Welcome to the fourth largest island in the world! Nature, at its best, resides in and around this great island. Encircled by shimmering beaches and palm trees, the island boasts a dazzling varied landscape ranging from the green plateaus, volcanoes, and natural reserves. It is said that the island was first inhabited by the Vazimba, a group of white pygmies, which were later replaced by Polynesian migrants, Arabs, and Europeans. So, you can expect all kinds of tourist attractions in Madagascar.
I started my trip by first exploring the capital of Madagascar, ANTANANARIVO. This town is more commonly known as Tana and it offers a unique French atmosphere and taste. And still more, the language widely spoken is French and that the road and shop signs are also in French. Among all the tourist attractions in Madagascar, the capital boasts the top one that is the Queen’s Palace and its Royal Village or Rova. Previously, the home of the Merina Dynasty that merged the complete Madagascar for the first time in the 19th century, this is a national monument. Divided into three levels, the city offers the market of Analakely on the lowest level. Also, explore the second largest market in the world that is organized daily, the Zoma Market. The Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Garden is also worth exploring that is opened on Thursday, Sunday, and on holidays. Tip: I suggest not to roam far away once the sun takes away is light.
Located at a distance of 20 km from the capital, Ambohimanga is another tourist destination famous as the birthplace of the Malagasy state. Dubbed as ‘the blue city’, ‘the holy city’ and ‘the forbidden city’, it is fully ringed by forests. The site of interest here is the citadel with many structures of ceremonies that was used by Merina as a vital stronghold. In fact, look at its main gate that is a huge stone disc.
Now, I will tell you about the excursions from the capital. Located at a distance of 80 km, Mantasoa is famous among the tourist attractions in Madagascar for picnics. Landscaped for the Merina Queens, this is where you come across an artificial lake, pine forests, and the first industrial park of the island. Ampefy at a distance of 90 is fully a volcanic region offering magnificent waterfalls and geysers along with the dams. Among the interesting tourist attractions in Madagascar, Perinet at 140 from the capital is a nature reserve that is worth exploring. This is where you will find the indri, a tail-less lemur and several species of orchid also called Andasibe. Antsirabe at 170 km is an important industrial hub of Madagascar where you can enjoy amidst the volcanic hills and crater lakes. Located to the west of the road from the capital is the second-highest mountain of the island named Tsiafajovona.
Come to the most vital holiday resort, NOSSI BÉ. This itself is an island flanked by many other small islands off the northwest coast. From the capital, you can reach here within an hour via a plane. You will be amazed to see the plantations of the exotic perfume plants like ylang-ylang, vanilla of which Madagascar is the largest producer on Earth, lemon grass, and patchouli. Also, explore the primary town of Hell-Ville. Just close to this, you can find the ruins of the 17th century Indian village. From Nossi Be, take a boat and be at the provincial capital named MAHAJANGA that proudly stands at the source of the largest river in Madagascar called the Betsiboka. You can even reach here by taking a boat from several other islands. The major tourist attraction here is the beach that is believed to be free of sharks. Other sites of interest are the superb grottoes at Anjohibe at a distance of 90 km inland and a nature reserve at Ankarafantsika.
If you have enough time, plan for exploring Antseranana (Diégo Suarez) reachable via boat from Nossi Be. This is an international seaport dominating a wonderful gulf at the northern end of Madagascar. It is truly a natural paradise adorned by a myriad of lakes, waterfalls, and mysterious grottoes in the rainforests above. For wildlife fans, lemurs, crocodiles, and orchids are in plenty here. In addition, do take the permission to explore the national park at Montagne d’Arbre from the Ministère des Eaux et des Forêts whose office in the town. You can also relax at a sandy beach at Ramena, but sharks might not allow you to be in the waters.