7 Day Itinerary in Antananarivo

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An Antananarivo itinerary will include visiting all attractions in the largest city in Madagascar and seeing much of the diverse flora and fauna of the island nation. The capital city of Madagascar has been influenced by the many kings and royal families and later, by the French colonists. A 7-day visit should include a trip to the old city, the zoo and an open-air market.

Day 1: Orient Yourself to Antananarivo

Take a taxi downtown to Market Street or Independence Avenue to get a better understanding of the area. Walking around the downtown area will let you enjoy the local architecture and culture. Don't forget to buy fresh fruit from a street vendor!

Day 2: Visit the Historic Village

Ambohimanga is the old royal capital and palace 24 km away from Antananarivo. English- and French-speaking guides are available for a fee to give you a tour of Ambohimanga and a brief history lesson of the area. This is also a good place to see and buy local handicrafts from vendors. This quiet section of the city is a great place to spend a day surrounded by the region's history.

Day 3: Visit the Zoo and Museum

Madagascar has some of the most unique wildlife in the world and a good place to see this is at the Tsimbazaza Zoo. This zoo is well kept and has many animal exhibits including camel, lemur and giant tortoises. The zoo also is home to the Natural History Museum that has many exhibits of culturally significant artifacts and local fossils. If you are interested in reptiles, the Madagascar Exotic Zoo has a massive collection of local reptiles and entrance fee with a guide is less than $5 USD.

Day 4: Nature Preserve

The Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is made up of beautiful limestone formations and is home to a rare species of lemurs. Nearby, secluded lakes are perfect for fishing or just relaxing. Or, you could head to the mangrove swamps to watch a wide variety of unique birds.

Day 5: Do Something Active

Next on your Antananarivo itinerary you could do anything from hiking the trails outside of the city or, if you are feeling adventurous, rent a canoe and explore the Manambolo River.

Day 6: Enjoy Local Art

The Museum of Art and Archeology of the University of Antananarivo is dedicated to cataloging and preserving the ancient and modern art of Madagascar. This museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of Madagascar.

Day 7: Go shopping!

Last on your Antananarivo itinerary, head back down to Market Street and Independence Avenue to visit the open air markets. This is a perfect time to buy souvenirs and eat some authentic local food.

March 21, 2010 new by benf

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