Madagascar Sales Manuel 1

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Madagascar Sales Manuel 1

  1. 1. Madagascar SaleS Manual Office Nati ON al du tOurisme de madagascar
  2. 2. Tourism madagascar map of europe Asie MozaMbique Afrique Channel Les Comores MADAGAsCAr Ile Maurice Ile de La Réunion
  3. 3. Foreword from the Minister of Culture and Tourism With time, Madagascar has progressively gained good reputation, as regards the riches, diversity and originality of its nature, its exceptional and largely endemic fauna (nearly 90% endemic); this makes the continent-isle a living treasure, with an ecosystem unique in the world, enlivened by a culture that is a happy blend of asian, Oceanic, african, arab values with a touch of european influence. this is not in the least usurped reputation. However, capitalizing such gain by offensive and efficient marketing would enhance its value, so that it would “sell” itself on the world market of products such as stays, leisure activities and ecotourism in the best conditions. the clientele indeed has greater needs, has become more and more demanding and is craving for discoveries rich in strong emotions. What’s more, “placing tourism as a leverage for sustainable development, a job-creating and environment-friendly activity” is one of the fundamental objectives of our ministry. to achieve this objective, a promotional tool designed to make the destination Madagascar more attractive and captivating is an absolutely necessary. this sales manual is meant to meet this purpose efficiently. i wish it full success in this praiseworthy enterprise. Jean-Jacques rabenirina Foreword from ONTM Chairman Madagascar, a mixture of cultures and traditions, a country of adventures, a sanctuary of nature. Words are not sufficient to describe the endemic feature of “the red island”. One of the destinations offering a wide range of tourism products, madagascar set an objective: placing tourism as a pillar for the country’s sustainable development. to tackle this challenge, madagascar’s National tourism Organization (ONtm) has created this “sales Manual for Madagascar”, as an indispensable tool for promoting malagasy tourism. Providing practical information, depicting the five great tourist regions of Madagascar, followed by a description of the tourism products and a listing of all service providers (accommodation, tour operators…), your future partners, as well as useful addresses required for certain issues, this “first” sales manual will help you organize the stays of your clients in the best possible conditions. Besides, ONtm will always see it as a privilege to provide you with information about the evolution of the constantly increasing number of services offered. i wish you all the best for your sales, Joël randriamandranto
  4. 4. Identity card l ast geological remains of what is called the gondwana continental drift, madagascar likes cultivating the mystery of its origins. the island, as some suggest it, is of divine creation: its 592 000km2 surface area strangely takes the shape of a left foot (of which the satellite isles would be the toes), as if it were the ancient footprint of a facetious giant… anchored at 400 km off the eastern coast of the african continent, madagascar is, however, a concentrate of austronesian civilisation mixed with Bantu, arab and european cultures, whose foundation, as attested by several navigators’ stories and certified by archaeo- logists, would go back as far as the first decade of the christian era. landmark of this cultural melting pot: the malagasy language, the etymology and morphology of which are common to all the country’s inhabitants, in spite of its dialectal variants. madagascar’s history is to be integrated in the great era of trading adventures which, as early as the tenth century, linked the different states and kingdoms situated along the western indian Ocean coastline, which was then considered as an internal sea. the island itself comprised several kingdoms, whose unification was completed in the 18th century under the merina monarchy of andrianampoinime- rina. then it started to have diplomatic relationships with the western world, which after all sorts of events led to its being a french colony from 1896 to 1960. since it recovered its autonomy (26 June 1960), madagascar has chosen to adopt a western style parlia- mentary democracy, and since the mid-20th century, its contemporary history has modelled itself on the modern world economic and political chronicles, the latest change being the turning to economic liberalism. at the image of its mixed population, its nature is characterised by a set of varied ecosystems, sheltering particular species which are up to 80% endemic for fauna and 90% for flora, each region having its own landscape specificities to be discovered… specific fauna, quite different from that of the neighbouring big continent for the absence of big cats. there are more than 100 000 species of inver- tebrates, among which the well-known comet, the biggest butterfly in the world; reptiles and amphibians are not forgotten: emble- matic chameleons and lizards or frogs with unexpected colours; pink flamingos, serpent-eater eagles occupy their spaces with dignity while dolphins and humpback whales are the delights of the seas. sea fauna is also to be noted and with a simple diving mask on, one can admire it in its natural element. several of these animals are threatened, such as the radiated tortoise, and are under very strict protective measures. lastly, the famous lemurs must be mentioned, whose groups shelter the last survivors of their species. among them, the indri indri, the sifaka or the tiny Microcebus Rufus. New species are still being discovered, such as the Lepilemur Seali or the Lepilemur Mitsinjonensis, the mirza Zaza or the strange aye aye. a paradise for ornithologists with 285 bird species, of which 110 are endemic. Birds usually nest in the forests, namely the eastern humid ones, and on the water sites along the coastline for great gathe- rings. an extraordinary flora still finds shelter in primary forests, among which one can count more than one thousand varieties of orchids, 38 groups of aloes of which the aloe Vaombe with its wonderful clusters of red flowers illuminating the barren surroundings. creepers, ferns, strangler fig trees highlight the tropical character of the undergrowth, and the “ravinala”, the famous traveller’s tree is a steady feature of the landscapes. there is also a multitude of medicinal plants whose inventory still remains to be made. Whether you are a tourist craving for exoticism, a sportsman on the look out for strong sensations, a scientist in search of study subjects or an intellectual curious of culture and craftsmanship, in the heart of each one of its mysteries, madagascar will meet any expectation of the most demanding of its visitors. a backbone of high summits separates madagascar into two dissymmetrical parts: the eastern coastal strip, under the influence of trade winds, where tropical forests are omnipresent; and the western side which includes two sedimentary basins with large limestone or sandstone plateaus. at either side of this dividing line, the highlands expose entangled relief often wounded by erosion. each vegetable groove, each animal mutation is a core subject for discovery or deep scientific studies. it is the kingdom of lemurs, insects and birds, of a thousand varieties of orchids, but also of medicinal plants and their numerous virtues which are still unexploited but also need to be preserved… encounters with the populations are fully satisfied with the hospitality of the inhabitants, visits to museums, hunting for ancient books at second-hand booksellers, but also with attending traditional ceremonies which are still common practice in many places. in their way, tales or prohibitions, speak of a civilisation which is changing but whose tie with the ancestors is of the utmost importance. adventure calls on you at the bend of a forgotten tomb of pirates, nests in each crack of limestone or sandstone slope to climb up, at the bottom of the numerous caves to explore and of impetuous rivers to descend. from the small sailing boats to the zebu-drawn carts, the unexpected and physical challenges are waiting for you at each instant… You will meet with exoticism, obviously synonymous of sun, sea, beaches and relaxation, along nearly 5000 km coastline. each resort is a small jewel and paradise to discover. in spite of its geoclimatic, mining and ecotourism riches, the population’s standard of living is one of the lowest in the world. although the country is undergoing urban drift, nearly 75% of its inhabitants still live in rural areas. sustainable and fair development could be achieved through enhancing the value of their natural, economic, craft and cultural environment. solidarity in tourism, protective of the environment and respectful of the people, could contribute to improving these living conditions.
  5. 5. CONTENT page 7 to 14 Practical information Everything what your clients need to know before their departure and what will fascilitate their stay. Island country’s five horizons page 15 to 26 Our five big regions with their geoclimatic characteristics. page 27 to 50 Tourism products Whether you are a tourist craving for exoticism, a sportsman on the look out for strong sensations, a scientist in search of study subjects or an intellectual curious of culture and craftsmanship, Madagascar will meet any expectation of the most demanding of its visitors. page 51 to 56 Tour Operators and Travel Agencies They are ready to offer you their help and assistance so that your clients will have a pleasant stay. You will find their coordinates in this section. page 57 to 74 Accommodation and Restaurants Practical information, and even more, about our hotels and restaurants. page 75 to 78 Service providers The best partners while travelling. page 79 to 82 Useful addresses Addresses which will facilitate your work.
  6. 6. Acknowledgements ONtm would like to thank: cONserVatiON iNterNatiONal (ci) for its financial support, the regional tourism Offices and all ONtm members for providing information and support, the layout and editorial staff for their outstanding work as well as all those who contributed one way or another to the elaboration of this sales manual. PHOtO credits agence photographique KiKa le Voyageur ONg fanamby alefa aqua diving madavoile tropical diving Pawliczek, michaela authentic tour madagascar maderi tour Princess Bora lodge malagasy discovery agency (mda) PNm-aNgaP Babelon, Pierre-Yves malagasy tours Boogie Pilgrim ministère de la culture et du tourisme randrianasolo, tahiry Bohan, richard mad caméléon Boraha Village men, Pierrot Vanila Hotel Bourdon / gondwana explorer Nosy Be Quad Wildlife conservation society (Wcs) chatard, alain Nosy Be ulm conservation international cortez expéditions Office National du tourisme (ONtm) regional Offices: gauthier, gilles - Ort antananarivo golfier, michel - Ort diego suarez goto madagascar - Ort fianarantsoa groupe Hsc - Ort menabe - Ort Nosy Be Kefferstein, stéphane - Ort sainte marie - Ort tamatave - Ort tulear ______________________________________________________________________________ Project manager and design: michaela Pawliczek and tahiry randrianasolo (ONtm) layout: steve ramiaramanantsoa editorial: thompson andriamanoro and Baovola fidison Printing: mYe andohalo
  7. 7. 1. PRACTICAL INFORMATION 1 Specific purchases Driving licence Bank, credit card, currency Photos and videos Budget Tipping Time difference Recommendations to travellers Inland travels Religion International air links Seasons and weather Electricity Health Etiquette, taboos (fady) and prohibitions Public security Entry formalities Tax Working hours Telecommunications Languages Holidays, public holidays and festivals International air links Bargaining at the market
  8. 8. Specific purchases such as master card, diner’s and american express, are not very much used. travellers’ cheques are of better use in tourism activities than in everyday shopping. ARE PROHIBITED: endangered animal and plant species listed in annex i of cites (convention on international trade of fauna and flora species). BANK HEAD OFFICES: are particularly included in this category: SBM Madagascar BFV–Société Générale - lemurs (State Bank of Mauritius) 4, Rue Général Rabehevitra - dugong 1, Rue Andrianary Ratianarivo Antaninarenina Antsahavola Tel: 22 206 91 - Fax: 22 345 54 - radiated tortoise Tel: 22 266 07 - Fax: 22 666 08 - spur tortoise Banque Malgache de l’Océan - sea tortoise Union Commercial Bank (UCB) Indien (BMOI) - boa Antsahavola Place de l’Indépendance - antongil red frog etc… Tel: 22 272 62 - Fax: 22 683 56 Antaninarenina Tel: 22 346 09 - Fax: 22 346 10 - Orchids Banque Internationale Chine - euphorb, didieraceous, apocynaceous species (pachypo- Madagascar (BICM) BOA Madagascar dium) (Bank of Africa) Andraharo - authentic objects classified as national heritage (aloalo, Zafi- Tel: 22 565 68 - Fax: 23 566 68 2, Place de l’Indépendance Antaninarenina maniry shutters, ancient object and documents…). Tel: 22 202 51 - Fax: 22 213 98 ARE CONSIDERED AS PROTECTED: BNI-Crédit Agricole 74, Rue du 26 Juin 1960 Analakely - vertebrate, fish and plant fossils Tel: 22 228 00 - Fax: 22 337 49 - dinosaur bones - aepyornis eggs Budget THE TRAVELLER IS FREE TO TAKE OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY Night: from Ar 8 000 - 250 g: hallmarked jewels (subject to justifying Small budget Meal: between Ar 2 000 and Ar 8 000 entry with foreign currencies, the traveller may be allowed to take as much as 1 kg) Night: between Ar 20 000 and Ar 40 000 - 2 kg of vanilla exempted from tax and duties. Average budget Meal: between Ar 8 000 and Ar 15 000 PURCHASES IN DUTY FREE SHOPS Night: between Ar 40 000 and Ar 80 000 Comfortable budget Meal: Ar 20 000 Now, it is well known, antananarivo-ivato duty free shops, with their renovated attractive lay out, are among the best-stocked and the cheapest in this zone. * Night: based on a double bedded room / Meal: per person Budgets are to be calculated according to the itineraries and types of services Bank, credit card, currency you wish. after quitting the franc Zone in the 70’s, madagascar created the malagasy franc (mgf), which until recently has remained effective after several historical devaluations. since 1st January 2005, the country has chosen to shift back to its traditional currency, the ariary (ar), which is worth 5 fmg. euro and dollars are the most used foreign currencies in madagascar. the malagasy currency in not convertible, so it is best to change according to one’s needs at banks, foreign exchange offices and a few authorized hotels. the bank sector is now fully liberalized. the network comprises 7 commercial banks which number 105 agencies nationwide. they have non stop opening hours monday through friday (except on days before public holidays when they close all operations by the end of the morning!). automatic cash dispensers are available to anyone having international credit cards. Visa card is the most generally accepted credit card. Others,
  9. 9. Flights on request 8 companies offer flight services on request: SERVICES ET TRANSPORT AERIEN AEROMARINE 15, Rue Ratsimilaho Immeuble Opticam Zone Industrielle Forello Tanjombato Antananarivo 101 Antananarivo 102 Tel: 22 230 34 - Fax: 22 345 90 Tel: 22 468 31 / 033 11 870 70 Fax: 22 468 32 1 SUN AND SEA AIR HOTEL Lot VB II 058 Malaza Tanjombato Antananarivo 102 BP 445 Hellville Nosy Be Tel: 22 467 33 - Fax: 22 467 30 Tel: 86 612 49 - Fax: 86 615 69 MADAGASCAR HELICOPTER HAZOVATO 30, Rue Ranarivelo Behoririka Zone Industrielle Forello Tanjombato Antananarivo 101 Antananarivo 102 Tel: 22 289 15 - Fax: 22 324 93 Tel: 22 489 25 - Fax: 22 489 25 madaheli@simicro.mg HFF TRAVEL AIRWAYS MADAGASCAR FLYING SERVICE Aéroport d’Ivato Zone Avions Légers Aéroport d’Ivato Antananarivo 105 Time differences Antananarivo 105 Tel: 22 582 59 - Fax: 22 583 08 Tel: 22 482 79 - Fax: 22 482 79 madagascar is gmt +3. this means: ROADS +1 from South Africa “The road to development requires the development of roads”. from Federation of Russia (zone 1) in winter, the bad condition of roads has for a long time hampered the +1 no difference in Summer development of tourism, making access to some spots difficult, from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy or Belgium in winter +2 which results in less time available for the tourist. since 2002, and + 1 in summer 3000 km of roads have been rehabilitated, and in the near future, +6 from Eastern Brazil the objective is the rehabilitation of 14 000 km of national and from Quebec and the East Coast of the United States in +8 winter, and + 7 in summer provincial roads. from the Pacific coast of the United States in winter, +11 + 10 in summer -1 from La Reunion and Mauritius -4 from Thailand -5 from Singapour, Hong Kong, and Western Australia -6 from Japan and South Corea -9 from New Zealand Inland travels BY AIR Scheduled flights air madagascar operates one of the most dense domestic networks in the world. 435 flights per week are scheduled. One of the qualities of this scheduling is that the most important domestic stops ensure the best possible connection with international flights. Urban means of transport (Antananarivo) AIR MADAGASCAR Tel: 22 22 222- Fax: 22 237 60 in the capital, 72% of transport is by public transport, 21% by Reservations: Tel: 22 510 00 private cars, and 7% by bicycle. the fleet of cars for transport in Flight schedule: Tel: 22 222 22 ext. 1470 antananarivo comprises 7000 taxis, 4000 buses with twenty or so Welcome service : Tel: 22 441 02 seats each, serving the capital intra-muros and the suburbs.
  10. 10. Electricity 220 V. some places have no electric network. take battery powered appliances and take care not to leave them in nature once they are worn out. Etiquette, taboos (fady) and prohibitions the malagasy population is known for being pacifist and tolerant. they are strongly attached to their customs and practices, namely in villages and rural communities. therefore, be attentive to be respectful of Entry formalities traditions, and in particular of elderly people, or of those who are considered as people of entry and stay visas with one single entry are delivered to tourists high rank in society, and respect either by malagasy diplomatic representations and consulates, or local “fady”, taboos and prohi- at the a irport or port of disembarkation for a fee. bitions scrupulously. it is ad- Non immigrant stay visas for less than 3 months maybe extended vised to get information about at Police stations for an aggregate period not exceeding them in advance and respect 3 months. them scrupulously. for example, there are communities who do list Of reQuired dOcumeNts not like their children’s heads to - Passport still valid for 6 months minimum; be caressed. Before taking pho- - 3 copies of form to be filled in by applicant; tographs of a person or a group of people, please ask for their - 4 passport size recent photos; permission first. - 1 photocopy of an OK ticket or certificate from the travel agency; lastly, nudism is not allowed on beaches. in town, a lamba or a - in case of business trips, a written application indicating the pareo covering one’s monokini or bikini will be sufficient not to reason for the travel; shock malagasy sense of decency. - Parental permission for minors travelling on their own; - Visa fee to be paid at the time of application or photocopy of the postal order. Working hours most offices and services (post offices, banks) are open non stop from 9.30 am to 5 pm. mail and telecommunications ensure services on saturday mornings. shops are closed at lunch time (noon to 2 pm), except big stores which are open monday through saturdays from 9.30 am to 7pm, and sometimes on sunday mornings. Languages in spite of a few dialectal variants, malagasy is the national language and the one spoken by the merina (from the Highlands) was chosen as the official language. the country being a member of the great family of francophone countries, french is also maintained as the second administrative language, and although french listening comprehension and speaking have significantly declined in rural areas, it remains the language of trade in big towns. 0
  11. 11. Bargaining at the market International air links Bargaining is a tradition in the country, it is always practised at the market, with street vendors, and for taxi fares. it is necessary international air links with madagascar are ensured by 6 regular to reach an agreement with the driver concerning the fare before airline companies. taking a taxi. Bargaining should always go with smiling. AIR MADAGASCAR Driving licence 31, Avenue de l’Indépendance Antananarivo 101 1 Tel: 22 222 22 / 22 510 00 / 22 441 02 - Fax: 22 337 60 links and number of flights per week it is necessary to have an international driving licence, even if - Paris-antananarivo 5 flights most cars are rented with chauffeurs. But an ordinary driving - milan-Nosy Be-antananarivo 2 flights licence will do if your stay in the country is a long one, and a - Bangkok-antananarivo 2 flights passport is enough for renting a motorcycle. - mauritius-antananarivo 8 flights - reunion-antananarivo 7 flights Photos and videos - reunion-diego suarez 2 flights - reunion-toamasina 3 flights - reunion-taolagnaro 1 flight amateurs and professionals will find basic materials in the country - Nairobi-antananarivo 2 flights (cameras, films, video cameras…), classic or digital, available in - Johannesburg-antananarivo 4 flights most photo laboratories and specialized shops in big towns. - moroni-antananarivo 2 flights Professionals must previously obtain permission from aNgaP - dzaoudzi-diego suarez 1 flight before taking photos and videos in protected areas. - dzaoudzi-mahajanga 1 flight AIR FRANCE Tour Zital, 2nd floor, Route des Hydrocarbures Ankorondrano, Antananarivo 101 Tel: 23 230 01 / 23 230 23 - Fax: 23 230 41 link and number of flights per week : Paris-antananarivo 5 flights CORSAIR 1, Rue Rainitovo Ambatomena, Antananarivo 101 - Tel: 22 633 36 link and number of flights per week : Paris-antananarivo 1 fligth AIR MAURITIUS Represented by ARIO MADAGASCAR - Lalana Solombavambahoaka Frantsay, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101 Tel: 22 359 90 / 22 622 51 / 22 622 52 / 22 357 73 link and number of flights per week : mauritius-antananarivo 4 flights AIR AUSTRAL Represented by ARIO MADAGASCAR - Lalana Solombavambahoaka Frantsay, Antsahavola, Antananarivo 101 link and number of flights per week : - reunion-antananarivo 3 flights - reunion-Nosy Be 3 flights - reunion mahajanga 1 flight - reunion-toamasina 1 flight INTERAIR Shopping mall, Madagascar Hilton, Anosy, Antananarivo 101 Tipping Tel: 22 224 06/22 224 52 Fax: 22 624 21 link and number of flights per week : Outside tourist spots and hotels, tips are not necessary. in case Johannesburg-antananarivo 4 flights one or several people are mobilized for your service and therefore cannot perform their everyday activities, tips are indispensable The schedules above are given for information only. For additional or and the amount is left to your generosity. specific information, please ask the airline company concerned.
  12. 12. Recommendations Seasons and weather to travellers there are 5 climatic zones, which follow the varied physical geo- graphy of the island: there are the mild Highlands, the hot and dry western regions, the rainy and the eastern coastal regions under the - travel with light luggage, if possible; backpacks are very handy influence of trade winds, the hot and wet North, and the semi-arid especially when taking public transport: light trousers, long south. rainfalls decreases progressively from the North-east (over sleeved shirts or t-shirts, pairs of tennis or sandals; 300 m) to the south-West (less than 400 m) with several variants - Hikers must have good walking shoes; between these two extremes. the dry season or the southern winter - mosquito repellent sprays and/or creams; is from april to October, and summer is from November to march. - sunblock cream and swimsuits; if, at sea level, temperatures range from 27°c and 32°c in sum- - for bivouac lovers: swiss knives, first aid kit, flasks, water puri- mer and 22°c in winter, on the Highlands, they may go down to fying tablets, sleeping bags (camping), torches, 4°c or even less in winter nights. - cameras and/or video cameras to immortalize the highlights of your trip. Health No vaccination is required from travellers, except if they have travelled in an infected area. However, one had better take preven- tive measures against malaria, hepatitis, cholera and yellow fever. EVACUATION FOR HEALTH REASONS list Of aPPrOVed carriers: Institut Pasteur de Madagascar Tel: 22 401 64 Centre Hospitalier de Soavinandriana Tel: 22 397 51 Hôpital HJRA Anosy Tel: 22 279 79 Hôpital Joseph Raseta, Befelatanana Tel: 22 223 84 Espace Medical Tel: 22 260 97 there are also a few private clinics and emergency centres the list of which is regularly published in daily newspapers. EVACUATION FOR HEALTH REASONS list Of aPPrOVed carriers: AIR MADAGASCAR AIR HOTEL Tel: 22 222 22 - Fax: 22 337 60 Tel: 22 385 14 - Fax: 22 285 15 airmad@dts.mg air.hotel@simicro.mg Religion (Antananarivo) SERVICES ET TRANSPORT AERIEN HFF TRAVEL AIRWAYS Tel: 22 230 34 - Fax: 22 345 90 Tel: 22 582 59 opticam@opticam.net fraise@wanadoo.mg since the 19th century, strong syncretism has established madagascar as one of the great christian countries in the world. However, SUN AND SEA MADAGASCAR FLYING SERVICE Tel: 22 467 33 - Fax: 22 467 30 Tel: 22 453 66 several other religions cohabit peacefully and in antananarivo, sun_sea@wanadoo.mg mfs@dts.mg there are religious services (catholic, protestant, orthodox, muslim) in foreign languages. MADAGASCAR HELICOPTER SYLVER WINGS - Catholic: Andohalo Cathedral, Faravohitra and Ankadivato churches Tel: 22 289 15 - Fax: 22 324 93 Tel: 22 675 18 / 22 675 19 madaheli@simicro.mg assist.swtt@yahoo.fr - Reformed Protestant: International Parish of Andohalo - Adventist: Francophone Adventist church, Rue Rainandriamampandry HAZOVATO SOMACRAM - Orthodox: Dormition Church of the Mother of God, Behoririka Tel: 22 314 83 - Fax: 22 477 30 Tel: 22 265 63 - Evangelical: International Evangelical church, Behoririka somacram@wanadoo.mg AEROMARINE - Church of Jesus Christ of the Last days’ Saints: Main church at ESPACE MEDICAL Tel: 033 11 870 70 - Fax: 22 468 32 Andrainarivo Tel: 22 260 97 - Sunni Mosque: at Ambatonakanga esmed@wanadoo.mg - Khoja Mosques: at Ankorondrano and Tsaralalana - Bohra Mosques: at Anosizato and Behoririka Note: get information about companies which can operate international - Aga Khan Mosque: at Andohan’Analakely evacuations.
  13. 13. • calling from madagascar: Country code + zone code + correspondent’s number (example : +33 11 23…) PREFIXES OF BIG TOWNS : Central Tana 22 Farafangana 73 Middle West 48 1 Ambatolampy 42 Fianarantsoa 75 Nosy Be 86 Ambatondrazaka 54 Mahajanga 62 Sainte-Marie 57 Ambositra 47 Maintirano 65 Sambava 88 Manakara Antsirabe 44 Mananjary 72 Taolagnaro 92 Diego Suarez 82 Moramanga 56 Toamasina 53 Antsohihy 67 Morondava 95 Tulear 94 in antananarivo in particular, nearly each street has a cybercafé where you can go and send your e-mails. Public holidays and festivals PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN MADAGASCAR: - 1st January (New year’s day) Public security - 29 march (1947 events commemoration) - easter monday - 1st may (labour day) - ascension thursday CENTRAL POLICE STATIONS: - Whit monday Antananarivo Tel: 17 or 22 227 35 - 26 June (independence day) Toamasina (Tamatave) Tel: 62 229 29 Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) Tel: 82 220 27 - 15 august (assumption day) Fianarantsoa Tel: 75 515 01 - 1st November (all saints’ day) Toliara (Tulear) Tel: 94 410 29 - 25 december (christmas) Tax as for the educational system, terms last two or three months, whether you are in state or an 18% value added tax is included in the price of all goods in private schools. Holidays are madagascar. nearly the same, although their length slightly differs from one Telecommunications system to another (christmas, schools’ day, shrove tuesday, easter, long holidays, all saints). the fixed telephony network is managed by telma (telecom malagasy), and mobile services by celtel and OraNge. there among the island’s main festivals, are telephone booths in all big towns. two have gained worldwide fame: the donia (may-June at • calling madagascar: Nosy Be) and madajazzcar (October in anta- International code “+ 261” followed by the local correspon- nanarivo and in the provinces). dent’s number, except the “0” (example: + 261 20 22 660 85). the same for calling a mobile phone number.
  14. 14. 2. ISLAND COUNTRY’S FIVE HORIZONS 2 The Central Highlands The South-West and the West Antananarivo Tulear The sacred hills Tulear to the south Itasy (RN) Tulear to Isalo and Ranohira From Antananarivo to Andasibe (RN) From Tulear to Morondava From Antananarivo to Anjozorobe (RN) Morondava and its surroundings From Antananarivo to Vakinankaratra (RN) From Belo-sur-Tsiribihina to the Tsingy From Antsirabe to Fianarantsoa The North-East and the East From Fianarantsoa to Ambalavao The SAVA The North-West Maroantsetra and the Bay of Antongil Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) From Toamasina (Tamatave) to Fenerive-East Beaches, bays and lands Sainte Marie From Antsiranana to the south The South-East Nosy Be From Mahajanga (Majunga) to the south-west The coastal towns From Mahajanga to the north Taolagnaro (Fort-Dauphin) The surroundings From Taolagnaro to the southern tip of the island
  15. 15. The Central Highlands includes the capital, antananarivo, sheltered in the central Highlands which is mild and temperate, and stretch to the south as far as ambalavao. Hills, extinct volcanoes and green scenery of groves, vineyards, terraced rice fields are its main features. Antananarivo One of the most picturesque capital in the world with its brick houses perched on the hillsides, its stairways, and its swarming small street trades. up on the hill stretches the ancient town with its freestone churches, ancient royal places, the newly renovated stately residences, and a grandiose panoramic view over the plains beneath. The sacred hills On each one of the 12 sacred hills, andrianampoinimerina established a wife of his to seal the unity of his kingdom. ilafy, Alasora, Antsahadinta…, but above all Ambohimanga which uNescO has classified as World Heritage sites. Itasy (RN1) this region of extinct volcanoes is a hundred kilometres or so from the capital. the Lake itasy, lies over 45 km2 in a lanscape of ancient craters and basaltic fields, surrounded by a constellation of 40 other smaller lakes. the lily falls, with foaming waters falling from a 23 m height. the Kasigie dominates the whole region with its stromboli cone. From Antananarivo to Andasibe (RN2) at PK 59, turning to Mantasoa, its lake, historical vestiges and its (very) good restaurants. the Gorges of the Mandraka offer a splendid panoramic view. at PK 115, Moramanga, and its “gendarmerie museum” exhibiting a collection of ancient cars, uniforms, weird catches. Andasibe, one of the most visited National Parks of the island. From Antananarivo to Anjozorobe (RN3) at 16.3km from antananarivo, turning to the sacred hill of Ambohimanga. at Anjozorobe, about 90 km to the north of the capital, is the largest fragment of the old primary forest in the Highlands. recommended for ornithology lovers.
  16. 16. 2 From Antananarivo to Vakinankaratra (RN7) at PK 68, Ambatolampy is the capital of mimosa in July-august and also that of craft manufacturing of cooking-pots and baby-foot tables. Hiking to the massif of Ankaratra (tsiafajavona, 3rd highest summit in the island). excursion to Tsinjoarivo (46 km) at the furthermost south east bounds of imerina. Antsirabe, a pretty thermal town located 170 km from the capital, combining a typical malagasy style with the tranquillity of a small european provincial town. a town with transi- tion weather because of its geographical position, antsirabe is a real hub for agri-business, textile and tobacco industry; to be visited by rickshaw. the legendary Lake Tritriva, whose water level decreases in rainy season! the Vakinankaratra is one of the regions of the Highlands where there are still a few hectares or so of primary forests where one may find lemurs. From Antsirabe to Fianarantsoa (RN7) Ambositra at PK 258. the right spot for marquetry and “savika”, a traditional and very spectacular bullfighting event. starting point for excursions to the Zafimaniry land. fianarantsoa, a city built on 3 levels with, from the top the Tanàna Ambony, the highest level and its old and very picturesque quarters classified as a protected area because of its historical and architectural interest. main town of the only province that gathers the highlights of the central plateau, the luxuriant east coast and of the immense spaces of the south. it is in the heart of a region reputed for its vineyards, tea plantations and terraced rice fields. the fianarantsoa-Manakara railway line offers very spectacular sights with at times a very acrobatic route on the cliff side. From Fianarantsoa to Ambalavao (RN7) from Vatoavo pass, view on the plains of Ambalavao studded with villages, groves and vineyards. Village of crafts (“arindrano” fabric, antemoro paper) and second zebu market in the island. Picturesque houses with terraces of varied designs. starting point for hiking to the massif of Andringitra, the highest accessible summit in Madagascar, hot spot for mountain climbing and paragliding. stop in the small reserve of Anjà along rN7 with its hundreds of affectionate lemurs, its caverns where the local people lived one century ago.
  17. 17. The North-West this coastal region, always attentive to the call of the sea, unrolls its beaches and creeks along a slack sea sprinkled with islets that seem to be at the farest edges of the world. it is not surprising that with such assets, it has pioneered the opening of madagascar to international tourism. it confirms this specific feature of the great island which is combining the exceptional beauties of the sea and the various attractive poles of interest of the land. Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) Nestling in one of the most beautiful bays of the world, the town lives with the rhythm set by its shipyards, and the legend of libertalia associated with the golden age of freebooting is still in the minds. a mosaic of peoples where white djellabas meet with the multicoloured loincloths of the women who often have beauty mask on their faces. Beaches, bays and lands ramena, “the” beach of antsiranana is 18 km from the city. the at PK 13 on the road to Orangea is ideal for funborders. the emerald sea just outside the false channel, an lagoon which is like an immense natural aquarium. the Bay of Courrier, starting point for a number of water activities (diving, fishing, bivouac)… the Mountain of the french, 8km from the town, with its caves and fortification remnants. Windsor Castle, if you come from the west, will offer you a 360° panoramic view on the Cape of Amber to the north, the mozambique channel to the west, the Bay of diego to the east and the Amber Mountain to the south. From Antsiranana to the south the Amber Mountain and the Massif of Ankarana, two hotspots for ecotourism and antakarana traditions. the lake of Anivorano, 75 km away, features crocodiles which are sacred as they are supposed to be ancestors of the ancient times. Ambilobe is where the antakarana kings reside. developers’ interests are at present focused on the Bay of the russians, just opposite Nosy Be, where they want to build new hotel infrastructures.
  18. 18. 2 Nosy Be Nosy Be and its coral islands… in everyone’s mind, it opens up a picture of palm trees and white sand beaches. Nosy Be is more than that. indeed its privileged geographical position accounts for this image. apart from its cultural specificity, revealed through its rituals, its fady (taboos), its sacred sites (sacred trees) and its traditional small villages (falafa) scattered all the way, Nosy Be’s historical heri- tage is extremely rich and has left its imprints on the island (the Prince’s residence, royal tombs)… some of the rituals practised by the people, the small sailing boats, the indian village… are marks which immigrants from comoros, Zanzibar in times of maritime trade in the indian Ocean left behind them. Other historical events have given their names to some sites (mount Passot, Hell Ville, Bay of the russians…). Nosy Be, is a beautiful mixture of culture and nature: the immense sea territory and its accessibility offers several possibilities for discovery and recreational activities. encounters with several species (tortoises, rays, dolphins, whales) are frequent. the destination is famous for its inoffensive whale sharks. the reef surrounding is a real aquarium. cruises by catamaran, sailing boats or traditional pirogue will be for you an opportunity to enjoy tranquillity in the immensity of the sea, beaches and desert creeks. as it is in the mozambique channel, amateurs will have the joy to fish carangue, swordfish, sea breams and other. the land offers great biodiversity. Of volcanic origin, the numerous lakes are bordered with rice fields, raffia and travellers’ trees and are a real home for crocodiles. crossing the sugar cane, ylang ylang,coffee and vanilla plantations, “Nosy Be, the island of perfumes” gives its summits and ridges for you to enjoy a panoramic view of the region. the forests, the natural reserves in the numerous islets (lokobe, sakatia, Komba), each one different from the other, will give you the opportunity to observe the endemic wildlife, its fauna (lemur macaco, chameleon, giant bats, sea eagle…) as well as its tropical flora rich in medicinal plants. lastly, Nosy Be, it’s the twinge of nostalgia at the sight of the richelieu style embroidered curtains which you have chosen with the embroiderers. Nostalgia of what the kindness of its people has given you, to the rhythm of salegy (music) and its colourful cuisine. it will conjure up in your mind like the words of a song: Nosy Be, Nosy sakatia, Nosy tanikely, Nosy Komba, Nosy iranja, Nosy mitsio…!
  19. 19. From Mahajanga (Majunga) to the south-west Mahajanga, the second port of madagascar, situated at the mouth of the Betsiboka, a town marked by remote indo-arab influence. Here are several pictures which are really loved by many: the Port of sailing boats, the rehabilitated sea front, the great baobab tree with its more than 20 m circumference, the magnificent sunsets. first destination of domestic tourism. Katsepy, at the entrance of the Bay of Bombetoka, one of the most beautiful beaches of mahajanga, the Bay of Baly, magnificent scenery which will take your breath away. The Lake Kinkony, a 15 000 ha of water in the heart of the plains of Mahavavy. From Mahajanga to the north The red Cirque (3 km), an amphitheatre shaped by erosion where the layers play with the glints of the sun. Between Ampazoana and Antsanitia is a beautiful coastline which is going to be a key element of mahajanga tourism. the Caves of Andranoboka near the mouth of the Mahajamba, are the most spectacular ones of the island. 0
  20. 20. 2 The South-West and West Here is the land of these masterpieces of nature, the Tsingy of Bemaraha or the ruiniform massifs of isalo. crossing its large areas is like opening a book on several features of the malagasy culture, let alone the permanent communion with the ancestors. the southwest is also synonymous of a fabulous submarine universe with one of the longest coral barriers in the world. its vegetation, “B” standing for Baobabs and the Bush, makes it the promised land for naturalists. Tulear lying calmly between the rivers of onilahy and fiherenana, dubbed “the White” at times because of its implacable sunshine, or “tsy miroro” (the one that never sleeps) for the festive propensity, so they say, of its inhabitants. the floristic peculia- rities of its hinterland are announced by the majestic banian, “the one tree forest” of the village of Miary 9 km away, or by the Arboretum of Antsokay, 12 km from the city. Tulear to the south sarodrano 20 km away, is famous for its caverns with fresh water close to the sea. saint Augustin, a fishermen’s village nestling in a bay bordered with long limestone cliffs. Anakao, 22 km farther, its immaculate beach, lagoon, and just opposite, the islet of Nosy Ve which offers one of the most splendid diving sites in madagascar. Tsimanampesotse National Park, 40 km from anakao with its colonies of pink flamingos and blind fish. The seven sacred lakes, about sixty kilometres from tulear. Between Betioky and Ampanihy, several Mahafaly tombs, real bright coloured small mausoleums.
  21. 21. Tulear to Isalo and Ranohira (RN7) Zombitse Vohitsara and Vohimena National Parks, well known by ornithologists. ilakaka, once small anonymous, is now a mushroom village which has stemmed from the saphire fever. isalo, one of the most stunning tourist curiosities in madagascar with its relief sculpted by erosion. a number of tours may be organized, from the easiest, like the well known one to the natural swimming-pool, to the most demanding. all information available at the Park office at ranohira, where several hotels are concentrated. From Tulear to Morondava ifaty and mangily, resorts which are very much enjoyed by diving amateurs, 26 km to the north of tulear. andavadoaka, 50 km from morombe, its wild creeks and coral reefs. morombe, 284 km to the north of tulear, port of registry for small sailing boats and schooners servicing along this coastline. the mikea forest which attracts researchers, film makers or ordinary people out of curiosity to learn more about these mysterious social groups.
  22. 22. 2 Morondava and its surrounding Morondava immortalized by the scene of the pirogues returning ashore at sunset. Historical town of the menabe sakalava kingdom. sakalava and Vezo funeral art, subject of all sorts of interpretations to date. The Baobab lane, the most photogra- phed spot in madagascar. The Baobab in love and the Host Village of Mangily, the sakalava tombs are among the sights close to this lane. the special reserve of Andranomena is appealing to visitors in many ways: exceptional fauna and flora, lakes and birds. the protected area of central menabe stretching over 100 000 ha of dense dry forest of deciduous plants, Kirindy and Ambadira, 24 000 ha of mangroves and 1000 ha of humid zones, of which the Lake Bedo. it is reputed for the riches of its animal species representative of the region. Belo-sur-Mer is better known for building schooners after the model of a Breton sailor. among other things, the spot offers you the National Park Kirindy Mitea, an area of transition between the dry and the sub-arid climate of the south; it is an area recognized for the endemism of its lemurs, birds, baobabs… From Belo-sur-Tsiribihina to the Tsingy Belo, terminus of the descent of the Tsiribihina started at Miandrivazo, a place also associated with the fitampoha, the royal relics bathing ceremony. the fabulous spot of the Tsingy of Bemaraha, “forest” of bluish karstic peaks which sprung up from the sea millions of years ago. this spot which has been classified as World Heritage by uNescO offers one of the most spectacular scenery in the great island.
  23. 23. The North-East and East rosewood coast or Vanilla coast? the whole region, the greenest of the island, seems almost embarrassed to choose between its various blessings, what with its forest tree species, the spices which have built madagascar’s reputation worldwide, natural sanctuaries which have been so far preserved from mass tourism… even the antarctic whales never forget to honour their rendez-vous with its waters year after year after having traveled more than 5000 km. The SAVA World capital of vanilla, also a hotspot for ecotourism with the reserves and National Parks of Anjanaharibe, Marojejy and Masoala. the Takhtajania, a plant which already existed 120 million years ago, was disco- vered here. Vohémar, founded in the 9th century by waves of arab immigrants traded with countries as remote as Persia and china. sambava, in the heart of the “green triangle”, great producer of vanilla and coffee, famous for its coco plantations stretching over 60 km along the coast. Andapa, curled up in a green basin is the rice granary of the saVa. Antalaha, formerly a fishermen’s village, has become a very attractive little town, with its traditional shipbuilding and its gem cutting business. Maroantsetra and the Bay of Antongil The Bay of Antongil, with 2000 km2 surface area is the most important spawning area of whales in the southeast of the indian Ocean. Maroantsetra at the bottom of the bay, a small enclave where the greenness of forests meets with the scent of vanilla and cloves. Nosy Mangabe and Masoala, the largest protected area, terrestrial and marine, in madagascar. From Toamasina (Tamatave) to Fenerive-East Toamasina, second town of the country and its main outlet to the sea. contrast between colonial style buildings and huts made with local materials, between shadowy avenues bordered with palm trees or flamboyants and sandy alleys. foulpointe (61 km), a lagoon for sheer pleasure at week-ends, a few vestiges of which the fort Hova (19th century) and the pirates’ cemetery. Mahambo, a village typical of the east coast with its roofs of ravinala leaves, whose future prospects seem to be shaped by a surfboard… fenerive-east is 16 km from mahambo, formerly a trade counter, it is at present the centre of clove, vanilla, pepper and coffee plantations.
  24. 24. 2 Sainte Marie real sanctuary of nature with its primitive forests, its flower species, cascades and sea beds, humpback whales from June to september. Ambodifotatra, the main town, a “street-village” with its historical monuments among which the citadel of the compagnie des indes and the oldest church in madagascar (1859). to the north, the pointe des Cocotiers, Ambodiatafana and its succession of natural swimming-pools, the sacred site of pointe Albrand. to the west, Lounkitsy, the largest bay of sainte marie with its rock barrier. to the east, a barrier of coral reefs form a natural aquarium. to the south, the ilôts aux sables, a set of 3 coral islets, and l’ile aux Nattes, sainte marie’s jewel with its tips, bays and emerald lagoon.
  25. 25. The South-East land of contrasts, the south-east is at the conjunction of climates which granted it with very different landscapes and vegetation which, however, cohabit in perfect harmony. its indented coastline of exceptional beauty matches perfectly with the hinterland where the word discovery has its full meaning. it is easily understandable that for centuries this riviera has attracted visitors, somehow like the nepenthes, a very pretty flower which is unique to the region… The towns along the coastline Nosy Varika, starting point of sports expeditions to the falls of sakaleona, the highest ones in madagascar. Mananjary, at the junction of the pangalanes Canal and the river mananjary. Place where starts the superb excursion on the Pangalanes canal towards toamasina passing by Mahela, Nosy Varika, Mahanoro (after mahanoro, drive along the beautiful road to toamasina). Manakara, terminus of the spectacular travel by train from fianarantsoa. splendid region lavish with exotic plants and fruits, very pleasant trip on the pangalanes Canal lined with villages of crayfish fishermen. Vohipeno, cultural capital of the antemoro land, where the arabico-malagasy manuscripts called sorabe are kept, and a key centre of divinatory science… farafangana, rich in agricultural produce is the motherland of the antefasy people. starting point for the reserve of manombo. Vangaindrano, an antesaka town, at the southern edge of the 400 km of coastline of the province of fianarantsoa, a starting point for the Lake Masianaka which is sacred for the antesaka. also a starting point to the National Park of Midongy du sud. for those with an adventurous spirit, going back to taolagnaro by bicycle or moto across a wonderful region is an adventure in itself. Taolagnaro (Fort-Dauphin) located in the far south end of madagascar’s eastern coastline which is amazingly straight. town founded in 1643 and named after the future louis XiV. at the bottom of saint Louis peak, the urban area between two bays is one of the most beautiful in madagascar. the first people who settled in la reunion in 1674 come from this area. it is also the capital of crayfish celebrated in an annual festival which has become a traditional event. The surroundings The reserve of Nahampoana, 7 km to the north, rich in endemic species. Possibility of very “amazonian” trekking and descent by pirogue into the mangroves. 5 km from the airport, Vinanibe and its recreational water centre (windsurf, flysurf…). The fort of the portuguese (16th century), the oldest permanent construction of madagascar. the bay of Lokaro is about 40 km the north; it is ideal for enjoying the pleasures of the sea with its islets, creeks, river arms, the lake Ambarano and the village of fishermen, evatra. sainte Luce, about 60 km from taolagnaro, with splendid beaches lined with luxuriant vegetation. and all along the road and trails, the funeral Art of the antandroy and antanosy. From Fort-Dauphin to the southern end of the island Huge sisal plantations along the road to Ambovombe in the valley of mandrare. close to the ocean, the magnificent spot of the Lake Anony; beautiful pictures of filaos and fishermen. Berenty, a private reserve over 240 ha stretching along the river Mandrare, with its famous lemurs and its antandroy Museum for Arts and Traditions. from Tsihombe, a difficult track leading to false Cape and Cape sainte Marie, whose tip is overhanging the ocean from a height of more than 150 m.
  26. 26. 3. TOURISM PRODUCTS 3 Our National Parks with their hiking possibilities A Peoples’ history Culture: funeral art, traditional ceremonies, festivals; Exceptional sports event (the Savika), classified sites and monuments; Handicraft: Zafimaniry art, Antemoro paper, mohair carpets, wild silk Adventure everywhere Climbing, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, speleo, whale watching, golf A beach for everyone Sand and sun, fishing and diving, surf and windsurf, sailing, navigable waterways, international cruises
  27. 27. Nature THE FAUNA madagascar fauna differs from that of near africa because of its high rate of endemism and the absence of big cats. there are over 100 000 species of invertebrates some of which are well known by collectors, like the biggest butterfly in the world, the comet whose trains may exceed 20 cm, or the great phasm whose female may be as long as 25 cm. But the award for originality could be awarded to the red and white giraffe beetle, thus dubbed for the long nape of their males. as for reptiles and amphibians, 95% of species are endemic. frogs may have very unexpected colours from the military-like “uniform” of the Scaphiophryne Marmorata to the bright red Dicophus Antongilii. Just like lemurs, chameleons are emblematic of the great island, as in this country live the two-thirds of known species, from the shortest (less than 10 cm) to the longest (more than 70 cm). as for land tortoises, of which the radiated tortoise and the one with a “ploughshare”, they are endangered species which are particularly protected. several families of the 350 inventoried bird species are endemic. the Vangidae are diversified into 14 species which have their own specific characteristics in terms of size, colours and beak shape. the same observation is made for the couas where one distinguishes the giant coua which moves on the ground and the crested coua which is considered as the most beautiful bird of the island. Of the 20 species of birds of prey, one can cite the snake eaters, the red owls and the Pygarque of madagascar which is like the white headed american eagle and for which there are only forty or so individuals left. carnivores number 7 wild species, all of them endemic. the biggest of all is the fosa, which in profile is thickset like a small puma and may be as long as 1.50 m, tail included. as for insectivores, the tenrec looks like a hedgehog which would be bigger than a rabbit in size, but without the ability to roll up into a ball. lastly, the most representative mammals of madagascar are the lemurs, primitive prosimians which have kept a few insectivore features. diurnal or nocturnal, with sizes from that of a mouse to that of a small child, they have literally “exploded” into a myriad of species whose inventory has not been com- pleted, as new species are still discovered. it is the case for the Lepilemur Seali, the Lepilemur Mitsinjonesis, the 300 g nocturnal Mirza Zaza or the the Microcebus Lehilahitsara. But the rarest malagasy lemur remains the aye aye, which was saved from extinction in 1966. it is a weird animal which is said to have combined the teeth of a rabbit, the ears of a bat, the bristle of a boar, the hands of a monkey and the tail of a fox!
  28. 28. THE FLORA madagascar has fascinated several gene- rations of naturalists to the extent that some of them, like alfred grandidier, practically devoted the whole of their active life to studying its nature. from 3 the arid bush of the south to the luxu- riant vegetation of the east, the great island offers a wide range of altitudes, temperatures, rainfalls whose gradients combine to form several ecological niches. the West is the realm of baobabs of which madagascar numbers 7 species against 2 for australia and only one for the whole of africa. Here, the vegetation takes unex- pected shapes such as the umbrella pine euphorbs, creepers whose stems show only in the rainy season, or the pachypodium which calls in mind the picture of a long -necked bottle. in the bush in the south, the didieraceans take the form of giant cactuses which may become impenetrable forests. as for pachypodium, either they creep on the ground, or erect their bole 5 or 6 m up to the sky. the bead-covered branches of the Euphorbia Alluandi account for their well justified nickname “sausage-tree”! as one army officer from the early days of french pacification said, “this world is unreal, not a plant, not a tree that looks familiar. One is walking in a forest, but a forest of marine dreams, a forest of leafless trees”. However, beware not to represent the south as a phantas- magorical wilderness reserved for those in search of strong sensations! Of all the 38 species of aloe, the Aloe Vaombe is perhaps one of the most beautiful plants of madagascar. it may bear as many as one hundred clusters of bright red flowers that ablaze the barren surroundings. in the east and northeast forests, one has to open up one’s way through vege- tation springing up from everywhere, from the rocks, ground or trunks and branches. in this area, more than one thousand varieties of orchids, of which some have memorable little anecdotes attached to them, have been numbe- red. studying the Angraecum Sesquipedale which has a 35 cm long spur, alfred russel Wallace came to the conclusion that there must surely exists an insect with a proboscis that long to gather the nectar. it is only forty years later that the butterfly with the famous proboscis rolled under its head was discovered. it was named Xanthopan Morgani Prae- dicta as a tribute to the conviction of Wallace…
  29. 29. Our National Parks with Madagascar fauna differs from that of its neighbour, the African continent, by its high rate of endemism and the absence of big cats. it numbers more than 100 000 invertebrate species, 285 inventoried bird species, several varieties of butterflies, numerous groups of reptiles and amphibians, several families of mammals the most representative of which are the lemurs. The best way of getting to know this rich biodiversity is to hike around the national parks that stretch along the country, from North to south. The Amber Mountain Ankarana 40 km to the southwest of Born under the sea millions of years ago, the Ankarana National antsiranana, the amber moun- park covers 18 000 ha. its network of caves, subterranean rivers tain culminates at 1475 m and and canyons is surrounded by dry and green forests. On the benefits from important rainfalls. surface, erosion has carved the limestone “Tsingy” with their its microclimate has been favou- sharp ridges, whereas deep under the ground, the longest rable to the development of an network of underground waters ever existing in africa (110 km) exceptional biodiversity within a formed itself. speleologists have inventoried 11 main caves, of luxuriant vegetation stretching which a few are sacred as they are royal burial places. in the over 18 000 ha. it alternates fasci- galleries, stalactites and stalagmites, helectites and other drape- nating spots with falls and crater ries of calcite hanging down with folds like a fabric. ankarana lakes. Numbering 75 bird species, shelters 11 lemur species, 92 bird species of which the rare 9 reptile species, mammals which Messire Varié, 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more are unique to the place, the than half of the bats in the island. fauna of the amber mountain National Park is typical of mada- This massif combines the riches of a limestone mineral world gascar’s humid forests. if you are with the variety of its ecosystems and plays a key cultural role. curious and attentive, you will Short tours: discover the brookesia, the smallest - Loss of the river tour. A whole river engulfed in an swallow hole in rainy chameleon in the world! the season. amber mountain falls are a real - Milaintely caves, a haven of tranquillity and freshness fount of life for man’s commu- - Ambohimalaza point of view, on a volcano summit. nities and the whole economy in the region. Long tours: -Bat cave and Small Tsingy. From the cave to the massif summit. ecotourism products offered by -Green lake and Big Tsingy. The summit of limestone sharp ridges is a the Amber Mountain range from must-see; mere observation of the spots to -Cathedral caves the most demanding hiking. several choices are available and of Andrafiabe, in the heart of the the assistance of a guide is indispensable. geological and cultural history of Short tour (2h): Roussettes Station - Sacred cascade - Way of the one Ankarana; thousand trees- Antakarana cascade -Crocodile cave Medium tour (3h 30): Roussettes Station - Sacred cascade - Way of the and gloomy river. one thousand trees - Antomboka cascade or the Small lake Crocodiles and Long tour (5h): Roussettes Station - Sacred cascade - Antakarana cascade mushroom shaped - Way of the one thousand trees - Antomboka cascade concretions; Trekking long course (14h): The Cursed lake - The Big lake - Amber summit For experienced hikers, there are several days’routes which climb up the most remote summits. 0
  30. 30. their hiking possibilities Masoala Tampolo or Antalaviana. travelling by pirogue or boat is practically unavoidable. trails and camping infrastruc- tures have been laid out in the special reserve of Nosy Mangabe, Ambatoledama, at cape east and at the 3 marine parks. Baly 150 km to the south-west of mahajanga, the Bay of Baly is still very little known by tourists but this will soon change! spots of such riches and diversity are rare in thick dry forests, with its disorderly bush vegetation, the green mangroves along the shore… Not to forget the 3 remote beaches, the magnificent lakes, and above all the coral reefs offering their marine life to passionate divers. Here is the range for spur tortoises which are the rarest of madagascar species, for endemic birds such as the fisher eagle, the sacred ibis or Hubert’s heron. the bay which is somehow the “soul” of the park is also a favourite place for about thirty kilometres from maroantsetra pink flamingos and dolphins. in the Bay of Antongil, the Masoala National park stretches to the ocean over 230 000 ha of primary forest to reach the altitude of 1311 Ankarafantsika m. among the 10 species of lemurs which have been inventoried there, the elusive ginger Vari with its flaming coat is particularly worth noting. the rich “Realm of birds, land of sacred lakes, fauna of masoala numbers rare or unique species such fount of life”, Ankarafantsika is in the as the green lizard, the red owl, the tomato frog, or the ser- north-west of madagascar, 450 km from pent eater eagle. its three marine spots (Tampolo to the west, antananarivo and 115 km from maha- Ambodilaitry to the south ant ifaho to the east) are privileged janga along the rN4. it is said that in spots for kayaking or skin diving while holding one’s breath. a the old days, a brigand used to terrorize simple mask is enough to admire a colourful marine world. the the people in the region. a lake, repu- Bay of antongil is a spot favourable for observing the whale ted for its crocodiles in the park, was sharks migrating from antarctica during the spawning period named after him ravelobe vegetation from July to september. a replica in a glasshouse with genuine is there characterized by a mixture of plants and animals from masoala deciduous dry forests, humid forests, is at present one of the main marshes with raffia and savannas, as attractions of the zoo of Zurich. well as several aquatic habitats. 92.3% of tree species and 84.4% of herba- … Where the forest meets with ceous species are endemic. 129 bird the sea, a real hymn to nature! species are numbered, some of which like the Vanga of Van dam or the white You will have unforgettable me- mésite, attract ornithologists from all over the world. 3 endemic mories of hiking along the trails species of tortoises are bred in the nearby forest station of from the west to the east, from ampijoroa: the “ploughshare” tortoise, angonoka, the flat tail maroantsetra to the cape east, tortoise, Kapidolo, and the fresh water tortoise, rere. the park from antalaha to maroantsetra constantly receives the visit of research institutions. it is the or along the peninsula passing team from the university of Hanover, germany, that discovered by Ambanizana, Lohotrozona, the Microcebus Ravelobensis in .

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