Atsimo Andrefana is a region of Madagascar. It borders Menabe in north, Amoron'i Mania and Haute Matsiatra in northeast, Ihorombe and Anosy in east and Androy in southeast. The capital is Toliara and the population was estimated to be 1,018,500 in 2004. Atsimo Andrefana is the largest of all Malagasy regions with an area of 66,236 km2 (25,574 sq mi). When the provinces of Madagascar were dissolved in 2009, the existing 22 regions became the first-level administrative divisions of the country. The region is divided into nine districts:
In Atsimo-Andrefana are found the following National Parks:
The Vezo is the term the semi-nomadic coastal people of southern Madagascar use to refer to people that have become accustomed to live from sea fishing. The Vezo speak a dialect of the Malagasy language, which is a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language group derived from the Barito languages, spoken in southern Borneo. They currently populate most of the littoral zone along Madagascar’s west coast between Toliara and Mahajanga. They do not identify with a particular Malagasy ethnic group but instead with their way of life. Because of their semi-nomadic marine migrations, their population is difficult to determine and has been estimated by counting the dugout canoes called pirogues (lakanas in Malagasy language) around Madagascar.
"Vezo" literally means the people who fish, but also has been known to mean 'to struggle with the sea'.