Arriving at the capital’s airport, Antananarivo, a 45 minute drive into the city launches your Madagascan adventure. The drive itself is an experience, immediately meeting the character of the country as you travel down thin little main roads past quirky houses. Vast views of green rice paddies are a bold contrast to the earth-coloured buildings – the housing materials made of natural resources and soil. The scenery and energy is vibrant, similar to Antananarivo.
Architecturally interesting, Antananarivo is a city for exploration. The Rova Antananarivo is a royal building on a hill which burnt down in 1995, however is since under careful restoration. It is the resting place of the country’s greatest monarchs, and taboo in local culture to point directly at the site! The Musee de la Photo is the best museum in Antananarivo, a mixed-media exhibition of Malagasy history.
Antananarivo (Tana) is a bustling, colourful centre filled with local personality. You are confronted with the wonderful and fascinating reality of Malagasy life, full of ambience. Local tradesmen line the streets selling their wares and skills. Explore the jewelers market in Antaninarenina Street, the large and colourful Thursday market of Tsenang Alakamisy, Ambohijatovo for second-hand books and the Izay Maika for local food, among many more! The artisanal markets are a must see – a buffet of crafts from lace tablecloths, colourful straw bags, wood decoupage – all locally made.
The city is the springboard for your exploration of Madagascar – surrounded by national parks and reserves waiting to be discovered.