Antananarivo

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Antananarivo, Tananarive or simply Tana is the capital of Madagascar. Most foreign visitors to the country will pass through the city as almost all international flights to the country connect with its nearby Ivato International Airport. This page includes information on various city attractions, hotels and restaurants etc.

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If you are accessing this site within Madagascar, this page is open for editing. Feel free to add any local advise here.

Antananarivo, the ancient royal city

Text from Passport for Madagascar - 81st edition, March/April 2014

Antananarivo, an ancient royal city in the sixteenth century is the synthesis of a series of construction technologies making it a modern city from the reign of Radama I (1810 - 1828). The latter, initially the King of Imerina, was recognised as the king of Madagascar by the British government, a major world power of the time, following the signature of a friendship and cooperation treaty which provided for the abolition of the slave trade in 1817 and 1820.

This was the beginning of the opening of the Big Island to European influence in many domains, including construction. At that time the houses were built according to an architecturally unique pattern: wooden walls, thatched or shingled roofs, a single room, one door, one window, but as the cost of wood kept rising because of the decline in forest areas, only the wealthy could afford to build. For the royal buildings, common wood was not used but species especially known for their resistance to weather and especially for their imputrescibility were selected. It was Radama I who wanted to break with the traditional model. It was from this period that the idea emerged of providing an upstairs and a veranda.

Over the years, the scarcity of wood was felt, making it unaffordable for everyone. It was Queen Ranavalona II, witness to many house fires and even of entire villages, calamities over which men were powerless, who broke tradition by allowing the use of new materials such as stone and brick whose manufacture had been initiated and popularised by the English missionary James Cameron. It was an English missionary who would design and build the prototype of a "modern" house at the end of the nineteenth century, i.e. walls of burnt brick, tiled roof, veranda, an upper floor, with four or six spacious rooms, multiple windows, which was a revolution in the field of housing.

Antananarivo adopted this type fo house as seen so far, and even if the corrugated iron has gradually replaced tiles, these Tananarivian constructions continue to look good.

Antananarivo and its staircases

Text from Passport for Madagascar - 83rd edition, July/August 2014

Built on a hill, 1,200 metres above sea level, the city of Antananarivo features multiple staircases certain of them narrow and steep, linking different neighbourhoods and other, wider ones descending from Antaninarenina and the opposite Ambondrona staircase to reach the Zoma place (or what remains of it).

Two tunnels were also constructed to avoid long detours for the population: the Garbit tunnel, dug between 1914 and 1924 and the Cayla tunnel, dug between 1932 and 1935 allowing access to the eastern neighbourhoods of the city.

The Ambondrona staircase and Antaninarenina staircase are essential routes to reach the Zoma. From Antaninarenina it takes exactly 168 steps before reaching the place.

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Places to visit

Day excursions

  • Ambohimanga - a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the original kings and queens that once united Madagascar lived, about 24km northeast of the capital. A great view of Antananarivo on clear days.
  • Green Club Vontovorona - one of three Green Club health spas in Madagascar which offers a quick getaway from the capital.
  • Lemurs Park - lemurs reserve and botanical garden, 22km from Antananarivo

Markets

View from Carlton
View of Queen's Palace
Staircase to Analakely Market
Market street

Souvenirs and shopping


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Overland transport

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Eric RASOLOHERY is a taxi driver in Antananarivo sporting a vintage 1958 2CV in immaculate condition.

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Taxi Driver Richard is a reliable and reasonably priced English speaking taxi driver in the capital.

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Tina's Tana Taxi is one of only two or three female taxi drivers in Antananarivo who with a big smile and a good sense of humour will likely find you the quickest as well as the most entertaining route to your destination.

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Madarail is the national intercity rail service which operate freight and passenger trains.

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Mountain bike rental (part of La Ferme d'Ivato).

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Cotisse Transport is a scheduled taxi service offering transport between Antananarivo and Toamasina, Mahajanga, Morondava, Fianaratsoa and Diégo-Suarez.
  • Besadi+ is a bus service between Antananarivo and Ambanja, Antsohihy and Nosy Be.

Madagascar airlines

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Air Madagascar - the national airline with international and domestic flights

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Madagasikara Airways - a domestic airline since 2015.

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Private Charter Flights - various small private aircraft operators.

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Tsaradia - a domestic airline launched in 2018.

Taxi-brousse stations in Antananarivo

  • the eastern station in Ampasampito
  • the northern station in Ambodivona
  • the southern in Lalana Pastora Rahajason
  • the western station a couple of hundred metres west of the southern station

Accommodation

Tana Hotel
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 313 20/26
Email: tanahotel@moov.mg
Website: www.tana-hotel-madagascar.com

Tana Jacaranda
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 562 39 or +261 (0)34 22 562 39 (mobile)
Skype: noro_rh
Email: tana-jacaranda@tana-jacaranda.com
Website: www.tana-jacaranda.com

Villa Besoa
32 rue de Russie, Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 21063
Website: www.besoa-appart.com

Le Pavillon de l'Emyrne
12 rue Rakotonirina Stanislas, Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 259 45 / +261 (0)20 22 259 46
Email: reservation@pavillondelemyrne.com
Website: www.pavillondelemyrne.com

Tsanga Tsanga Hotel
2, rue Reallon, Tsaralalana
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 254 80
Email: info@tsangatsangahotel.com
Website: www.tsangatsangahotel.com

Maison Vue Royale
Lalana Printsey Kamamy
Tel: +261 (0)43 20 388 38
Email: maisonvueroyale@gmail.com

Madagascar Underground
18 Lalana Rainitovo, Madagascar
Tel: +261 34 29 909 07
Email: madagascarunderground@gmail.com
Website: www.madagascarunderground.com

Lemur Hostel
LOT VG 26 Ter Antsahabe Rue Andrianaivoravelona
Tel: +261 (0)32 66 091 20
Website: www.lemurhostel.com

Fara's Guest House
Lalàna POINIMERINA Lot VU 297
Tel: +261 (0)33 14 294 83
Email: faraguesthouse.infos@gmail.com

Hotel Isoraka
11, Avenue Gal Ramanantsoa
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 355 81
Email: saka@malagasy.com

Hotel Colbert
29 Rue Prince Ratsimamanga
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 202 02
Email: colbert@moov.mg
Website: www.hotel-restaurant-colbert.com

Hôtel La Résidence
Tel: +261 (0)34 01 807 70
Website: http://www.hotel-restaurant-laresidence.com

Hotel Carlton
Rue Pierre Stibbe Anosy
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 26060
Email: contact@carlton.mg
Website: www.carlton-madagascar.com

Hotel de France
34 Avenue de l'Indépendance
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 213 04

Maison Lovasoa
Lot VE28 Bis Rue Razanakombana
Tel: +261 (0)34 9352065
Email: maisonlovasoa@gmail.com
Website: www.maisonlovasoa.com

La Medina
52 Avenue du Général Ramanantsoa
Tel: +261 (0)34 0413433
Email: lamedina@yahoo.fr Website: www.lamedinatana.com

La Résidence du Rova
Place Ratsimandrava
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 341 46 or +261 (0)32 07 245 03
Email: residence.rova@moov.mg
Website: www.residence-antananarivo.com

Secret Garden
VT3 Avaradrova
Tel: +261 (0)34 02 219 04 or +261 (0)34 16 858 37
Email: contact@secretgarden-mada.com
Website: www.secretgarden-mada.com

Le Louvre Hotel & Spa
Tel: +261 (0)20 22 390 00
Website: www.hotel-du-louvre.com

Relais des Pistards
Lot III 45 ter Tsimbazaza
Tel: +261 (0)32 29 471 65 / +261 (0)32 29 471 65

Le Combava
Ambodihady Ambohimanarina (between Antananarivo and Ivato International Airport
BP 8271- 101 Antananarivo
Tel: +261 (0)20 23 584 94 / +261 (0)20 26 328 47 / +261 (0)20 23 252 49
Email: contact@hotel-combava.com

Villa Isoraka
Lot IB 78 Isoraka
Tel: +261 (0)20 24 22052 or +261 (0)32 05 712 69
Email: demay.christoph@yahoo.fr

Hotel Saint Ange
Soarano Tana 101
Tel: +261 (0)33 13 66569 / +261 (0)34 4883700
Email: st.ange@hotmail.fr
Website: www.st-ange.fr

Hotel Secret de Tana
Alarobia Ivandry
Tel: +261 (0)33 1117453

Hotel Maison des Cotonniers
Rue Ratsimilaho lot vb 18
Tel: +261 (0)20 2220954
Email: maisondescotonniers@andilanahotels.com
Website: www.grandhotelurbanmadagascar.com/maison-des-cotonniers

Hotel Ibis

Restaurants and bars

Malagasy

Malagasy / Chinese

  • Au Bon Accueil - simple Malagasy-Chinese restaurant with a great panoramic view over Tana
  • Chantaco - Malagasy with a Chinese influence

Indian

  • Little India - traditional north and south Indian cuisine (reopened with new management and a genuine Indian menu and kitchen in 2015)
  • Shalimar - Indian/Pakistani cuisine
  • Terrace Exotic - authentic Indian restaurant

French

German

Vietnamese

Upscale

Others

Coffee shops

Food shopping

Street food

Health & Spa & Sport

Jewellers and gemstones

Tour operators

Phone networks

There are three major phone operators in Madagascar offering prepaid cards, all of which have have good connections in cities but with varying quality throughout the countryside:

IT services

  • Dot.mg domain registration and hosting services

Money exchange

Medical services

Banks

Various

Media

Photos

Additional information

Google Newsfeed

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17-Feb-2021 08:00
Madagascar Price Bulletin, February 2021 - Madagascar - ReliefWeb
27-Feb-2021 02:47
India to send 1000 metric tons of rice, 100,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to Antananarivo - MyNation
02-Mar-2021 10:37
Madagascar President inaugurates advanced digital cobalt therapy machine donated by India - BW Businessworld
26-Feb-2021 14:25
Is this the world’s tiniest reptile? - EarthSky
02-Mar-2021 12:16
Madagascar Prez inaugurates advanced digital cobalt therapy machine Bhabhatron-II donated by India - Outlook India
28-Feb-2021 06:05
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26-Feb-2021 14:31
Indian envoy calls on Madagascar PM Ntsay to review progress in bilateral ties - ANI News
18-Feb-2021 08:00
Kenya Airways to resume flights to... - Citizen TV
03-Mar-2021 05:30
Grand Hindu temple hall inaugurated in Antananarivo, Madagascar; Hindu temple to come soon - ANI News
18-Oct-2020 07:00
Air Quality Monitor - US Embassy in Madagascar
29-Dec-2020 13:06
First-ever flight from Antananarivo to Mumbai to bring 61 stranded Indians - Business Standard
20-Aug-2020 07:00
Project of the Week: Radisson Blu Hotel, Antananarivo Waterfront - TOPHOTELNEWS
17-Aug-2020 07:00
Weatherwatch: Madagascar's varied island climate - The Guardian
19-Jan-2021 08:00
US Department of State Awards Malagasy Team $24,500 for “Women Break the Silence” Project - US Embassy in Madagascar
23-Dec-2020 08:00
New faces called in to power Madagascar through next window - FIBA
01-Feb-2021 08:00
MADAGASCAR: Wattec installs solar system on ABC’s rooftop in Antananarivo - AFRIK 21
09-Jun-2020 07:00
Street library opened at Embassy of India, Antananarivo to spread joy of reading - Hindustan Times
21-Jan-2021 08:00
Solar power plants to be constructed in Antananarivo, Madagascar - Construction Review
11-Nov-2020 08:00
COVID-19 rampant in Madagascar's prisons: official - Xinhua | English.news.cn - Xinhua
22-Jul-2020 07:00
Dusty winds exacerbate looming famine in Madagascar's deep south - Mongabay.com
29-Jan-2021 08:00
Vacant Position: Gardener - US Embassy in Madagascar
18-Dec-2020 08:00
In Madagascar's capital, pollution threatens an oasis for birds - Mongabay.com
02-Jul-2020 07:00
Over 1 billion people live in poverty hotspots - Brookings Institution
02-Dec-2020 08:00
Madagascar sways to garba tunes - Ahmedabad Mirror
20-Oct-2020 07:00
Madagascar: Grand Hindu Temple Hall inaugurated in Antananarivo amid Navratri celebration - indiablooms
19-Oct-2020 07:00
Madagascar celebrates Diwali at Antananarivo; top ministers at Indian embassy festivities - Republic World
15-Nov-2020 08:00
Catholic missionary priest nominated for Nobel Peace Prize | Catholic News Agency via CBCP News - Business Mirror
27-Feb-2021 16:08
Message for US Citizens: Air France flight from Antananarivo to Paris CDG on April 23 leaving at 8 PM - US Embassy in Madagascar
19-Apr-2020 07:00
Coronavirus: Why Madagascar is back under lockdown - The Africa Report
10-Jul-2020 07:00
Madagascar: Integrated Urban Development and Resilience Project for Greater Antananarivo - AllAfrica.com
10-Dec-2020 08:00
Madagascans profit from relaxed restriction to quit 'infected' Antananarivo - Africanews English
09-Apr-2020 07:00