Mahajanga: The Western Region of Madagascar

Mahajanga: The Western Region of Madagascar

Want to get away from it all? Then head west.

By 'getting away from it all', of course, we mean in terms of cities and crowds. When it comes to scenery, adventure and culture visiting the Western region means getting that much closer to all that's so memorable about Madagascar.

Extending from Majunga (Mahajanga) to South of Morondava, the Western region of Madagascar is more remote, more under-developed than the rest of the island. It also has a warm dry climate which is why it has remained so widely uninhabitated except, that is, by wildlife.

Ankarafantsika (formerly known as Ampijoroa Forest Station) is one of the largest and last remaining sections of dense dry deciduous forest in Madagascar, hailed as a must-do destination for spotting rare and beautiful tropical birds as well as lemurs.

When it come to scenery the Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve is so spectacular with its needle-sharp limestone pinnacles above the Manambolo River that is is classified as a World Heritage Site. Just be sure to wear tough boots, the word 'tsingy' being derived from a Madagasy word meaning 'the place where you cannot walk barefoot'.

Remarkable limestone or basaltic plateaus - the causses of Kelifely north of Bongolava and those of Bemaraha North of the Tsiribihina (with its big lapiez, or tsingy) - extend east of the coastal plains where the deltas of great rivers (Sofia, Betsiboka, South Mahavavy, Manambolo, Tsiribihina and Morondava) and some large mangrove mudflats interrupt a line of beautiful beaches protected by coral reefs.

What could be more 'getting away from it all' than cruising down the Tsirbihina River, enjoying the wildlife or relaxing on the beaches around Belo-sur-Mer and Morondava, also known for the giant baobabs in 'Allée de Baobab'.

Majunga, the fourth largest city in Madagascar, is a seaport in the north west of the region . It is located on the mouth of one of the largest rivers of Madagascar, the Betsiboka and close to the Cirque Rouge, a canyon with striking red cliffs, an amphitheatre of eroded rock tinted in a rainbow hue of colours.

Really 'get away from it all' by going underground to explore the caves in the region of Majunga where a network of tunnels cover more than 2km. At the end there's a natural pool, surely one of the remotest swimming pools in the world?

Not to be missed are the memories of ancient cultures and the colourful tombs of the migrant Antandroy people in the Kirindy (Swiss forest). Today the Sakalava are found in the Western region of the island along the coast. These'people of the long valleys' are a large ethnic group with African beliefs and inherited customs such as the possession by spirits, the tromba and cult of royal relics.

MAJOR CITIES/TOWNS: Majunga, Morondava, Mahajanga, Belo-sur-Mer, Marovoay, Maintirano

NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES:
Ankarafantsika (Ampijoroa,) Kirindy Forest, Tsingy de Bemaraha.

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.
Click here to find out more

Western Region of Madagascar

Take the opportunity to visit Majunga and see the “Doany of Andriamisara”, a site imbued with history and tightly associated with the Sakalava culture

Doany Of Andriamisara

On your next vacation in Madagascar, take the opportunity to visit Majunga and see the “Doany of Andriamisara”, a site imbued with history and tightly associated with the Sakalava culture.....

Read more
Lush nature in the South and fine sand beach in the North, the Katsepy Peninsula, a privileged location at the mouth of the Mozambique Channel & Bestiboka

Katsepy

Lush nature in the South and fine sand beach in the North, the Katsepy Peninsula is a destination which is well worth the detour. Boasting a privileged location at the mouth of the Mozambique Channel and Bestiboka, this fishing village is at the heart of all tourist lusts.....

Read more
Anjohibe, literally meaning huge caves, is the second largest site of this type in Africa and the first in the Indian Ocean and full of natural treasures

The Anjohibe Caves

Anjohibe, literally meaning huge caves, is the second largest site of this type in Africa and the first in the Indian Ocean. This real cave of Ali Baba is full of natural treasures. Ask for a guide and discover this natural amazing site.....

Read more
For your next stay in Majunga, take a tour of the Namoroka National Park. You will be impressed by the fascinating landscapes designed by the Tsingy

The Tsingy National Park of Namoroka

For your next stay in Majunga, take a tour of the Namoroka National Park, a magical place about fifty kilometers from Soalala. You will be impressed by the fascinating landscapes designed by the Tsingy or lapiaz in a blessed region in terms of biodiversity.....

Read more
A small corner of paradise located 20 min away by boat, off Majunga. This is an old Arab counter, a field of Manafy & Kabamba sultans in the 16th century

The Island of Antsoheribory

A little-known island in the North -West Madagascar deserves to be promoted "Antsoheribory". The site is difficult to access but it is rich in history and biodiversity.....

Read more
The Belobaka Grottoes are the result of a karst formation from the secondary era (65 million years ago). they are a paradise for paleontologists

Belobaka Caves

Located 11km off the town of Mahajanga, the Belobaka Grottoes are the result of a karst formation from the secondary era (about 65 million years ago). Consisting of seven caves, they are a paradise for paleontologists.....

Read more
Ambondromamy is the point of intersection between two national roads: the RN4 and the RN6 connecting the centre of the country with the North and the West

Ambondromamy, the Crossroads Town

Ambondromamy is one of the 11 municipalities that make up the District of Ambato-Boeny, in the southern part of the Boeny Region, formerly Mahajanga Province. This city is the point of intersection between two national roads: the RN4 connecting Antananarivo and Mahajanga with the RN6, connecting the centre of the country with the north, Antsiranana.....

Read more
The Barren Islands are a particularly peaceful and serene part of the Melaky Region, on the west coast. A harmonious opportunity to reconnect with nature

The Barren Islands of Maintirano

The Barren Islands are a particularly peaceful and serene part of the Melaky Region, on the west coast of Madagascar. This destination provides a harmonious opportunity to reconnect with nature.....

Read more
Prime Magazine Madagascar 2018 | All Rights Reserved