Mahajanga

Mahajanga is the largest commercial port town on Madagascar’s west coast and the hub of the country’s trade with East Africa. As one of the first points of contact between mainland Africa and Madagascar, it has a rich history and a wonderful mix of culture coloured by merchants and traders. Set along the Bomboteka River delta, there’s lots to see outside of town and most holidaymakers head north to explore the area’s natural highlights from one of several exclusive resorts along the coast. The region is best known for its African baobabs (an introduced species), one of which plays a major role as a traffic island!

enter image description here

Highlights

Visit Cirque Rouge:

About 12km north of Mahajanga is a dramatic natural rock formation - a canyon of eroded sandstone with rock pinnacles rising like church spires. Visitors can walk down to the bottom of the valley where a river runs out towards the sea. It’s best visited in the late afternoon when the formations seem to glow in the soft, warm light.

Take the ferry to Katsepy and the Antrema Reserve:

Across the bay from Mahajanga is the small fishing village of Katsepy and just beyond it the Antrema Reserve, a magnificent mix of mangrove forests and lakes. The ferry crossing from Mahajanga takes 45 minutes each way and exploring the small fishing village and hiking one of the short park trails is a great way to spend a day.

Visit Ankarafantsika National Park:

A delight for hikers, this national park is about three hours away from Mahajanga. It’s tourist friendly with well-marked and well-maintained trails and there are also boat tours of Lake Ravelobe available. It’s home to the rare Madagascan radiated tortoise, sifakas, mongoose lemurs and western woolly lemurs, and is the only place in the world where you might spot the golden-brown mongoose lemur.

enter image description here

Explore the town:

Mahajanga is well known for its nightlife and the town is abuzz once the sun goes down. During the day, travellers who want to get familiar with Mahajanga’s history can take a self-guided walk (about 2.5 hours), following the 18 numbered plaques that link the major points of interest around town. Maps are available from the tourist office.

Practical information

As a relatively busy port town, Mahajanga has good facilities, including clinics, ATMS and shopping. There’s also good road access from Antananarivo, although it will still take you 10 hours in a private vehicle and significantly more on public transport. Many of the lodges along the coast north of Mahajanga also offer direct fly-in packages from Antananarivo.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

day 1

  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)
  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)
  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)


day 3

day 4 to 5

Belo Sur Tsiribihina

day 6

Bekopaka

day 7

  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)
  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)
  • Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)



day 10

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Fauna and flora of Madagascar

To really appreciate the diversity of Madagascar’s flora and fauna you first need to understand its unique geological history. Separated from Africa almost 100 million years ago, the base of all its plants and animals is original marooned stock from the Gondwana supercontinent. While those on the African and South American continents continued to evolve in constantly changing…

Fianarantsoa

About 400km south of Antananarivo is Fianarantsoa, considered the cultural capital of Madagascar. Split into an upper and lower town, Fianarantsoa has a captivating historical charm. The upper, referred to as the ‘old town’, is perched on a hill with the Antranobiriky Church at its centre and there is a good mix of midrange and budget accommodation to be found. However, it’s the…

Luxury holiday in Madagascar

If it’s luxury you’re looking for then Madagascar is your oyster, and where to find its pearls is entirely up to you. For chilled-out beach bliss, cocktails and massages, look no further than the upmarket lodges around Nosy Be, Mahajanga and Antsiranana. If it’s Madagascar’s unique fauna and flora that fascinates you, you’ll find almost all of the national parks have at least…

Honeymoon in Madagascar

A beach holiday in Madagascar has all the qualities of a classic romance – long walks along white-sand beaches, tropical sunsets and warm evenings under a blanket of stars. That said, there is such an intoxicating mix of exotic flavours, sights and smells that it doesn’t really matter where you are in the country, there’s always the feeling that you might be swept up in a romance at…

An affordable holiday in Madagascar

Although flights are relatively expensive, Madagascar is much more affordable once you land. There are good-value, mid-range hotels and lodges to be found throughout the island and its archipelagos, although the widest variety is in and around the mainland beach towns of Antsiranana, Taomasina, Tulear and Morondava. Here you can choose between half-board lodges or self-catering…

Madagascar in October

As Madagascar ramps up to summer, average temperatures along the coastal regions nudge their way up to 26°C (79°F). Temperatures in the highlands also get markedly warmer and winds drop everywhere, bringing blue skies and clear days. Across the island it stays generally dry except for sporadic showers in northern and eastern zones. Weather-wise, October is arguably Madagascar’s best…

Popular Madagascar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

Two of Madagascar's most popular destinations are yours to explore in this relaxed beach-based itinerary...

 | Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

With its spectacular rainforests, beaches and waterways, this former pirate hideout offers a relaxed ambiance and more than enough activities to keep guests occupied...

 | Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

One of the absolute highlights of this trip is a visit to the famous Baobab Avenue where you can watch a breathtaking sunset....

 | The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Take a Madagascar island adventure holiday and be one of the few to explore this mystical place...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:


   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2