beachfront hotel within close proximity to local bar, restaurants, niteclubs and the town centre. Your room is fitted with ceiling fan and ensuite bathroom and toilet. The hotel has free wifi.
Beachfront bungalows with ensuite bathroom in the heart of Mangily Beach. Good onsite restaurant and great little beach bar for the sunset apperative right next door!
You'll be getting back to the basics in Malagasy style bungalows right in front off TT's and Inners in the heart of the village. Outside share facility showers and toilets. Great on site restaurant with fresh seafood and cold beer!
Beachfront bungalows situated on a beautiful secluded white sandy beach on the outskirts of the main village. All rooms have ensuite bathroom and there is free wifi at the restaurant.
Malagasy homestay with Vezo fisherman family in authentic fishing village totally off the beaten tourist track. Small but clean and modest bungalows and excellent fresh seafood cooked by the family daily.
We have a 25ft XMC surf cruiser with a 50hp Honda 4 stroke outboard on the back and a 23ft fibreglass surf cruiser with a 40hp Honda 4 stroke which we use for the Gash Pack tours. Both Gash Pack boats are limited to 6 clients maximum for safety and comfort. We also have 2 x 18ft fibreglass pirogues with 15hp 2 stroke engines which we can use for back up or private rentals. For the Cash Pack private charters we use a TM21 power boat with a 90hp 4 stroke outboard on the back. Both Gash Pack and Cash Pack boats are fitted out with board racks and sun roof.