Antananarivo: The Central Region of Madagascar

Antananarivo: The Central Region of Madagascar

Antananarivo: The Central Region of Madagascar, also known as the Central Highlands, Hauts Plateaux

With their old massifs featuring vigorous reliefs, their bowls and broad plains, it's no wonder that the Malagasy Highlands have reminded travellers of the French Massif Central.

But the scarcity of forests, the immensity of the steppe savannas and the terraced rice fields reflecting the Asian ancestry make the Central region unique. The folds and faults of the crystalline primary basement, its generally granitic bars, ridges, perched synclines and inselbergs (islets of hard rocks), intense volcanism and severe erosion have given this region its phenominal characteristics.

There are also the other 'hills', the 12 Sacred Hills of Imerina of historical significance to the Merina people of Madagascar. Located throughout Imerina, the central area of the highlands of Madagascar, the sites mark ancient capitals, the birthplaces of key public figures and the tomb sites of esteemed political or spiritual leaders.

The main city is Antananarivo (Tana), the capital of Madagascar at 1,275m overlooked by the Rova of Antananarivo palace complex, the centre of the Merina kingdom from the 17th century.

Going East is Parc National de Ranomafana, a vast area of rain forest, the home of many lemur species including the Golden Bamboo and Broad-Nosed gentle lemurs. 

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, about 15km north from Andasibe, is also a protected rainforest area in Central Madagascar. The park includes the Analamazaotra Reserve, home to the largest lemur, the Indri, which is known for its distinctive loud call. The Park is the habitat of many native species including the big Parson's chameleon, plus rare orchids and ferns. Trail circuits weave through dense forest, past lakes and the stunning Sacred Waterfall.

Antsirabe, 170km to the south of Tana is a spa town, the name meaning 'place of much salt' and hence its relaxing theraputic baths. Equally relaxing, perhaps, is the produce of The Star Brewery in Antsirabe, the popular THB (Three Horses Beer).

MAJOR CITIES/TOWNS: Antananarivo, Moramanga, Andasibe, Antsirabe, Ambatolampy, Ambositra

NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES:
Analamazaotra Reserve, Mantadia-Andasibe National Park, Ranomafana National Park.

Where to stay, Where to Eat and What to do

Hotels in the North
Restaurants in the North
Activities in the North
In the North there is so much to see and do in Ankarana Reserve, Montagne d'Ambre, Lokobe Reserve, Nosy Komba, Nosy Mangabe, Nosy Tanikely., Nosy Hara, Marojejy Reserve, Anjanaharibe Reserve.
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Central Destinations

This humid forest located in the east of Madagascar, 150km from the capital towards Toamasina, the Vohimana reserve is a real paradise

Vohimana Forest Reserve

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The history of Ampahimanga began in the era of Malagasy royalty.

Ampahimanga: One Piece of Malagasy Royalty

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Kelilalina which means "a small lake not deep enough", is a habitat for migratory birds located in the Ranomafana reserve in this southeastern part of Madagascar. Kelilalina, a tropical region, contains rare animal species including a bird commonly called "Toulou".....

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Today a cult place appreciated by families, the Andrianambo waterfall is above all a historical and sacred site. It is royal territory but little known

Andrianambo Waterfall

Today a cult place appreciated by families, the Andrianambo waterfall is above all a historical and sacred site. It is royal territory but many people have no idea that it even exists.....

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Ampasamanantongotra (

Ampasamanantongotra - The Elevated Tomb

Ampasamanantongotra ("the tomb with feet"), got its name due to the fact that it is an extraordinary tomb on seven feet. Built before 1850, as the use of cut stones became widespread in Madagascar, this mysterious tomb draws the attention of those who take the National Road No.1 to the west of the capital.....

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With its powerful cry, the Indri Indri, a flagship species of the Andasibe Mantadia National Park, is classified as

Andasibe Mantadia National Park

With its powerful cry, the Indri Indri, a flagship species of the Andasibe Mantadia National Park, is classified as "the largest lemur in the world". With its length that can reach 70 cm, a silky black and white coat and the appearance of a teddy bear without tail, it is locally named "babakoto" (Koto's ancestor).....

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