Madagascar Updates: Chapter 7

Madagascar, 11th edition

Please use the comments facility below to submit updates to chapter 7 (Antananarivo and area) of Madagascar (11th ed).

To comment on other chapters visit the main Madagascar Updates page.

You can order a copy of the Madagascar guide here.

95 Comments

  1. Linda Gray said,

    4 May 2017 at 9:59 am

    What are the best Indian restaurants in Tana now?
    I can recommend the Korean (Corean) restaurant in Isoraka, near Bio-aroma natural oils shop.

  2. Jc said,

    28 April 2017 at 3:37 am

    Any names and telephone numbers for hotels in tsiroanomandidy?

  3. Monva D'Onofrio said,

    6 April 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I grew up in Antananarivo and left in 1888. Am visiting with my own family now and looking for hands on experiences… Such as planting a tree, going to place where instruments are made, watching an artist work… That sort of thing. I have exhausted all there eats of finding such things. Any ideas!? Thank you.
    Monica

    • 6 April 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Monica,
      Unless you’ve gone back to Madagascar in search of places to haunt, I presume you mean “1988”?!
      I have a few suggestions. If you are in Tana, then an activity called “Tana Kitchen” offers a hands-on cultural cooking experience. In a traditional Malagasy townhouse, a family or group prepares and cooks a typical three-course Malagasy meal under the guidance of an experienced local chef. Best to book a few days in advance (032 05 145 00; mp@michaelapawliczek.de).
      Also while in Tana, make a visit to FFFF in Alasora (032 42 374 35/034 28 953 35;
      finfitfan@yahoo.fr). Short for ‘Finoana, Fitiavana, Fanantenana, Fahasoavana’ (‘Belief, Love, Hope, Grace’), this inspiring metalwork workshop employs an almost entirely disabled staff &
      has built a school on-site for their children.
      I would also recommend you spend some time in Antsirabe. There is a real tradition of open workshops there. You can watch craftsmen at work making silk/weaving, zebu horn jewellery, carvings, models, sweets, raffia items, recycled tin-can toys, cheese, etc. You can even go to the THB brewery for a factory tour.
      Further south towards Fianarantsoa, it’s possible to have tours of vineyards/winerys, the Karenjy factory (Madagascar’s only car-maker) and Sahambavy (Madagascar’s only tea estate).
      These are not strictly hands-on experiences but are mostly quite immersive and interesting. In Ambositra, closer to Tana, you can do similar visits to marquetry workshops.
      Out on the RN2, around PK 124, (11km beyond Moramanga at Ambolomborona) is a place called Hôtely Juema, where for a small fee you can watch the fascinating process of bamboo furniture being made.
      On Ile Ste Marie, if you stay at Princesse Bora lodge in the right season, you can get involved with the work of CETAMADA gathering data on whales.
      Hope some of these are of interest!
      There are also many options for tree-planting, as you mention, as well as countless places you can volunteer if you are interested in doing something on a longer-term basis (for a list of several charities and volunteering opportunities, see chapter 6 of the guidebook).
      Daniel Austin

  4. Mark Rowlatt said,

    5 January 2017 at 4:22 pm

    A backpacker hostel opened in mid 2015 in Antananarivo; one of only two I know of in the city. It’s run by a dynamic young Malagasy former traveller. Lemur Hostel (www.lemurhostel.com) LOT VG 26 Ter Antsahabe, Rue Andrianaivoravelona, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar +261 32 66 091 20. It’s a simple but very clean, cheap place to stay in Antsahabe district, not too far from the centre. They have great local info regarding getting around both the city and the country and the staff are English speaking. They have had a little trouble lately with their signs getting stolen, so it’s not easy to find as it sits down a tiny alley, so call ahead if possible. It’s great value and is a good place to meet up with other backpackers. Free, fast wi-fi and free tea and coffee all day and a simple breakfast is included in the price.

  5. Pam Taunt said,

    31 October 2016 at 10:24 pm

    We used a guide in Tana that readers had recommended on page 174. The name is Elian Andriamanantena at madagascarguide@yahoo.com. The response to our email came from Elian Clariot. I would not recommend him. His English was very poor and his historical knowledge about Ambohimanga was very limited.

  6. Pam Taunt said,

    31 October 2016 at 10:13 pm

    We were able to book a date with Tana Kitchens. What an amazing experience. We went to the local market first then went back to Tana Kitchen’s new premises to cook. The new location is quiet and charming. Hard to believe you are still in Tana. Emma supervised as we prepared the Malagasy meal. More thanks to her supervision than our efforts, the meal turned out very well. We ate the meal with Michaela and we were very interested in hearing about her experiences during her 10 plus years in the country. Overall it was a very comfortable way to learn more about Malagasy food and the country. I highly recommend.

  7. Pam Taunt said,

    17 September 2016 at 2:52 am

    I am interested in booking with Tana Kitchens. In an earlier update you mention the phone number has changed. Is that also the case with the email? If so do you have a current email address?

  8. 29 April 2016 at 10:44 pm

    There is a open InterNations get-together in Antananarivo on the last Wednesday evening of every month. InterNations is a social networking community aimed at bringing together travellers, expats and locals in cities around the world to share ideas, advice, experiences and friendship in a fun and inviting atmosphere. Find out about the next Madagascar InterNations meeting at http://www.internations.org

  9. 27 March 2016 at 10:34 pm

    SOLE HOTEL TANA is very centrally located at 32 Rue de Liège between Antaninarenina and Tsaralalana in Antananarivo, and not expensive given its location. Its 42 rooms cost 51,500Ar for single, 61,500-81,500Ar for double/twin, or 91,500Ar for family. Facilities: free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and massage service. Contact: tel 22 289 89 and 22 287 14; email resa@solehotel.mg; web http://www.solehotel-mada.com

  10. 25 February 2016 at 12:55 am

    Tana Kitchen (referenced on p. 178 of the 11th edition of the guidebook) may no longer be in operation. They have not responded to any emails or phone calls during the past week.

    • 25 February 2016 at 1:23 am

      Thanks for the feedback, David. I know that the owner has recently moved house so it could be that she doesn’t have the space to accommodate Tana Kitchen events at her new place. I will enveavour to get in touch with her and check whether it is still running in any form.

    • 7 April 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Tana Kichen has confirmed that they have not closed down, but they have been having some issues with their phone number. I have asked them to contact you directly.

      • David Robinson said,

        7 April 2016 at 1:59 pm

        Thanks, Daniel. I’ve already heard from Michaela directly.
        Just back from 2 1/2 weeks in Madagascar and will be leaving some feedback on appropriate parts of the site as time permits.

        David

  11. 20 December 2015 at 12:54 am

    A new little five-room B&B called Maison Vue Royale opens in Antananarivo this weekend. It boasts splendid views across the city, including Lac Anosy and the rova palace. The double/twin rooms are equipped with AC/heater, flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, balcony, phone, safe, and en-suite shower. Rates are €100 including breakfast.
    Contact: tel 034 20 388 38 or 033 33 388 38; email chantsiry@yahoo.fr or maisonvueroyale@gmail.com; http://www.vueroyale.com

  12. 19 October 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Antananarivo is not known for its museums, but for history fans a visit to the fire station is a must. In fact, there is no museum here as such, but a stroll down Rue Reallon (in the central Tsaralalana district, where the city’s main fire station is located) is like taking a step into the past. You will find an incredible assortment of old fire engines – most presumably donated by developed countries when they became obsolete – parked along the street. One can’t help but feel in awe of the Malagasy firefighters working with this antiquated equipment.

  13. Juan Nicolás Rodríguez said,

    29 September 2015 at 7:28 am

    Some days ago we came back from Magadagascar, a delightful travel. I write this comment to recommend the consideration for inclusion in the guide of the hotel “Au bois verd”. It is situated in the airport district, so very close to it which makes easy going there. It has swiming pool, the common places of the hotel (reception, restaurant, bar) have magnificent pieces of funerary malagasy art, and rooms are very confortable. Food has a great quality and prices are not expensive. Contacting the reception you can hire a taxi (we did it) and this taxi allows you to make the visits you want or need. Prices of the taxi are not expensive.

    • 29 September 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thank you for your feedback about Au Bois Vert – although actually you will find it already in the guidebook, on page 151. It’s great to hear this place is still giving a positive experience.

  14. peter jones said,

    16 July 2015 at 6:18 pm

    If you want to rent a car with driver/ guide I can fully recommend Jimmy Patrick.
    You will find him in the street behind the Boabab hotel in Antsirabe.
    His old Peugeot 504 will take you all the way to the South,to Toliara or other destinations driveable with his car.
    He speaks fluent French,has a good notice of English and speaks German.
    Prices where very intresting and the ideal way to communicate with the locals,and to avoid the frequent police controle on your way .
    E-mail:abenteuermadagaskar@gmail.com

  15. peter jones said,

    21 May 2015 at 8:04 am

    anatananarivo center: although the most places of intrest are in the neighbourhood of Tana,it is a advice to book a hotel outside Tana if extreme poverty,scruffy looking beggars and the smell of sewage and urine desturbs you.If clean air is a issue to you,consider that the city is polluted with the exaust of old cars and trucks.This also counts for Antsirabe,a breath of fresh air and a quiet sleep is provided at the Madalief project 7kmsouth of Antsirabe, also recommended for they very tastefull Malagansian meals!To book in advance,see the very good written Bradt guide!

  16. The Bancrofts said,

    2 April 2015 at 11:39 pm

    My wife and I have just returned from a three-week visit to Madagascar. We took your guide-book with us and would like to let you know how invaluable we found it.
    Also invaluable was our driver/guide, who took us on long drives to those parts of Madagascar covered in Chapters 7,8, 10 and 12 of the guidebook. So good was he that we would like to recommend that in your next edition he is included in your list of local fixers, guides and drivers (page 174 in edition 11).
    His name and e.mail are: Rolland Ramanantsoa, ranroll2004@yahoo.fr
    He speaks French and English.

  17. Daniel Austin said,

    4 March 2015 at 3:16 pm

    There is a new restaurant, called La Verrière, at the hotel Pavillon de l’Emyrne in Isoraka, Antananarivo.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Pavillon-de-lEmyrne-Restaurant-La-Verrière/1544590745791020

  18. Daniel Austin said,

    4 March 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Lalanirina William Rakotoarimanana, taxi driver and tour guide, runs http://www.madagascar-reisen.com. He and his wife have also opened a B&B not far from Ivato airport in Antananarivo. Contact: mob 033 11 910 64 or 034 02 814 96; email ortegawilly@gmail.com

  19. Daniel Austin said,

    4 March 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Louise Fox writes to recommend the chocolate and cakes at Canela in the Antsahavola district as currently the best in town, saying that everyone is currently raving about this place. Contact tel 22 622 02; mob 032 03 060 05.

  20. Daniel Austin said,

    4 March 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Mojo Bar in the Isoraka area of Antananarivo, which was closed for many months, is open again.

  21. Daniel Austin said,

    3 March 2015 at 7:03 am

    The proper name of the presidential palace in central Antananarivo is Ambohitsorohitra Palace. It holds only a symbolic role, with the official residence of the Malagasy president being Iavoloha Palace, 15km to the south.

  22. Daniel Austin said,

    28 January 2015 at 10:37 am

    From Sunday 21 June to Tuesday 23 June 2015, Carnaval de Madagascar will explode onto the streets of Antananarivo for three days of vibrant and colourful celebration, in a welcome return after many years of absence. The free festivities will incorporate crafts and traditions from all the country’s regions. Scheduled events include a broad variety of music, dance, parades, street art, crafts, and cuisine. (And celebrations will continue later the same week, for 26 June is Independence Day.)
    Carnaval contact: email contact@carnaval-madagascar.com; web http://www.carnaval-madagascar.com

  23. Daniel Austin said,

    26 December 2014 at 7:01 pm

    A charming little guesthouse called Ré Elle is located about 15 minutes’ drive from Ivato airport towards the city centre. It offers full board with traditional local cuisine for guests staying in its four double rooms. Day use is also possible.
    Adjoining the guesthouse is Cocooning, a silk weaving workshop where silkworms are raised and their silk processed into beautiful lamba cloths. Contact: tel 24 338 19; mob 033 12 856 26; email reelle@blueline.mg
    A charming little guesthouse called Ré Elle is located about 15 minutes’ drive from Ivato airport towards the city centre. It offers full board with traditional local cuisine for guests staying in its four double rooms. Day use is also possible. Adjoining the guesthouse is Cocooning, a silk weaving workshop where silkworms are raised and their silk processed into beautiful lamba cloths. Contact: tel 24 338 19; mob 033 12 856 26; email reelle@blueline.mg

  24. Daniel Austin said,

    26 December 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Hotel Altiport, situated a mere five minutes from Ivato airport, has 15 spacious rooms with fan satellite-TV and Wi-Fi, priced from 40,000 to 70,000Ar. Airport transfers are offered free. Their restaurant, “Le Port”, serves mainly European cuisine, as well as some Chinese dishes. Contact: tel 22 449 52; mob 034 15 971 10; email alti_hotel@yahoo.fr

  25. Daniel Austin said,

    26 December 2014 at 4:26 pm

    There is a museum called “Antananarivo Fahiny” or “Tana d’Autrefois” [“Tana of Yesteryear”] in Antananarivo, which opened in 2011. There are many historical artifacts on display, accompanied by explanatory panels charting the city’s history through the 11 sovereigns who ruled the sacred hills of Imerina from 1610. The charming museum details the history of each of the city’s regions through the ages and explains how each came to have its current name. Exhibits include engravings, vintage photographs, period paintings and newspaper editions, lamps, musical instruments, a replica of a royal crown, jewelery, antique books, statuettes and other objects, including a large model of Manjakamiadana Palace (the rova) and a beautiful old fireplace.
    The museum is sited at (and under the same ownership as) restaurant Tranovola at Ambohipo in the southeast of the city. Contact: tel 22 334 71; email tranovola@moov.mg

  26. Daniel Austin said,

    26 December 2014 at 12:05 pm

    First opened about four years ago, Lantana Resort is an Antananarivo hotel in an imposing building of traditional highland style, luxuriously renovated with contemporary décor. It is aimed primarily at businessmen staying in the capital for a few days or weeks. Quite centrally located by Lake Anosy, close to the city center, it offers ten suites with AC, lounge, satellite TV, minibar, safe, Wi-Fi and kitchenette. The complex also boasts a spa on the second floor with heated pool, steam room, jacuzzi and three massage rooms, as well as an onsite hairdresser and beauty salon. There are great views from the upper terraces and plenty of areas for relaxation.
    The restaurant “Eat’Aly” restaurant serves primarily Italian specialties. There is also a patisserie and ice cream parlor called “Panna e Cioccolato” allows enjoy pastries and real Italian ice cream. Contact: tel 22 225 54/246 21; email contact@lantanaresort-antananarivo.com

  27. Daniel Austin said,

    19 December 2014 at 12:33 am

    A brand new backpacker hostel called Madagascar Underground was opened in central Tana just a fortnight ago. The friendly and energetic French-Australian couple who own it have created a great vibe with this place and filled a niche that has hitherto been surprisingly vacant in Madagascar’s capital city.
    The colourfully furnished Madagascar Underground has both dorms (with triple bunks) and private double rooms, but it is not just a hostel: there is also a Mexican restaurant, pub (happy hour daily 19:00–20:00), games room and cosy private cinema (movie nights Mon/Wed 19:30, 10,000ar with free drink). It is at 18 Lalana Rainitovo (in Antsahavola, not far from Chalet des Roses); http://www.facebook.com/madagascarunderground; http://www.twitter.com/MadaUnderground

  28. Daniel Austin said,

    10 December 2014 at 3:32 am

    Opened in 2011, Maison Gallieni is a smart, comfortable – and already deservedly popular – little bed and breakfast. Perched on a hill not far from Faravohitra Cathedral (built 1868) and Royal Palissandre Hotel, the guesthouse overlooks central Tana. The building – once apparently housing Madagascar’s first bank and now home to the Monacan ambassador – dates back to 1879 and has been refurbished with a stylish modern interior. It is an extremely tranquil and relaxed place considering its central location and the staff are always friendly and welcoming.
    There are just four bedrooms – three downstairs and one upstairs – as well as a library, two lounges and dining room. There is also a veranda, garden and heated swimming pool.
    Each of the four rooms is individual in style but all are spacious, immaculate and stylishly furnished, with AC, flat-screen TV, phone, tea/coffee-making facilities & Wi-Fi. Three cost €110 per night, whilst the charge for the largest one is €150. This price includes breakfast as well as all soft drinks (except fruit juice). Additional beds can be added for €30 plus €9 for an additional breakfast. Lunch and dinner are possible if advance notice is given; the homemade food is much praised by guests.
    Contact: tel 22 313 45; mob 032 11 274 00; web http://www.maisongallieni.com.

  29. Daniel Austin said,

    10 December 2014 at 2:46 am

    A new restaurant in Tana, Côté Saveurs in Androhibe, has already rocketed to the top of the list of the city’s favourite places to dine. It is owned and run by Lalaina Lartistika, the former chef of La Varangue (also long respected as one of Tana’s best fine dining experiences).
    It’s a little pricey and perhaps a little on the pretentious side, but overall is worth the premium if you are looking for somewhere special. The dishes are innovative and clearly prepared by a chef with a true passion for his culinary creations. The desserts in particular are nothing short of works of art. The ambience is tranquil, with a country house feel, although the décor has been described as tacky. Waiting staff are helpful and attentive but not over-fussy.
    Contact: mob 034 05 018 10/032 05 118 10; email restaurant.cotesaveur@gmail.com; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Côté-Saveurs-Androhibe/578073935637361

  30. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:46 am

    There is a small bookshop in Behoririka called Maison de la Presse. It is open Mon–Fri 08.30–12.00 & 14.00–17.30. Tel 22 384 75.

  31. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:45 am

    In Soarano railway station there is a Madagascar National Parks office/shop (open Mon–Fri 08.00–12.00 & 14.00–17.00, closed w/ends). There is no longer a tourist information office or MadaRail office. There are several handicraft shops and the office of airline Corsair.

  32. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:44 am

    In addition to their main workshop and showroom in the airport area of Antananarivo, model ship maker Le Village also has boutiques in Nosy Be (Aro Building, Hell-ville; mob 034 11 551 51) and Antsiranana (48 Rue Colbert; mob 034 11 551 51). The Tana workshop in Ambohibao (tel 22 451 97; mob 034 07 129 50; email village@moov.mg; web http://www.maquettesdebateaux.com) is open for demonstrations Mon–Fri 08.00–16.30. The showroom is open Mon–Sat 08.00–17.00 (or call ahead to make an appointment out of hours). Visa and MasterCard accepted.

  33. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:43 am

    Budget car hire has bases in Tana (tel 22 611 11; mob 034 05 811 13/032 05 811 13), Antsiranana (mob 034 07 528 10), Toamasina (mob 034 05 855 05) and Fianarantsoa (mob 034 11 938 08).

  34. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:42 am

    Tanyah Tours is a Tana-based tour operator and car hire company, originally formed under the name Hantacar in 2003. They have several types of vehicles including 4×4, minibus and bus. Contact: tel 22 392 41; mob 032 04 493 73; email contact@tanyah-tours.com; skype guitch_mada; web http://www.tanyah-tours.com

  35. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:42 am

    Madauto has car hire branches in Tana (Rue Dr Raseta Andraharo; tel 23 254 54); Toamasina (tel 53 322 71); Taolagnaro (mob 034 07 611 40/032 02 467 25); Mahajanga (tel 62 293 36/226 23); and Antsiranana (tel 82 224 82/293 61). They also have representatives in Fianarantsoa (mob 034 75 509 01) and Antalaha (mob 032 07 145 90). They rent out Nissan, Renault, Honda, Lada, and other makes of 4×4 and truck. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/madagascar.automobile

  36. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:40 am

    Contact details for the branch of Infinithé café near lac Anosy are tel 034 75 888 88; email anosy.infinithe@gmail.com
    Contact details for the branch of Infinithé café in Ivandry are tel 034 75 008 88; email ivandry.infinithe@gmail.com
    Their business cards advertise their website as http://www.infinithe.mg but this appears still to be under construction.

  37. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:39 am

    Telephone numbers for Le Domaine de l’Ermitage Mantasoa: 42 660 54 and 034 04 960 64.

  38. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:38 am

    Mojo Bar in the Isoraka district of Antananarivo has been closed down for the last few months, and No Comment have moved their nightlife base to La Boussole (about 500m away). Rumour has it that Mojo Bar is planning to reopen soon.

  39. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:37 am

    The McDonalds-a-like fast food restaurant M’Box on Avenue de l’Indépendance in Antananarivo has closed down.

  40. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:36 am

    Mineral Gallery – in the Fiaro Building (near Carlton hotel and Lac Anosy) in the Ampefiloha district of Antananarivo – claims to have the widest selection of stones for sale in Madagascar, including both precious gemstones and semi-precious minerals, as well as polished ammonites. Tel 22 297 63; mob 032 07 268 62; email mineral.market@gmail.com; web http://www.madagascargemstones.com

  41. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:33 am

    Tourist information office in Antananarivo: the 24 600 93 number is no longer active but 22 270 51 can be used instead. Alternative numbers are 032 02 270 51 and 032 20 270 51. The tourist information office in Soarano railway station has closed.

  42. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:33 am

    Next door to their site near Antananarivo’s airport, IC Hotel has built a new building, which they call Gassy Country House. The two are listed as separate neighbouring establishments (although they share a reception and dining room) in the current edition of our guidebook. IC Hotel is about to embark on a full refurbishment of its original building, whereafter both buildings will be known as Gassy Country House, and IC Hotel will be no more.

  43. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:29 am

    A second-hand market is held every Thursday in Tana at Mahamasina, on the side of the lake opposite the tunnel and Carlton hotel.

  44. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:29 am

    The restaurant at Lokanga Boutique Hotel is closed to the public on Mondays. La Varangue restaurant is closed on Sundays.

  45. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:27 am

    Crêperie Le Phare at 14 Rue de Belgique in the Isoraka district of Tana is a fairly small and intimate space (just 6 tables) with simple décor on a seafaring theme. The menu is almost exclusively crêpes (6,000Ar to 16,000Ar) with a few salads and desserts too. Contact: tel 26 323 28; mob 032 86 856 84 or 032 05 140 71.

  46. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:25 am

    The Roses & Baobab art shop on Rue des 77 Parlementaires in Antananarivo is the place to go for truly unique, high quality art, sculptures and models created by a collective of two or three dozen Malagasy artists. Contact: mob 032 40 615 60 or 033 14 699 90; email: art@rosesetbaobab.com; web; http://www.rosesetbaobab.com; open Mon–Sat 09.00–19.00, closed Sun.

  47. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:22 am

    Art Diffusion specialises in making models, miniatures, chess pieces and historical figures. Their workshop is in Talatamaty, not far from the market, so can easily be visited on the way to or from Antananarivo’s Ivato airport. Details: Art Diffusion, 98 ter chemin des Epines de Jésus-Christ; tel 22 482 00; mob 034 01 641 32 or 033 11 056 58; email artdif@moov.mg; web http://www.figurine-miniature.com

  48. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:21 am

    There’s an attractive new hotel opened in Antananarivo’s Isoraka district, next to the park with the tomb of Prime Minister Rainiharo on Avenue Rasoamanarivo. Its name is Belvedere. It has 25 rooms, comprising 13 double, 4 twin and 8 family rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, as well as 2 studio suites with kitchenette, jacuzzi, flat screen TV and DVD player. There are beautiful views from four panoramic terraces. The restaurant serves Malagasy and Italian specialities. Contact: tel 22 321 10; mob 034 16 950 79 or 034 79 866 38; email hotelbelvedere@ymail.com; web http://www.hotel-antananarivo-belvedere.com

  49. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:20 am

    Ibis hotel in Akorondrano has Eden Spa (with massage, sauna, hammam and cardio-fitness gym; free for guests, except massage), as well as the rather unimaginatively named restaurant La Table and bar Le Rendex-Vous.

  50. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:08 am

    There is now a BOA ATM at the corner of the Soarano railway station car park diagonally opposite Café de la Gare.

  51. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:07 am

    J.I.M Chinese restaurant in Antananarivo has closed down.

  52. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:07 am

    The Royal Spirits alcohol shop in Behoririka stocks mostly imported brands as well as several Malagasy wines (but not Clos Nomena). It is open Mon–Fri 08.00–12.00 & 14.00–18.00, Sat 08.00–12.00 & 14.00–17.30, closed Sun. The telephone number has changed to 22 616 27.

  53. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:05 am

    MBike (Madagascar Bike) sells, rents out and repairs bicycles and accessories. They can provide details of mountain biking circuits for half-day or full-day explorations of the capital city and its surroundings. They also organise biking events and bike-riding classes for children. Contact: mob 034 05 912 90; email serviceclient.mbike@mbike.mg or mbike@mbike.mg; web http://www.mbike.mg; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Madagascar.Bike

  54. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:00 am

    Tokem Coutellerie specialises in making luxury cutlery sets. Such is their quality that they are stocked by shops in USA, Canada, France and Mauritius. In Madagascar, you can buy their products at the two Fusion shops in Tana, amongst other outlets. Contact: mob 032 05 636 30; email tokem@moov.mg; web http://www.coutellerie-tokem.com

  55. Daniel Austin said,

    3 December 2014 at 11:59 pm

    For quality arts and handicrafts, visit one of the two Fusion shops in Tana. Fusion Iray is situated in Faravohitra, 150m from Hotel Palissandre (tel 22 636 28; mob 032 05 636 28; email fusion@moov.mg; open Mon–Sat 09.00–18.00, Sun closed). Fusion Roa is at Galerie Zoom in Ankorodrano (mob 034 05 630 30/50; open Mon–Sat 09.00–19.00, Sun 09.00–13.00).

  56. Daniel Austin said,

    3 December 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Chocolaterie Robert in Antananarivo is a 100% Malagasy-owned chocolate factory. They have recently won several international awards. The company was originally established in 1940 in Brickaville but in 1977 was sold to the present owners. They have shops at the factory in Soanierana, in the duty free lounge of Ivato Airport, in Antaninarenina, in Antanimena, in Toamasina, in Antsiranana and in Antsirabe.
    The cocoa beans come from Ambanja, grown by a cooperative of 125, and harvested twice a year (May and Oct/Nov). The beans are checked in an on-site laboratory and sorted into three quality levels. They are sorted to remove any foreign matter such as stones then processed in batches of 100kg in a roaster to develop flavour and aroma. This takes 45 minutes at a temperature which varies over that time according to a secret formula. Next it goes through a cooler and into a winnowing machine to crush the beans and remove the shells. The result is known as ‘nibs’. The nibs go to a grinder which has three levels, to produce cocoa mass – this is a thick liquid (because the bean is 45% fat) that has to be stored at 65–75ºC.
    Next they are pressed on a press to extract the cocoa butter; the remains are called ‘cocoa cake’, which is used to manufacture cocoa powder. A conching machine then mixes the ingredients (cocoa powder, milk powder from New Zealand, sugar from India, and cocoa mass) in varying proportions depending on the product being made that day. (They also make an organic chocolate, which uses Malagasy sugar instead of Indian.)
    The mixture then goes downstairs to be stored, before proceeding to a tempering machine. Depending on the temperature and time settings, there is a degree of butter pre-crystallisation, to control the gloss and give the finished chocolate a good ‘break’.
    The chocolate now goes into a conveyor moulding line, then through a tapping machine, which is refrigerated to 7ºC, to remove all the air bubbles. After this comes the de-moulding machine – essentially a big hammer to knock the chocolate out of the mould. Next comes the sorting stage, where the product gets a visual check and also goes through a metal detector to check for metallic impurities before finally going on to the packaging stage.
    Nine types of chocolate are produced for the export market, as well as commercial products including ‘couveture chocolate’, raw nibs, and cocoa butter. The UK is their main export market at present (distributed through HB Ingredients) but they also export to Japan, France and Denmark. Currently Chocolaterie Robert processes 300 tonnes of beans for the domestic market in Madagascar and only exports 60 tonnes of finished product. By 2017, they aim to increase exports to the same level as domestic sales.
    Their products won four awards in the International Chocolate Awards 2013 in New York (Gold for 50% milk chocolate, Silver for 85% dark chocolate, Silver for white chocolate with vanilla, and Bronze for 65% dark chocolate). In the world finals held in London last month, they won more awards (see http://www.internationalchocolateawards.com/2014/11/world-final-2014-winners).
    The factory has a base staff of around 125, which swells with temporary workers to about 200 during the peak seasons of Easter and Christmas. They also make candies and complex-shaped chocolates (such as hollow Santa Clauses) but these are too fragile for export. Also for the local market, they produce a range of desserts as well as bite-size chocolate-box chocolates.

  57. Daniel Austin said,

    12 October 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Ivato Airport is very small as international airports go. On the landside, it consists of two halls (the international terminal and the domestic terminal) connected by a corridor.
    At the far right-hand end (as you enter) of the international terminal there are 12 check-in desks, a baggage wrap service (15,000Ar per item), toilets, administration desks for the water and forests ministry, the mining ministry, the veterinary service, and the phytosanitary service, SOCIMAD bureau de change, and Lavazza Espresso Point coffee shop.
    In the middle of the hall are two banks, branches of BOA and BNI, which open according to the flight schedule, but both have 24hr ATMs (both take Visa, and BNI also accepts MasterCard).
    A row of kiosks along the front wall of the terminal includes Chrysolite (selling tablecloths and other embroidered items), Jacky Shop (selling handicrafts including carvings, raffia work, woven bags and bracelets; 22 581 77), Air France and KLM joint office (opens from 19:00 until departure time; 22 582 97), Sucré-Salé (selling local food specialities such as foie gras, vanilla, coffees and jams, as well as a handful of ‘exotics’ like Pringles), ONTM national tourist office (with a few hotel and tour leaflets), Corsair office (again with opening hours depending on flight times), Air Austral (opens 3hrs before a flight; 22 372 06) with UPS, B€$T Change bureau de change (bestchange.mada@yahoo.fr), Tabac-Journeaux (selling books, maps, magazines, cigarettes and a few toiletries), Arts Malagasy (with more handicrafts, such as zebu horn carvings, semi-precious stones, and polished ammonites), and Air Madagascar Welcome Service desk.
    At the other end of the international terminal are the following small kiosks: Orange mobile, Airtel mobile, Telma mobile, Budget car hire, Hertz car hire (032 40 001 16), AVIS car hire (22 610 27; 032 03 900 71/032 03 900 72), FHORM hotel and restaurant collective, and Sino-Africa Tours and Travel.
    Behind the BOA bank is a passage leading to stairs for the upper floor. Along this passage is a post office and office of Aviation Civile de Madagascar. The upstairs is mainly occupied by Elabola restaurant, which is open daily and has a kids’ play area and a good view of the runway. They serve many dishes with generous portions, as well as pizza, and a lunch buffet for 19,000Ar. Also upstairs are: Lemurs Park (selling soft toys and other animal-themed souvenirs), Mitia (with handicrafts including key rings, baskets, bags, T-shirts and bracelets), Homeopharma (essential oils and massage oils, etc), Micros Fidelio office, DHL service point, and the Rogers Aviation office (representing Air Mauritius, Kenya Airways and Airlink).
    Back downstairs, at the far left of the hall, near to the international arrivals area, is a small door signposted “Correspondence”. This is a connecting corridor to the domestic terminal. Along this corridor are the following administrative offices: ADEMA airport operations, Air Madagascar, Aviation Civile de Madagascar, health department, airport security and fire, customs, mines, water and forests, lost luggage.
    In the domestic terminal there are more toilets, another bureau de change called Great Happening Change (24 640 25; 032 05 246 56/033 02 246 56), SOAVA Snack restaurant (serving soups, pastries, snacks, pizza, ice cream, salads, drinks and also selling cigarettes, Air Madagascar sales desk, baggage wrap service (15,000Ar per item), and GS Aviation (032 11 019 04/032 11 020 05; gsaviation.sar@gmail.com or gsaviation.account@gmail.com).
    The shuttle bus to the city operated by ADEMA has dropped its prices back down to 10,000Ar per person (034 05 565 47–52/034 565 56–58).
    Of the five places to change money in the airport (SOCIMAD, B€$T Change, Great Happening Change, BOA bank and BNI bank) the best rates are almost invariably found at SOCIMAD. Great Happening Change also usually has reasonable rates for Dollars and Euros. Predictably, the banks rates are not competitive with the bureaux des changes. But not all bureaux des changes give better rates than the banks: B€$T Change is poorly named, typically leaving you a whole 3–4% worse off than SOCIMAD just a few paces beyond.

  58. Daniel Austin said,

    12 October 2014 at 9:46 am

    In the Analamahitsy district of Antananarivo (just east of Ivandry or 5km northeast of the city centre) is Clinique Medico-Chirurgical Imaho, a 7-day 24hr medical centre with ambulance service. Tel 24 199 52; mob 034 86 315 28/032 59 944 16.

  59. Daniel Austin said,

    12 October 2014 at 9:39 am

    Mojo Bar on Ave Rasoamanarivo has recently closed down.

  60. Daniel Austin said,

    12 October 2014 at 9:31 am

    A handy staircase cuts through from Rue Ralaimongo (near the western end of the road tunnel) to just above La Varangue, outside the presidential palace in Antaninarenina.

  61. Daniel Austin said,

    11 October 2014 at 11:52 am

    The longstanding widely praised Coin du Foie Gras restaurant in Behenjy opened a branch in Antananarivo last year. Called Foie Gras de Tana, it is situated next to restaurant “Porquoi Pas!” at 29 Rue de Russie, Isoraka. In addition to their foie gras menu, they also sell foie gras products to take away. Free Wi-Fi. Tel 034 07 924 83/032 07 924 83; email coin_foiegras_tana@yahoo.fr; open Mon–Sat 09.00–18.00.

  62. Daniel Austin said,

    11 October 2014 at 7:52 am

    The 14th Marathon de Tana, the official Antananarivo distance running race, will be held on 26 October this year. For more information see http://www.marathondetana.com.
    Marathons and ultramarathons are gaining popularity in Madagascar. This year has seen Nosy Be Trail (35/65km) on 9 March, Trail des Ô Plateaux (10/30/65/130km) on 2 May, Isalo Raid (15/40/80km) on 26 July, RacingThePlanet (250km) starting 31 August, and most recently Marathon International de Diego Suarez (21/42km) on 28 September.

  63. Daniel Austin said,

    10 October 2014 at 9:41 am

    Anjozorobe is a forest reserve three hours’ drive north of Antananarivo. There is now just one place to stay there, Saha Forest Camp, after Mananara Lodge closed down following a recent fire.
    The RN3 to Anjozorobe village (2½hrs, 90km) is a good surfaced road the whole way, with only occasional potholes. From the village to Saha Forest Camp is a further 9km (45min) on a difficult track that requires a 4×4.
    On the way, you may pause at Talata Volonondry (around PK 27), a village where the specialities of koba (rice ground up with peanuts and banana, rolled in a banana leaf and sliced) and pork/chicken sausage are sure to be brought to your vehicle by some of the many sellers. The next village of size is Ankadilalana (around PK 49), then Anjozorobe (at PK 90), which has a pharmacy, a BOA bank, and a reasonable hotel called Castel.
    Saha Forest Camp (www.sahaforestcamp.mg) has ten smart and spacious double tented bungalows nestled amongst the trees, each costing 175,000Ar per night. Electricity is available more or less continuously and the en-suite bathrooms have 24hr hot water. Note that there are lots of steep steps and it is a walk of almost ten minutes from the car park to the hotel.
    The food is very impressive: a creative menu of tasty and well-presented dishes, costing around 12,000Ar for starters and 17,000Ar for mains.
    An entry fee of 10,000Ar per person per visit applied, on top of which there is a charge of 10,000 to 25,000Ar per circuit. Circuits include forest walks to find indri and diademed sifakas, a community walk to nearby villages and a night walk on which mouse lemurs and chameleons are likely to be spotted.
    For some recent photos of Anjozorobe, check the Bradt Madagascar Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/posts/348850441957523

  64. Daniel Austin said,

    10 October 2014 at 9:08 am

    Soamiandry hotel in Ankadivory (near to Talatamaty in the vicinity of Antananarivo’s Ivato airport) now has 13 rooms: simple rooms for 50,000 to 67,000Ar, all with basic en-suite facilities and hot water. No meals are served but breakfast (eaten in your room) is included and there are restaurants nearby, several of which will deliver. Airport transfers 35,000Ar. Tel 033 11 861 41/034 19 464 15; email soamiandry@yahoo.fr or soamiandry@gmail.com.

  65. Daniel Austin said,

    9 October 2014 at 12:06 pm

    The easily accessible Tsarasaotra Park in the Alarobia district of Antananarivo is an excellent spot for birders, with an impressive population of herons, egrets, teals and other birds. Entry costs have been lowered slightly to 10,000Ar per person (except weekends and holidays when it is 12,000Ar) but tickets must still be obtained in advance from the Boogie Pilgrim office at Tana Water Front. Contact details are in the current edition of the guidebook. For some photos from Tsarasaotra Park, see the Bradt Madagascar Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/posts/348509138658320

  66. Daniel Austin said,

    9 October 2014 at 11:21 am

    For a place to stay near Antananarivo’s Ivato airport, but with a rural feel, try Patrakala. Opened in 2011, it is a small family-run place just across the lake behind the airport, next to Domaine du Lac. They like to give visitors a tour of their tiny traditional-style farm with a few chickens and a couple of cows (they sell milk to their neighbours), as well as a plant shop.
    The accommodation is in two lakefront villas, simply furnished with TV and en-suite bathroom with hot water. The price is 50,000Ar per villa (max 5 people) or 30,000Ar if using the downstairs level only (max 2 people). Canoeing and fishing (tilapia and black bass) are possible on the lake.
    Tel 032 58 615 67/032 40 151 78; email etspatrakala@yahoo.fr.
    For a photo, see the Bradt Madagascar Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/photos/a.249547108554524.1073741830.249525855223316/348500918659142/?type=1&permPage=1

  67. Daniel Austin said,

    9 October 2014 at 10:46 am

    The sisters at Centre Fihavanana have confirmed that all contact details and information about their organisation on pages 140 and 177 of the 11th edition of the guidebook are correct as of October 2014, except that they no longer work with lonely elderly people.

  68. Daniel Austin said,

    9 October 2014 at 10:41 am

    Not long ago, a small botanical and zoological park opened just north of Ivato airport in Antananavivo (under the same ownership as Lemurs Park to the west of the city). Covering three hectares, Domaine du Lac opened to the public in 2012, although the botanical garden itself had been privately established since 15 years previously.
    The planted area is named after Peirre Boiteau, the Frenchman who created and managed the city’s Tsimbazaza botanical and zoological park from 1935 to 1947, whilst also being responsible for a number of Madagascar’s early reforestation programmes, as well as urban planting including Tana’s now-famous jacaranda trees.
    Some 600 plant species are represented in the garden (mostly Malagasy but also a few exotics), of which a significant proportion are succulents, including aloes, pachypodiums and baobabs.
    There are a couple of free-ranging Verreaux’s sifakas, and some Oplurus iguanids too, but the rest of the zoological exhibits are in a collection of outdoor and indoor enclosures. There are several snakes (Langaha madagascariensis, Leioheterodon madagascariensis, L. geayi, Madagascarophis colubrinus and Sanzinia madagascariensis), chameleons (incl Calumma globifer and C. malthe), leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus lineatus, U. fimbriatus and U. ebenaui), plated lizards (Zonosaurus maximus), tenrecs (Tenrec ecaudatus), golden mantilla frogs, spider tortoises and more than 200 radiated tortoises.
    Entry costs 10,000Ar per adult and 5,000Ar per child (not including a tip for the guide). Despite being situated only just outside the airport perimeter, it is on the opposite side from the terminal and car park, so from there you must drive 9½km (on a bad dirt track) if going clockwise around the airport, or 12km (on a slightly better track) going anticlockwise.
    Some bungalows are currently under construction and camping is possible. There is a tranquil lakeside picnic area and one can fish for free in the lake (they have fishing equipment), but not during the closed season of mid-October to mid-December.
    For some photos, see the Bradt Madagascar Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/posts/348485331994034

  69. Daniel Austin said,

    5 October 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Situated a few kilometres up a poor road behind Antananarivo’s airport (just 1½km past Croc Farm), there is an organic farm called Ferme d’Ivato, which grows a wide range of produce for the owners’s restaurants (Combava and Rotisserie) as well as supplying Tana’s supermarkets and delivering orders to private individuals.
    The farm has an exceptional restaurant (with plenty of outdoor seating) and offers exhaustive guided tours of the whole operation, which also includes a botanical garden, essential oil distillery, fishing lake and guesthouse. On Sundays the restaurant hosts a large buffet lunch for 35,000Ar per head, but on other days you will find the restaurant and tours much quieter.
    Set up in 2007, the five-hectare ‘100% bio’ farm’s 40 staff grow four varieties of tomato, two types of onion and spring onion, black radish, red radish, rocket, lettuce, three sorts of carrots, courgettes, four varieties of potato, coriander, Chinese leaf, runner beans in three types, two sorts of aubergine, two of spinach, no fewer than eight different varieties of cabbage, fennel, and much more! Between the vegetables, a lot of ravintsara is grown for making essential oils, doubling as a windbreak and natural pest deterrent.
    A team of chickens works to produce 460 eggs per day. A different variety of chicken is raised for meat, as are guineafowl, and 2,000 ducks are kept for the production of foie gras. Around 400 rabbits are raised for their meat, as are a dozen pigs. Three donkeys and some zebu are used as work animals.
    The botanical garden area has a hundred species of orchid, of which more than three-quarters are Malagasy endemics. Some sixty species of endemic tree are grown, including specimens of rosewood and palissander. You can also see plants such as ylang-ylang, coffee and cinnamon, as well as at least 25 traditional medicinal plants.
    A nearby fishing lake is stocked with four species including carp, tilapia and black bass. Overlooking the lake, there is a reasonably priced multi-room guesthouse with a kitchenette and sleeping room for a dozen guests (book stays here via Combava hotel).
    Ferme d’Ivato: tel 23 584 94; mob 032 11 584 96/032 11 905 43/032 11 019 64; email contact@lafermedivato.com; http://www.lafermedivato.com; open daily but restaurant closed Mon.
    The price for the guesthouse is 110,000Ar for up to 5 people or 150,000Ar for up to to 11 people. Use of the kitchen to prepare meals incurs an extra charge.
    See some photos on our Facebook page:

  70. Daniel Austin said,

    5 October 2014 at 7:52 pm

    There is a brand new fast food restaurant in the Isoraka district of Tana, simply named “Fat Boys”. Stylishly furnished and vibrantly colourful, this burger bar offers a menu with pizzas, hot dogs and a few more inventive items including something called “crunchy banana”. The restaurant offers a loyalty card scheme awarding free gifts to the regulars (after whose eventual physique the establishment is presumably named). Takeaway and delivery available. It is a conspicuous red-and-white building situated at 4 Rue de la Réunion; tel 034 49 993 44; email isoraka.burger@fatboys.us.com; web http://fatboys.loyalpanda.com/; facebook http://www.facebook.com/fatboys.mg; open Mon–Thu 10.00–21.00, Fri/Sat 10.00–22.00, Sun 10.00–20.00.

  71. Daniel Austin said,

    3 October 2014 at 5:48 pm

    The immigration hall at Ivato is now even more complicated and confusing than ever, with an even greater array of conflicting signs and notices. One now has to queue at a separate santé (health) desk (to have the health declaration part of the landing card stamped) before continuing to the appropriate visa queue.
    Visas for stays of up to 30 days are still free, for now. Owing to devaluation of the Ariary, prices for longer visas in foreign currency have fallen slightly to €40 or US$55 for up to 60 days and €55 or US$75 for up to 90 days. In Ariary they’re still 100,000Ar and 140,000Ar respectively. Note that they won’t accept US dollar bills dated before 2000 (and the bureau de change in the airport terminal only accepts those printed from 2006 onwards).

  72. Daniel Austin said,

    1 October 2014 at 9:50 am

    Hotel fire: We have just learned that the main building of Mananara Lodge, one of the two places to stay at Anjozorobe, burned down on Sunday. Consequently it will be closed for the foreseeable future. The lodge is one of the properties of tour operator Boogie Pilgrim.
    Please note that the nearby Saha Forest Camp, created by Fanamby and managed by Mada Lodges, remains open for business.

  73. Tehzoon said,

    15 September 2014 at 4:01 pm

    dear friends. i have been to madagascar for bird watching now in Sep.2014 and unfortunately used the services of Fredel Mamindra of Sobeha. http://www.sobeha.net, infosobeha@gmail.com Tel +261 33 02 789 45. it was the worst experience i ever had with Fredel and i would request not to use and avoid this guy by all means. he is a big cheat, unprofessional, unreliable and arrogant guy. also have lodged a police complaint and complaint in the tourism board against him. these comments are in the intention to prevent travellers from his trap for who will land on this page in the future. Best Regards, Tehzoon

    • 19 October 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I never believe that some people is full of bad intention. This Tehzoon asked me a favor because he broken his photocamera, and I accepted. When the 4wd of his driver that I appointed had problems, he suddenly took another 4wd and told to our driver “thank you. We will meet again in Antananarivo”. Few days later, He sent me an sms “I will do my best to spoil Ur reputation online from where I got ur details” and he did it.
      I have driven Antsirabe-Fianarantsoa by night in order to be at the police station at 8:00 a.m. on sept 16th. That was the first time that I have to face policeman for my service. I told Tehzoon in front of the Commissaire de Police of Fianarantsoa that I am ready to take him until september 28th if he promise to pay me the 1200 euro left minus the 50 euros x 6 days without our service i.e 300 euro. He didn’t want to go with me. Did I have bad intention? – I don’t think so. Yes, he paid me 1500 euros of 2700 euros for a trip from sept 5th to sept 28th. As we are held by “result (obligation de resultat) he owe me at least 800 euro (2700 – 1500 – 300 = 800 euro).
      Be correct, don’t make me pay for your fault.
      I am facing my destiny and assume all my responsibilities. I believe that Zagnahary or the God creator exists and see whatever happen and so does Allah for his religion.
      It is a long story and I will write one article about this soon.
      THIS IS A JOB AND THERE IS NO PLACE OF JOKE. THAT WAS AN EXPERIENCE AND NOW I KNOW THAT IF SOMEONE IS CALLING YOU “MY FRIEND” FOR SERVICE, IT IS JUST A WORD.
      Thank you for your consideration
      Fredel MAMINDRA

  74. Daniel Austin said,

    5 September 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Marlix Country Club, an adventure park north of Tana, has closed until further notice. They will announce on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MadaMarlix) if and when they are to reopen. Thanks to reader Diane Williams for this update via Twitter.

  75. Coles Davide said,

    19 June 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I would recommend SOBEHA MADAGASCAR by Fredel MAMINDRA for your trip to Madagascar. They have a very flexible pricing from the cheapest to the luxury. Rent a 4WD from 40 euro or 120 000 Ariary with a driver speaking a good English or an additional guide. http://www.sobeha.net
    infosobeha@gmail.com
    Tel +261 33 02 789 45

  76. Daniel Austin said,

    28 May 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Our regular correspondent Ony Rakotoarivelo, a tour guide based in Madagascar, has just returned from a trip to the Lake Itasy area and sends us this update:
    Kavitaha Hotel in Ampefy (tel 034 10 459 70; email kavitaha.ampefy@gmail.com) serves very good meals and has newly refurbished rooms; use of the swimming pool is 6000Ar/adult.
    Meals at La Terrasse and Chez Jacky also are good. The latter is on the way out of Ampefy towards Soavinandriana.
    A new hotel on the way to the hill of peninsula Virgin Mary – La Chaumiere de l’Itasy (tel 034 10 518 69/032 41 958 34/034 13 402 18) – has 8 thatched bungalows with hot water facilities and view of Lake Itasy (40,000Ar per night).
    The bridge over the river to the geysers was washed away in February, so the people have built temporary wooden bridges.
    At the waterfall, I am impressed by how young people can create a job for themselves. Two boys who used to sell pumice stones have decided to find an original occupation, since everyone now sells pumice stones. They photograph and print photos of people who visit the waterfall for the price of 2,500Ar. These two boys hire the printer and camera from the commune and use a solar panel to develop the photos instantly!
    For some photos from Ony’s trip, see the update on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/posts/298070443702190

  77. 19 April 2014 at 10:18 am

    Information from Carrie Antal:
    An American Center is under construction in Antananarivo, hoped to open in October. It’s going to be in the Tanjombato shopping center and will be a wonderful place for lectures and debates, movie screenings, music and cultural performances, reading at the library, hanging at the cafe/restaurant, checking out the art displays and rotating exhibitions, and all the rest that a great cultural center has to offer.

  78. 16 April 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Some information from Ony Rakotoarivelo:
    There is an interesting metalwork place in Antananarivo called FFFF Workshop Atelier Dieudonne et Violette. FFFF is short for Finoana, Fitiavana, Fanantenana, Fahasoavana (‘Belief, Love, Hope, Grace’). They make practical and decorative items from iron.
    Address: Lot 026 Ankazobe Alasora, Route d’Ambohimanambola vers PAPMAD, 103 Antananarivo
    Tel: 032 42 374 35/034 28 953 35
    Email: finfitfan@yahoo.fr

    • 16 April 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Rakotoarivelo Ony adds: “Dieudonne and Violette, the couple who own this metal factory, graduated from uni and worked in sports (Dieudonne used to be a uni PE teacher) then, 20 years ago, he got a scholarship to be trained as an art designer and then set up his own business. I was so impressed with this place as the owner has only employed poor and disabled people (300 employees, 30 of whom are deaf). Also he built a school for 300 children of his employees so they can be taught while their parents work, and now he is building another for vocational training. They teach people to protect the environment too, and produce four tonnes of worm compost every month.”

  79. Daniel Austin said,

    1 November 2012 at 11:33 am

    A good English-speaking local guide for historical walks around Antananarivo, as well as day excursions to historical sites outside the city, is Elian, who lives near to the queen’s palace. tel: 032 29 099 43; email: madagascarguide@yahoo.com

  80. Daniel Austin said,

    20 October 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Lokanga Boutique Hotel, open since October 2011, is a lovingly renovated original Malagasy townhouse with just six rooms. Each one has a different character based on a theme from Malagasy history, and is furnished with antiques mostly passed down through the family of the half-Malagasy proprietor.
    Situated in a peaceful spot just a stone’s throw from the queen’s palace, Lokanga enjoys stunning panoramic views across all of Antananarivo. Even if you do not stay here then you should come and enjoy a drink or meal on the terrace. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner except on Mondays.
    The suites and rooms each have a double bed (except one twin), en-suite bathroom with shower or bath, large communal balcony, minibar, safe and fast Wi-Fi connection. Note that, as all of the furnishings are antiques the beds differ in size so tall guests should request a room with a larger bed. And those who have difficulty with steps should avoid booking the two rooms on the top floor, which is accessed by a steep staircase.
    Ask at reception for information on the self-guided walking tours showcasing the city’s history.
    Tel: 22 235 44/49 or 034 14 555 02; email: contact@lokanga-hotel.mg; web: http://www.lokanga-hotel.mg

    • Joan Curtis said,

      31 December 2012 at 8:22 pm

      We stayed here overnight in November, it was by far the best of the 9 hotels we stayed in during our time in Madagascar. Excellent food and very attentive staff. Bacon for breakfast tasted like bacon used to in UK years ago and the duvet was the best I have slept under.

      • flyredbutterfly said,

        21 March 2014 at 3:09 pm

        We had lunch here today, the tables were set beautifully with fresh flowers in enamel mugs! It was so peaceful as my parents and I were the only patrons. We had zebu, pineapple, chicken and shrimp skewers with a Thai salad for 20 000 ariary. Highly recommend the home made ice cream for dessert… Ginger and baobab were today’s flavours for 12 000 ariary. It was so yummy! Excellent service and our waitress spoke English. Well worth the short walk from the Queen’s Palace!


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