Western Madagascar is highly influenced by the Menabe Kingdom (literally meaning ‘very red’). The Betsiboka river drains laterite and the red earth is everywhere. Many stories between myth and reality relate the blood shed during the slaughter of crocodiles…
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« Ny andriana no manjaka ny vahoaka. If the King reigns it’s through his people. »
In Mahajunga they say you need to walk seven times around the big baobab tree at the seafront to truly benefit from your expedition – chance would then follow you if you’d follow the circular path around the sacred tree. And if you ask the noada – the ancient ones – they would tell you a strange story : this baobab tree comes from the Morondava region where it was planted at the end of the 18th century by some Sakalava princes of the Menabe region. The tree supposedly takes roots in the gold of the kingdom financier’s buried treasures.
Today, when we travel across the Ambato Boeni, the Morombe, the Belo-Tsiribihina and the Maintirano regions, we see that the earth bears the mark of these ancient kingdoms. The doany (sanctuaries) rise above hills, the heirs of dynasties meet and underneath their red and gold lambaoany (equivalent of a sarong) the eyes of the sakalava countrywomen shine as bright as those of the forgotten princesses. Then it’s time to sit back and listen to the history of the five-century tale. In the 16th century, population groups from the East, settled near Toliara before beginning a journey along the Mozambique canal up North.
Recommendations: arriving at least 3 hours before the time of the check-in at the CDG or Orly airport according to the airline. Meal and breakfast will be served on board.
In Antananarivo – once the formalities are completed (visa, authorities, health) – a Jacaranda representative will welcome you… and say hello to Madagascar!
Departure from ANTANANARIVO on bush taxi and your immediately in character.
ANKARAFANTSIKA is located 70 miles away from MAJUNGA. It’s a permanent den to birds like the African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) and lemurs like the Microcebus lemur (the smallest of them all). You’ll also meet other permanent residents like chameleons, iguanas, snakes and fresh water turtles. ANKARAFANTSIKA flora is also very diverse.
On the road, achar (pickle) shops…
The Top of the Lake circuit
Dedicated to the Ravelobe lake, the circuit will allow you to gaze at this beautiful lake from an impressive vantage. During the crossing, you’ll discover birds : the flycatcher, the Malagasy magpie-robin and bulbul, the blue coua and the drongo. It’ will also be the perfect occasion to get to know some medicinal plants like the Adenia, the Vanilla madagascariensis and the Tamarind.
Easily accessible by a path across the savanna and the cashew plantations, ANJOHIBE presents various touristic appeal that deserve at least a night of the tour.
The caves are a network of communicating halls running for miles: numerous limestone concretion making impressive stalactites and stalagmites rising over 10 meters. It’s the most significant speleological site in Madagascar.
The caves of ANJOHIBE
Scenes from the daily life, the visit of the Antanamarina school, the caves and de natural pool, the Mahafanina falls and the Sifara lemurs are part of the tour…
Crocodile hunting was a significant activity in this area at the beginning of the 20th century and the city-state adopted the saurian on its coat of arms.
Formal capital of the Sakalava kingdom in Boina (Boeny), MAROVOAY was chosen for its ideal location: build on the shores of the Betsiboka estuary, 40 miles away from the inland. The city has exceptional communication towards the Mozambique canal.
Even today, MAROVOAY plays an important part in agriculture thanks to the large rice cultivation plain. By visiting MAJUNGA, you’ll see those vast squared-patterned expanses – flooded during rain season – from the nearby hills.
Two day of rest and leisure on the bank of the Mozambique canal.
Trip back to ANTANANARIVO in (first class!) bush taxi all day, and just like on Day 2, there will be a lunch break and some other « technical breaks » like some of the locals say.
Over 5000 people attend this nonstandard mass and you will be able to visit some villages founded by Father Pedro Opeka, the founder of the non-governmental organization Akamasoa.
Markets and the capital, ANTANANARIVO, before setting out again.
ANTANANARIVO has several hundreds staircases – from the most basic to the most imposing, according to the differences in altitude and the neighborhoods.
The Ranavalona staircases has 168 steps. It goes past the Regional Tourism Office of Analamanga and is the fastest shortcut from the lower city to the Independence Square. The longest staircase is the Razafindrazay with 480 steps; it connects the Mahamasina basin to the upper city.
ANTANANARIVO is the focal point of the island’s craftsmanship and the craft markets display these assets. The Malagasy artisans know how to make the best out every material: from wood to ore, from fabric to Zebu horn. Many districts shelter specialized shops and many of them highlight the work on zafimaniry wood and the raw silk that can only be found in Madagascar.
The « Pavilions » of Analakely are the last remnants of the Zoma, the former biggest open market in the world. Quaint with the maze-like paths where the bargains are whispered, everything can be found from cooked meats to wedding accessories, medicinal plants and trinkets.
Flight to PARIS. It is time to go home because all good things must come to an end!
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Reserves and national parks: Ankarafantsika, les grottes d’Anjohibe.
Accommodation: charming little hotels and guest rooms.
|Number of participants||2 pers. minimum||Extra single room|
|Price per person
|992 €||265 €|