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Madagascar Travel Guide

Madagascar — Attractions

http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

The majority of Madagascar’s attractions are of the stunning natural beauty variety, although the older districts date back to the French colonial period boasting attractive period homes and mansions. Local markets all over the country draw visitors like magnets for their fascinating slice of Malagasy life and the goods on offer.

Ambohimanga

Set close to the capital, ancient Ambohimanga was the birthplace of Madagascar, known for a time as the Blue City, the Forbidden City and the Holy City. In the early years of the state, it was the stronghold of the ruling Merina dynasty, and is home to a number of significant places where important rituals took place. The main gate is a massive stone disc which took 40 strong townsmen to roll it open or closed. The city is surrounded by rainforest and its Royal Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Address: Antananarivo (Tana)
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Avenue of the Baobab Trees

Located just outside Morondava City in Madagascar’s western region, this magnificent avenue of stately baobabs is comprised of 12 massive trees, each 100 ft tall. Baobabs can live for up to 800 years, and the unusual size of these suggests they’re ancient, storing huge quantities of water in their trunks necessary for survival.
Address: Morondava, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: www.madagascar.world-guides.com/_landmarks

Lac Anosy

In the heart of Tana close to the Haute-Ville district, this lovely lake has a central island linked to the shore by a causeway, and is the site of the tall column of the city’s monument to those who died in WWI. It’s a peaceful place, popular with locals as a refuge from the chaos of the city.
Address: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: n/a

The Queen’s Palace, Tana

Built in the 17th century by order of Queen Ranavalona, the palace was the largest of several buildings in the Royal complex, although a fire in 1995 destroyed much of its substance. The queen was referred to as Bloody Mary of Madagascar for her vicious treatment and executions of missionaries and citizens alike. The palace’s façade has since been restored, and royal artifacts rescued from the flames are on display.
Address: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Andasibe Mantadia

Madagascar’s most easily accessible national park located 53 miles from the capital, Andasibe Mantadia, combines lush rainforest with a rich biosphere and rare bird, amphibian and reptile species. Its highlights are the crocodile farm, rare orchids and the singing Indris lemurs. 
Address: Eastern Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Ampijoroa National Park

The stunning western wilderness is mostly composed of dry, deciduous forests, home to the indigenous lemurs, and is a birders’ paradise for its many rare species. You’ll find Madagascar fish eagles, pygmy kingfishers, red-capped couas, and Lake Ravelobe, which is home to Nile crocodiles. The park has no roads so all exploring must be done on foot and overnight camping is allowed.
Address: Western Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Ifaty

Remote Ifaty lies on Madagascar’s southwest coast and is compromised of two fishing villages located on wide beaches. Just offshore is a 60-mile coral reef which protects the coastline from rough seas, creating the perfect conditions for fishing, snorkeling and diving. The area inland is desert, known for generations of spiny forests of baobab trees.
Address: Southwestern Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Ile Sainte Marie

Ile Sainte Marie is one of the Malagasy archipelago’s loveliest islands, set off the eastern coast of the main island and a former pirate stronghold in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the shallow waters off beautiful Baie des Forbans, the wreck of pirate ships can still be seen, and humpback whales visit during summer and fall. Snorkeling and diving off the picturesque bay is a rare treat.
Address: East of Madagascar Island
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Masoala National Park

Set in the northeast portion of Madagascar, Masaola National Park is unusual in that it includes three marine parks within its boundaries. The watery reserves, Tampolo, Ifaho and Ambodilaitry, are a hub for snorkeling and kayaking, while a trek through the park’s rainforests reveals the Aye-Aye, the largest nocturnal primate on earth, as well as ten lemur species and the scarlet Tomato frog.
Address: Northeast Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com/en/things-to-see

Ampefy

The volcanic region around the village of Ampefy on Lake Kavitaha in Madagascar’s center is a classified ecotourism destination for its 40 crater lakes, geysers, waterfalls, and rushing rivers. It’s an ideal starting place for hikes, with trails leading through vanilla and avocado plantations and pirogue tours around the lake.
Address: Central Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.madacamp.com/Ampefy

Mahajanga

Set on the estuary of Madagascar’s largest river, Betsiboka, the city of Mahajanga has shark-free beaches, an attractive downtown, offshore islands boasting caverns, and the world-famous Antanimbaryo gold market at nearby Maevatanana. Closer to the sea, the iron-red waters of the river form the spectacular Betsiboka Rapids, and Nile crocodiles haunt the rivers and large streams.
Address: Central Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: www.travelmadagascar.org/Mahajanga

President’s Palace, Antananarivo

Set just off the Place de l’ Independence, the president’s palace is the most imposing building in the capital. Its rococo architecture was built in 1890 and has borne witness to the country’s struggle for freedom throughout most of the 20th century. It’s only possible to view the exterior, but as a major landmark, it shouldn’t be missed.
Address: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: www.madagascar.world-guides.com/madagascar

Ranomafana Hot Springs

The spectacular national park setting of these thermal baths coupled with the health-giving effects of the mineral-rich waters make this a real treat for the senses. Ranomafana town lies in the center of Madagascar and the baths are open daily.
Address: Ranomafana, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://famouswonders.com/ranomafana

Fianarantsoa Vineyards

The old Royal city of Fianarantsoa was an academic and religious hub in the 19th century, and still boasts a large number of attractive churches and a charming upper town. The highlight is the nearby vineyards, producing excellent reds and whites from various wineries, as well as from the working Marombe Trappist Monastery. Visitors are invited to look around, sample and purchase the wines directly from source.
Address: Ranomafana, Madagascar
Phone: n/a
Website: http://www.travelmadagascar.org/Fianarantsoa

Tsimbazaza Zoo and Botanical Garden

Located in suburban Antananarivo, the Tsimbazaza zoo and botanical garden is an interesting day away from the crowded city center. Present are mostly indigenous wildlife species, including Aye-Ayes and lemurs, and the gardens are a treasure-house of native flowers, trees and diverse palm varieties. The star attraction for birders is the large population of resident egrets.
Address: Tana, Madagascar
Phone: +261-245-1778
Website: http://www.triposo.com/

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