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Spiny thicket

The spiny thicket around Toliara is dominated by didieraceae species as well as the Adansonia rubrostipa baobab. Euphorbias also feature prominently in the spiny thicket. Waders and other aquatic birds are attracted to the beaches and mud flats, and include Archbold's newtonia, the long-tailed ground roller, Lafresnaye's vanga, the running coua, the banded kestrel and the Madagascar plover.

The town of Toliara itself is home to the Antsokay arboretum, with an extensive collection of representatives of the spiny thicket flora, and to the tiny "Maritime Museum of the Institute of Halieutic Science" with its one very unique specimen.

Ifaty beach, about 30 km or one hour's drive North of Toliara, borders Ranobe lagoon, which is protected by the southern portion of one of the longest coral reefs (perhaps even the second-longest depending on how one counts) in the world. Though the beach itself is not spectacular, several hotels offer their hospitality, including the quite pleasant Paradisier. Other attractions at Ifaty include the barely penetrable spiny thicket which extends East as far as the eye can see and attracts all manner of birds, as well as the "tanan'ni sokake" tortoise sanctuary.


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