The Gash Pack is not a surf camp but more so a mobile surf trip with its main base camp being located at Mada Surf Ranch in Anakao. The 50km stretch of coastline between Sarodrano to the north and Secrets in the south 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 just like Tavarua and another two which are twice as long as Saint Leu in Reunion Island. We also have a right hander that resembles Kirra in its heyday as well as large variety of other waves suitable for all levels of surfers, and to top it off the surf pumps practically all year round with the weather and climate excellent for surfing.
The winter months between April and September are definitely the most consistent for waves and the reason we only offer surf trips during this period. For those surfers wanting to visit Madagascar between October and March we recommend just booking a room at the Ranch in Anakao and when the waves are good we can organize boats to take you surfing. Rooms at the lodge start from 10 euros per night with surf transfers starting from 5 euros and meals costing around the same price. Please contact us directly if you would just like to book a room at the lodge.
.Our main base camp is set up on the beach in Anakao, the undisputed surfing hub of the region and each day according to the forecast we either surf locally at one of the 4 main breaks within close distance to home, or when the conditions are right, pack everyone up and head north or south where we surf and sleep for as long as there is swell. We have great beachfront bungalow style accommodations in Sarodrano, and Kamikazes as well as a home stay with a local fisherman at The Secret Spots Village, where we sleep over until returning back to base camp in Anakao.
A mobile surf tour is the best and only real way of maximizing potential surfing time in the region. The waves are quite fickle and local knowledge as well as a good boat are essential in scoring the best waves on offer each day. The Toliara region is no real secret to Reunion Island 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 it hasn’t always been an easy trip for nomadic surfers.
I have been living in Toliara since 2009 and surfing here for over twenty now years 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 the region 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!
For those with a little time to burn savings can also be made by using public transport for the Tana Toliara leg of the trip. Taxi B’s which are like mini buses leave everyday from Tana to Toliara and cost around 20 euros for a seat. In saying this they are a bit of a mission and reserved for the hardcore only, 20 hours of nonstop driving surrounded by burly locals on third world roads can takes its toll and may also be dangerous for the health!
For the return option from Toliara to Tana we can also organize 4WD’s for around 50€ 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.
I just returned from a 3 week surf trip in Madagascar and had such an incredible time there. If you want to surf perfect reefs all alone or just with your buddies Mada is the place to go. The waves are world class but fickle so local knowledge is the key to score epic surf. Based in Tulear Blair takes you to the best spots north and south coast depending on swell, tides, and wind. He will get you to the best waves on any given day but also when its flat Mada is beautiful and more than worth a trip, uncrowded clean beaches and water, good fishing and diving, incredible cheap seafood, and cool friendly people. I can’t wait to be back there, amazing trip!
Stefan K – Germany May 2013
This place is a surfers paradise. Packed with world class waves and no crowds. Blair made sure we were out at the best spot every day. Great operation he has here. Book a trip with Blair and you are guaranteed to not be dissapointed!
Sean D – USA July 2013
The perfect off the beated track holiday with insane waves all to yourself … well almost : With Blair the only guide capable in a 24 hour timeframe of finding you a world class break with perfect waves and to top it off, a show of whales swimming around the boat for an hour … bloody hard act to beat !!! Adventure fans jump on board !!! Thanks Blair and see you soon …
Olivier, Ile de La Réunion – August 2013
Mada Surf Tours helped me discover the most insane places such as Sarodrano, Anakao, and Mangily … I surfed perfect waves thanks to Blair’s local knowledge of the breaks and surf conditions. It is also totally uncrowded, no surfers or sharks, so if you’re sick of getting hassled by 20 guys in the line up, or the shark factor is keeping you out of the water Tulear is the place you want to be! To top it off if you like partying you won’t find any better!! I have already been twice and am heading back for the third time, can’t get enough of this place!! Thanks for everything Blair, the best surf guide I have ever met!
Youn L, Shark Island – September 2013
Place sucks big time! Shitty waves, crowded and full of sharks. Expensive as, horrible dirty locals, fat ugly chicks, and theives everywhere, to be avoided at all costs!! Be back for sure haha!!
Jamie B, South Africa – October 2013
After already having visited most of the major surf destinations on the planet, in February I finally decided to check out Madagascar … In summary there are natives everywhere, its stinkin hot, waves all over the show with not a person in sight, the most insane little fishing villages, killer night life in Tulear a must see and do, the hottest chicks if youre single of course, … and Tony Blair!!! always by your side guiding you through new experiences and filling you in on the local customs, with him the skys the limit, just name and its done! I could write a whole chapter on my trip but the best idea is to just GO!!! PS. Before leaving its strongly recommended to do some serious training cause you will surf big time and Tony doesnt muck around, he surfs full on!!! Thanks again Tony for such a great surf trip and see you soon, until next year !!
Alex G, Southern France – February 2014
Thanks for an epic mission! Can’t believe there are still places where you can get PERFECT and UNCROWDED waves!! All the organisation and transfers were super smooth and cannot wait to get back! Surely it will be a selling point that you can get waves named after ya? Haha, cheers mate!
Brett L, Laity Peak SA – April 2014
One of most authentic adventure surf trips I have been on! Blair takes care of you from the moment you step off the plane. From fun waist high to cranking overhead freight trains…he will find it for you! Will be back.
Mark B, South Africa – May 2014
We spent one month surfing in Madagascar June-July 2014 with Mada Surf Tours and it was AWESOME! Pumping huge uncrowded waves in various spots, whales jumping in the background…you really couldn’t wish for more. Max, our guide did an awesome job bringing us to the best spots depending on the swell, winds etc… Even though the swell was huge; he could find waves suiting to everybody’s level. As we could not speak French, Max’s French was a huge help when organizing the accommodation and food in the small fishing villages. Food was super delicious, people friendly and happy…We are definitely going back one day!
Meri T, Finland – June 2014
Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for our fantastic “Dads ’n Lads” Mada Surf adventure. We had a ball !!!!! Mada is a special place and it was great to be shown around by someone like yourself. Tom still (daily) educates me as to how things should be done “‘cos that’s what Blair says”. In between the late boards, taxi breakdowns, cancelled flights etc. (all part of the adventure) we had an amazing trip spending good times with our boys, friends and a world class surf guide. As much as we enjoyed The Right at Mangilly the highlight of my trip was our arvie session at Jelly Babies. I seriously had more fun that afternoon than I’ve had anywhere else in the world!!!! Fun waves, all to ourselves – who could ask for more? And then to boat back to what can only be described as beach paradise accommodation, eating fresh cray’s off the flames of a beach fire, washed down with a few THB’s and then sleeping 25m from the ocean edge, to wake up in the dark ready for the dawnie and start it all over again…..heaven on earth!!!! Anakao really is a special place!
Darrell H, Durban SA – June 2014
Great trip, great service, Blair and Max worked really hard to make sure that everything went as smooth as possible. I Surfed 12 different waves in 8 days and have been to many surf locations around the world but none like this one. I will be back. Cheers!
Paul A, West Oz -July 2014
Perfect waves, 9 days out of 10, really cool back to the roots style, super smooth organisation from the boss Blair and the guide Max great food and a killer bonus plan to boot. Fully amped to get back. See you guys soon!
Dom P, La Reunion – July 2014
We had a fantastic time with Max, Blair and Ralley in the south of Madagascar. We stayed in different villages down the coast, met with locals and got to know their culture – an absolutely amazing experience. The surf was heaven on earth for those who know how to surf, fantastic waves and no crowds. Our personal highlight was spending two days with Max at one of Mada Surf Tours’ best surf spots, their so-called secret spot. We stayed with a local family, in a wonderful little room without electricity or any other facility. We got up with the sun light and went to bed not long after sunset. We ate fresh fish, lobster, and other interesting things ;-), deliciously cooked by the madam of the house. We played with the village kids and explored the beautiful nature surrounding us. True paradise!
Richie and Alex , Switzerland – August 2014
Spent some time with Blair andMax in Sept ’14. Had a cracking trip – the setups are amazing and there’s something for everyone from grinding barrels to perfect mellow points and what I got to surf was only touching the surface. The place is beautiful,wild and the people are awesome. The places we stayed were as close to paradise as you’ll get. If you’re after pure adventure, this is the place!
Henry A, Wales – September 2014
If your looking for a great experience with great surf Mada Surf Tours will get you there. Local knowledge in this region is a must in order to score good waves and no one has more experience with this than Blair. From an easy pick up at the airport to drop off he’ll take care of you. I flew all the way from Hawaii knowing I’d have nothing to worry about once I landed in Madagascar. If you want a roots experience with « The way things used to be », do yourself a favor and give them a call.
Christian L, Hawaii – October 2014
Madagascar is absolutely beautiful. The pirogue adventure in the Indian Ocean was supreme. The host Mr Blair knows his business with all T’s grassed and I’s dotted. As far as i can tell there are waves pretty much all year round. Safe place to bring family. It’s November now and plan to be back in February already. Greetings from Saudi Arabia!
Richard S, USA – November 2014
This trip is about surfing, that’s for sure. But it’s also all the other impressions, besides surfing, which make this trip so special! Sailing from one remote fishing village to the other, the hospitality of the people living in these villages, the excellent food and just the experience of a complete « downgrade » of your life, which actually is a big upgrade: no telephone, no electricity, no TV, just living the simple life. And it is a good life, believe me! Oh and about the surfing: Indo without crowds! That sums it up pretty much!
Boris G & Roman T, Switzerland – November 2014
We booked the gash pack for 10 days – 5 days traveling down from Tana and 5 days surfing. The entire experience was absolutely incredible! We would highly recommend booking the trip with Lanto, an amazing driver and guide, if you want to visit the country. Lanto helped us explore some sites off the beaten track – the tea plantation in Sahambavy, the wine vineyard in Fianarantsoa, hiking in Isalo National Park. After driving through the heat of Madagascar, we were excited to land in Tulear and start surfing! Despite the slow period for surfing at this time of the year (mid-December), Max and Raighley, our surf guides and skippers, made good calls every single day and brought us to the best spots, making the most of the small swells on tap and the shifty winds. We were totally immersed in the local fishermen lifestyle in places that we would have never been able to explore on our own. The food was fantastic and you will eat the best bokoboko and seafood during the trip for sure!
Melissa M & Olivier F, USA & New Caledonia – December 2014
It’s taken me two months to find the words to describe the incredible surf trip we had with Blair at the end of 2014. Unbeleiveable surf at breaks that have practically never been surfed before, the discovery of tiny little vezo fishing villages that welcomed us like we were royalty and perfect organisation on behalf of the hosts. I would do it all over and over again in a heartbeat! Almost makes you want to give everything up and just stay forever! A huge thanks to the kiwi connection for this fantastic discovery trip – Let’s sausage roll !
Louis T, Antananarivo – January 2015
An epic surf trip in an epic place with an epic crew. Empty surf, perfect barrels, long rides, boko bok for breakfast, lobster for lunch….all this for cheaper than an indo trip. Hard to believe I know…perhaps god exists!!! Can’t say much more, certain things need to be kept secret but with so many empty breaks Tulear is guaranteed some empty line ups for some time to go!
Clement B, Tana, Madagascar – January 2014
This surf trip is probably up there with the best in the world, certainly when when you consider the costs compared to Indo or Maldives and the fact that you will be surfing alone practically every session. The surf trip is really well planned out by the owner Blair Rogers, he knows this surf area better than anyone and will be your guarantee to surf the best waves everyday. The amount of waves in such close proximity compares to places like playgrounds in the Mentawai, but without the crowds! Will be back very soon, thank you Blair !!!
Sacha L & Elsa, Mauritius – February 2015
Surfing with Blair in Madagascar is like traveling back in time. the coast is still virgin and wild and Blair is a true pioneer, still discovering and naming waves as we speak. These guys are living like pirates sailing up and down the coast eating lobster and drinking local rum and surfing the most insane perfect waves with nobody. You’ll meet people in the remote villages and feel like you’re among the 1st whites they’ve ever hung out with. I highly recommend sponsoring some of the school kids!!! A true highlight of our trip. Every morning you’ll be up at the crack of dawn heading out to some perfect reef pass. The waves are world class and if you come soon you’ll still be among the 1st people ever to see and surf some of these spots.
Nico G & Emily P, Big Sur California – March 2015
I unreservedly describe my recent Mada surf trip as ‘the best surf trip of my life’. I’ve surfed most of the famous places in the world, multiple times and without a doubt Madagascar tops the list. Blair has dedicated his life to searching for and surfing the best waves on the planet. They’ve chosen Madagascar for good reason, perfect, consistent, uncrowded waves, interesting culture and warm water. Their hard work, sacrifice and absolute dedication to this goal ensures you will be surfing the best waves on the planet every day. When you motor past an epic, perfect wave because your on your way to a ‘more perfect’ wave you know you’ve found surfing paradise. When you jump in the water and there’s no one else out, ever, that takes it to a whole new level. The description of Madagascar as Indo without the crowds does not do this place justice at all; maybe Indo 30 years ago before it became a sold out, crowded, waste of time but that only captures a small fraction of how good this place is. The waves are unique; sort of a mix between Indo perfection and Pacific Island grunt (Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti esque), the culture is a mix between African, Asian and Pacific Islander, the crowds….they don’t exist, and the sense of adventure is second to none. Do yourself a favour, get here before the rest of the world discovers this place. It’s the best surfing decision I’ve ever made! »
Dan K, Australia – May 2015
Prior to visiting Madagascar, I did a lot of research on where would be the best place in the country to surf regional classic waves and Mada surf tours looked like the REAL deal! « Perfect waves- no crowds » they said, and from day 1, it was just that. I went out with my partner, who doesn’t surf, but had an equally epic trip like me…plenty of snorkelling, chilling on the beach and exploring amazing coastline made it just as worthwhile a trip for her as for me. Your surf guides Blair and Max have really done their homework and can guarantee epic surf…I only stayed 8 days and got plenty!!Just one bit of advice…take a spare board if you’re looking to surf Flameballs or Kamikazes!!
Jack E – Cornwall July 2015
I just want to thank you for everything once again for everything you guys did for me. I went to Madagascar just for the swell and I end up bringing back home so much more! Besides the waves I get an adventure, I met amazing people and I reconnect with myself and the really important things in life. I have much respect for you guys and for what you doing in Madagascar and with your lives. You guys are real legends… And it was an absolute privilege to meet people like you! Ps- Fuck Indonesia and all those « posers »! Mada and you are the real deal! 🙂
André JS, Sunset SA – August 2015
When we think about Mada Surf Tours the first thing coming to our minds is pristine. Pristine beaches with sand so white that it’s burning in your eyes. Turquoise cristal clear water. Surfing a wave while being able too see all the way to the bottom. Totally glassy waves when the wind is right. And yes, surfing alone, just you with your new friends from your tour. Where can you get that? Imagine your day waking up literally in a hut on the beach. Discussing during breakfast which break you are heading to. And then going off by boat to a totally empty spot. Maybe changing to a second one after a couple of hours if you like. Then getting back to your beach paradise totally surfed out. Relaxing the afternoon. Maybe if the wind is right getting some more surf later on or just exploring the villages and meeting the locals. End your day with fresh grilled fish, calamari and lobster and a couple of chilled beers. And the next days, start it all over again! Really it’s an amazing tour. Fascinating. Adventurous. Basic. Feeling free. And surfing, surfing, surfing … In addition to the great surf, in my opinion Blair is doing an incredible job not only as surf-guide who always knows to which break to head too, but foremost with supporting the local communities! Such lovely, unspoiled and seemingly happy people who live on so little but still seem to be more confident with their lifes than most of us. Thanks Mada Surf Tours, we had an unforgettable time!
Jutta and Santos, Germany & Peru – October 2015
Mada Surf Tours was an incredible experience. As a young girl traveling to Madagascar was quite daunting, with very little information available on how to travel, where to go or what kind of accessibility to surf there is. After contacting Mada Surf Tours, they arranged everything for us – airport transfers in Tana, somebody to meet us at a hostel and then the tour itself, which was absolutely spectacular. Jeweled seas, empty lineups, amazing food and remote adventuring. Mada Surf Tours has it all.
Lucy and Anna, WA, Australia – December 2015
What a great experience. Live alongside the locals, surf with the guys who know the best waves. I have traveled a lot and I’ve never been anywhere like the places on this tour, cool little wooden huts right on the beach, travelling to each location on a sailboat, sunsets you wouldn’t believe. The place looks amazing. The trip has gotta be perfect for experienced surfers and there’s a good range of different waves that these guys have found over the years they’ve been doing it. I turned up almost totally green to the sport but they totally fit me in, found waves to suit me, good teaching, good surfing, i had an awesome week. Max and Blair were really helpful and did everything to make sure I enjoyed the trip. If you’re thinking about this I would totally recommend it and the secret spot is definitely worth checking out.
Alex N, England – January 2016
The Gash Pack was for myself and my father who I brought with me much more than just your typical surf trip. Aside from the perfect waves with no one out (a real treat these days!) Blair and Max helped us meet and mix it up with the locals in this region of the Island, a fantastic experience. There is definitely a before and especially an after to this type of trip, you come back all that much richer after such a memorable experience. A huge thanks to all the team, Blair and Max I’ll be back with my daughter for the next trip!!
Alexandre L, Basque Country – February 2016
On behalf of my boys and I, a short note to thanks you for the amazing surf trip in Madagascar. The accommodation was great, the food was great, the hospitality shown by the local’s was great, the backgammon was great and your guiding was great. On top of all of this the waves were epic. It was a week that we will always remember with fond memories and a trip I would highly recommend. We look forward to our next trip. Thanks ans regards!
Alan, Rowan,& Thomas Beesley (Anchor Boy), Durban SA – March 2016
Awesome trip! We were surfing in paradise and we had the reef all to ourselves, except sharing the whitewash with the occasional fisherman in a pirogue joining in on the fun! I learned so much from the surf guide Maxime and the fun atmosphere him and the skipper Ralay created is the reason why I kept extending my trip with them! The fishermen villages we stayed in were simplistic and beautiful and the people were so kind and welcoming. My favorite part of the trip was the secret spot because giving back to the places I visit is really important to me and you could see the happiness it brought the kids. Plus, that was my favorite spot to surf! The only warning I have is to be careful because you’ll never want to leave!
Thank you! Amanda H, New Jersey USA – April 2018