Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Senior travel and product specialist
"The undeniable 'weirdness' of so many Malagasy animals and plants adds to the country’s attraction as a destination for nature enthusiasts."

Antananarivo Holidays

Almost every trip begins or ends in the Malagasy capital, a city of tiered streets built in and on the twelve surrounding sacred hills, around a long, narrow rocky ridge.

History

The summit near the centre of the ridge was easy to fortify, surrounded by marshland suitable for rice cultivation and provides an excellent vantage point. It became the site of the royal palace (rova) and centre of the Merina kingdom. The conquests of King Radama I elevated the city to capital of Madagascar, a position retained under the French.

The skeleton of the Rova dominates the city. You can visit the Rova, which is being painstakingly restored, the royal tombs and the former prime minister’s palace, where the items rescued from the Rova are displayed. Wander the cobbled lanes to admire the churches and the pretty houses and the views over the plain.

Where to Stay

Enjoy the panorama over a drink on the terrace of the Grill du Rova.

Still in the Upper Town, trendy Isoraka has a nice old museum, crafts shops, the fabulous BioAroma, for essentials oils and natural beauty products, and two of our favourite small hotels. Résidence Lapasoa has 10 rooms, most with a balcony from which you can watch the world, and a very fine restaurant. The delightful Pavillon de l’Emyrne is an elegantly-furnished, traditional Malagasy home with exceptional amenities and services.



Near the Presidential Palace, ministries and banks coexist with top-end jewellers and Tana’s landmark Hotel Colbert, with its refurbished patisserie reminiscent of 1950s Paris. Around the corner, at the top of a steep cobbled street, La Varangue is a delightful small hotel with a refreshing garden and renowned restaurant. Two streets away, the Hotel du Louvre was the BBC’s choice in Tana for many years. There is a brasserie in the central courtyard and some rooms look over Lac Anosy and the flower market.



The lake assumed its heart shape in 1830 under the direction of the Scots missionary and architect, James Cameron. It is encircled by jacarandas which present a magnificent violet display in October and November. On the west bank, the Hilton offers international-standard accommodation with a large outdoor pool and well-equipped gym. In the Mahamasina Stadium behind it, Madagascar declared its independence in 1960.



The Royal Palissandre Hotel & Spa overlooks the Lower Town and the facilities and views from the rooms, terrace, pool and restaurant attract tourists and business travellers. On the Avenue de l’Independence, the Lower Town’s main artery, Hotel de France provides good value, comfortable accommodation.



Atmosphere

Despite massive investment in the last decade, but the combination of heavy traffic, underemployment and topography makes Tana difficult for many first-time visitors. It remains a vibrant, discomfiting juxtaposition of traditional artisans and markets and French shops; of superb restaurants and ragged beggars; of traditional architecture and modern building. Many of our clients patronise the crafts shops of inspirational projects like Akany Avoko and Père Pedro, where the benefits go to those most in need.

Read more about Antananarivo

Filter Holiday Ideas:
Holiday Type
Total Holidays: 10      
Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tours 2017
  • Responsible
  • Small Group Tours
  • Wildlife
From £3895 per person
16 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
Our very popular fully escorted, set, small group Wildlife & Discovery Tours combine wonderful wildlife viewing in a range of Madagascar's most highly- praised protected areas with incomparably diverse scenery and also, visiting the domains of many of the country's interesting tribes.
Madagascar Rainforests, Wildlife, Tsingy & Beach
  • Responsible
  • Wildlife
From £4365 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
A long-standing favourite with our clientele, the combination of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Madagascar's Number 1 'must see' protected rainforest) with the Northern parks circuit of Montagne d'Ambre and Ankarana (the , offers an unbeatable blend of scenery, wildlife
Madagascar In Style - desert, rainforest and coast
  • Beach
  • Culture & History
  • Responsible
  • Wildlife
From £5290 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
This superb Madagascar itinerary will take you to some of the island's remotest corners, where rare wildlife and unique flora...
Madagascar and Mauritius Made Easy
  • Beach
  • Family
  • Honeymoons
  • Wildlife
From £2745 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar     Mauritius
Walk in the wildlife rich rainforests of Madagascar searching for lemurs and other endemic species, before enjoying some rest and relaxation on the beautiful island of Mauritius.
Madagascar Reef & Rainforest
  • Beach
  • Safari
  • Wildlife
From £3125 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
An easy two week holiday in Madagascar combining stunning wildlife-rich rainforests and a lovely hotel on a reef-protected beach.
Classic Madagascar Overland: the RN7 Route
  • Adventure
  • Family
  • Responsible
  • Wildlife
From £3675 per person
15 day holiday
Flights included
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Madagascar
This tailor-made individual tour follows the scenic RN7 road, long praised as a journey through diverse landscapes and including many wildlife hotspots and sites of cultural interest.
Madagascar Made Easy Deluxe
  • Beach
  • Family
  • Responsible
  • Wildlife
From £4150 per person
12 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
A private, tailor-made tour, taking in the protected lemur-rich rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and on the opposite side of the country, the incomparable Anjajavy Le Lodge, set on a lovely secluded beach, surrounded by a dry baobab forest reserve packed with rare wildlife.
Tsingy, Baobabs, Wildlife and Whales
  • Adventure
  • Responsible
  • Wildlife
From £4425 per person
17 day holiday
See the full trip
Madagascar
This wonderful tailor-made individual tour includes a visit to one of Madagascar's most spectacular national parks, Tsingy...
Wildlife of Madagascar
  • Wildlife
From £4650 per person
14 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Madagascar
On this private guided tour which can be adapted to suit your specific interests, you visit four of the most wildlife-rich forests of Madagascar: Andasibe (Analamazaotra aka 'Perinet') and the nearby Mantadia National Park in the humid eastern rainforest band, Ankarafantsika National Park in highly threatened tropical dry deciduous forests of the western lowlands (this can be substituted with Kirindy for the western region) and Berenty Private Reserve in the arid south. The sequence of protected areas can be slotted according to lodge availability: currently we strongly recommend ending the tour at Andasibe-Mantadia as no domestic flights are involved in reaching this park.
Daniel Austin Madagascar Wildlife & Discovery 2017
  • Responsible
  • Small Group Tours
  • Wildlife
From £6150 per person
16 day holiday
See the full trip
Madagascar     Madagascar
Join author of Madagascar: the Bradt Guide and co-author of Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitors Guide Daniel Austin on his third exclusive...
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