Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, with the Mozambique Channel separating it from the African mainland. The main island is Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world. The country includes a total of 250 islands. The climate is dry and cool from May through October, and wet and humid from November through April. The landscape will change fast from the sandy beaches on the coast to lush green rainforests and then an arid desert inland. Around a million of the country’s 21.3 million population live in the capital city of Antananarivo. Get a car for hire in Madagascar so that you can explore Antananarivo at your leisure. It has plenty of other tourist hotspots such as Toamasina and Toliara on the 3,100-mile coast.
Antananarivo (you can call it Tana) is in the Highlands of Madagascar. It is the biggest city and also the capital. Most travelers enter and exit via Antananarivo’s Ivato Airport (TNR). There is very little in the form of tourist attractions. What little the city does have is mostly located in the Upper Town area. Get a car for rent in Madagascar and visit the Rova, which is a royal complex that includes the Queen’s Palace. Andafiavaratra Palace, which is the ancient Prime Minister’s Palace, has some of the artifacts of the Rova on exhibit. You might also want to visit Andohalo Square, where you will find the 1889 Cathedral of Saint-Laurent and another huge Catholic Church. A path leading out from the square takes you to Ambavahadimitafo Gate, one of the seven original city gates. Other attractions worth a visit include the ancient Palace of Justice in Avaradrova, Anosy Lake, and the zoo at Tsimbazaza Park.
Toamasina, also known as Tamatave, is the main seaport and the second largest city in Madagascar. Visitors will enjoy the massive beach and the seaside promenade. You can drop in directly at Toamasina Airport, or take a four hour drive from the capital. The beach along Ratsimilaho Boulevard is perfect between Pointe Asti and Pointe Tanio. No swimming is allowed because of sharks. If you must swim, head for a lagoon due north where the coral reef keeps out the sharks. A visit to the markets – Bazar Bé and Bazar Kely, is a must for all tourists. Tourist attractions include Place de la colonne, Belasety tomb, and the Port Museum. Ivoloina Zoological Park just outside the city, is a good place to get a close look at different lemur species.
Tulear or Toliara is an idyllic port and university town on the southwest coast very far from Tana. Apart from spectacular beaches such as Ifaty Beach, tourists will also find attractions such as the Sea Museum, Arboretum d'Antsokay, and the downtown market.
Among the regions on the island, the north is perhaps the most fascinating place for tourists. Book your car rental in Madagascar and plan for visits to Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) and the fabulous beaches of the Nosy Be Archipelago. Do not miss the pristine white sand beaches between Vohemar and Antalaha. Visit at least one of the rainforests to see the thriving wildlife and natural wonders in national parks such as Marojejy National Park, Amber Mountain National Park, and Ankarana National Park.
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