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Mining rights are owned by large mining groups. Conflicts between mining groups, miners, local villagers and traders sometimes result in violence. Unfortunately this has given Ilakaka a reputation for being a very dangerous place, but this is quite exaggerated. If tourists take care and keep an eye on their belongings, Ilakaka is no more dangerous than any big European city by night and absolutely safe to stay even overnight. One hotel we can recommend is the locally run Friends Hotel, with small, simple but clean bungalows.
The Ilakaka mining area is huge, encompassing 4.
000km^(2) or more. In Antsotramadoro, a small village near Manombo, only a couple of kilometres west of Ilakaka, an washed up sapphire deposit was recently found along a stream. It is a three kilometres walk from the village through beautiful fields and grass plains to reach the river, where villagers wash the sand in their search for sapphires. You are welcome to try your luck!
"Tsy misy mandronono, tsy misy prix" - "If the stone is not milky, its owner will generally not obtain the best price from it." - A Malagasy proverb known by everyone in Ilakaka.<br clear="all">