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Antananarivo Travel Guide

April 7, 2020 by VacStay Vacation Rentals

Antananarivo Vacation Rentals

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Antananarivo Travel Guide

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar, in the island’s Central Highlands. Overlooking the city, the Rova of Antananarivo palace complex was the center of the Merina kingdom from the 17th century. It features wooden houses and royal tombs. The pink baroque Andafiavaratra Palace sits in the nearby Haute Ville neighborhood. In the city center, heart-shaped Lake Anosy is ringed by jacaranda trees.
The main boulevard, Avenue de l’Independance, is lined with colonial-era buildings. It links the colorful Analakely Market at one end with the Gare Soarano station building, now converted into a shopping mall. South of the city, Tsimbazaza Zoo houses many of Madagascar’s distinctive animals, including the iconic lemur. It also has a museum with a giant skeleton of the extinct elephant bird. In the north, Parc de Tsarasaotra’s wetlands are home to many endangered bird species. Antananarivo is also a base for excursions to Ambohimanga palace, a sacred hill once used as a base by the Merina royals.

When to visit Antananarivo

Antananarivo has a subtropical highland climate. Apr–Oct, the long dry season, is a popular time to visit. Nov–Apr is the rainy season, with heavy downpours. Key events include the Alahamadi Be New Year (Mar), of the Malagasy people with colorful parades and music. The Hiragasy Festival (usually Jun) offers traditional Merina music and dance. The Madajazzcar music festival (Oct) features local and international jazz players.

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