Practical Information in Antananarivo

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You need practical information about Antananarivo to get around this capital of Madagascar. This city is located 215 km west-southwest of Toamasina, the principal seaport of the island, with which it is connected by railway, and for about 100 km along the coastal lagoons. 

Climate/When to go

Any time of the year is fine for a visit except from January to March, when heavy rainfall in many areas can make some roads all but impassable. In general, the best time to travel is during the dry season (May to October), although it can sometimes get cold and windy. Temperatures during winter can drop to 10oC and even lower during the night.

Hotels and popular tourist attractions often get full, and prices go up during the European holiday period from July to August, and during Christmas and Easter. 

Getting There

MadaBus is an innovative new concern that runs comfortable hop-on hop-off services along Madagascar's principal tourist routes, wit optional activities, connections to destinations such as lle Sainte Marie, and complete tour packages also available. The staff speak good English and are very helpful for all kinds of queries.

Car-rental agencies handle rentals for use throughout the country, and drivers are generally obligatory. Rates shown are for short hires with unlimited mileage, not including petrol. There are no passenger trains presently operating.

The City

Antananarivo is a bustling place with activity on every corner. Here people flood the streets, walking down the middle lanes  between traffic, knocking on taxi windows, selling everything you can imagine (fruit, sunglasses, flowers, cell phones, calculators, bamboo and even live animals). Motorcycles whiz by, slicing through the seemingly endless sea of cars and bodies, moving in every direction. Stalls selling every kind of good imaginable line the thoroughfares, their wares squeezed into the tiniest nooks and crannies and sometimes spilling out into the traffic. You can find everything: fresh produce, raw meat, embroidered linen, electronics, tin matchbox-style replicas of taxis and rickshaws, leather goods and handicrafts.

The city is guarded by two forts built on hills to the east. There are more than 5,000 churches in the city and its suburbs including an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral.

Sights of Interest

More practical information on Antananarivo is visiting places like the Analakely market, Andohalo Cathedral, the districts of Avaradrova and Andohalo, Balneoforme Colbert which is a fantastic spa with a mosaic swimming pool and Turkish bath, and the highlight of Antananarivo which is the colourful flower market held daily on the southeastern edge of Lac Anosy.

These are just a few of the many wonderful sights you will experience in Antananarivo.

For more practical information on Antananarivo, pay a visit to the local tourist information center in the city.

Contributors
March 17, 2010 new by joekabuya

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