Published on September 7, 2007
Madagascar SaleS Manual Office Nati ON al du tOurisme de madagascar
Tourism madagascar map of europe Asie MozaMbique Afrique Channel Les Comores MADAGAsCAr Ile Maurice Ile de La Réunion
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
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.
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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Religion (Antananarivo) SERVICES ET TRANSPORT AERIEN HFF TRAVEL AIRWAYS Tel: 22 230 34 - Fax: 22 345 90 Tel: 22 582 59 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org - 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
• 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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…!
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 Mahaj
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