Mahajanga or Majunga is located northwest of the big island, 580 km from Antananarivo, on the RN4. Also called "the city of flowers", Mahajanga is a great destination where it is always hot. Landscapes and nature are of rare exotic beauty.
Founded in 1700 by the Arabs, the city of Mahajanga is the largest on the west coast of the island. It is a historic center from which the Sakalava Kingdom of Boina developed. The city is a real cultural mosaic because its inhabitants come from all horizons: Sakalava, Tsimihety, Comorians, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Europeans, ... rub shoulders there. The influences of each culture are felt on the city, if only in terms of architecture, cooking.
To visit the city, it is advisable to move in rickshaw to stay cool while enjoying the beauty of the landscape. You will be able to admire the vestiges of 18th century Arabian counters, as well as the colonial style houses built all over the city. The square Poincaré remains an ideal site for a walk in the day or to admire the sunset by the sea. It is a place where you can nibble skewers and drink coconut milk, while having a view the sea. You can also admire the huge baobab, which has become the symbol of the city.
The beaches along the coast are very beautiful and ideal for relaxation. That of Amborovy, about ten kilometers north of the city is one of the most famous. It is also a place where traditional fishing village and resort bungalows coexist. Close to Amborovy beach is Cirque Rouge, a natural circus carved by winds and water. It is a kind of canyon with surprising colors: limestones and sands have pastel tones, ocher and blood. The silence of the site encourages serenity and escape.
The surroundings of the city of Mahajanga present some original natural sites, not to be missed. 18 km north of the city is Mangatsa Lake. This lake is famous for sheltering "sacred fish" and the inhabitants come to make wishes there. Even further north, the caves of Anjohibe and its surroundings form an exceptional site. In addition to visiting the caves, the site has many surprises: natural pool, stream, waterfall, mangrove and the waterfalls of the Mahafanina make the beauty of the site. Lemurs such as the famous Propithecus Verreaux Coquereli populate the area around the site.
The Ankarafantsika National Park
Lovers of nature and Malagasy biodiversity will find the National Park of Ankarafantsika to live up to their expectations. The park is about 115 km southeast of the city. It includes the Ampijoroa Forest Station, a large reserve of 4920 ha. It offers a landscape contrasted by rain forest, dry forest and the presence of lakes. The fauna and flora have a high rate of endemism. Eight species of lemurs, 129 species of birds, flamingos, reptiles populate the park. The Sakalava culture is also represented through the few tombs included in the site.
Seven tours are proposed by the park to appreciate the splendor and the diversity of the landscapes: the circuits Coquereli, Ankarokaroka, Source of sight, Retendrika, Baobab, "Pachypodium Rosilatum" and the nocturnal circuit. The Coquereli tour is mostly based on observing the park's wildlife such as the fascinating lemur Propithecus verreaux cockerel or the rare Van Damne bird Vanga. The aquatic fauna is not left out with the route of the circuit Source of view: Lake Ravelobe allows to get acquainted with the Ankoay fishing eagle, the wild ducks and the Nile crocodiles. The chameleons "Rhinoceratus and Oustalet" and some night birds are the main attractions of the night circuit.
The Retendrika circuit of the park highlights the plant's richness of the site. You can admire various medicinal plants such as "retendrika", many species of terrestrial orchids, trees with precious wood, etc. The corner is also ideal for bird watching "schlegel's asity". The discovery of Malagasy flora is facilitated by the Baobab and Pachypodium Rosilatum circuits. The first takes you to the heart of the beautiful baobabs "Andasonia madagascariensis" that mingle with crocodile trees. The second you discover pachypodiums also called elephant legs.
The Ankarokaroka circuit is one of the most original of the site. It offers a breathtaking view of a beautiful landscape of dry forest and savannah. It is also characterized by impressive canyons carved by erosion.
The Mahajanga region is a multi-faceted region. At the same time cosmopolitan city rich in biodiversity and seaside destination of quality, the city presents itself as one of the best tourist corners of Madagascar. More detailed information on Mahajanga can be found on the website www.majunga.org, set up by the Regional Tourism Office of Mahajanga.
Antsoheribory: a paradise of Boeny Aranta to promote
To date, the Big Island has countless sites that deserve to be promoted and unveiled to the general public. This is the case of the island of Antsoheribory, an oasis of freshness located in the region of Boeny Aranta, in Majunga.
Highlighting the riches of Antsoheribory
Antsoheribory is a small paradise located about twenty minutes by boat, off Majunga. Although it is home to many tourist attractions, this island measuring 2 kilometers long and 70 meters wide is still unknown. Following the World Tourism Day held in Boeny Aranta on October 22 and 23, 2014, the VOI Baobab Village Community Association has the mission to promote this unique destination. Far away from downtown Majunga, Antsoheribory does not take advantage of the enthusiasm of holidaymakers and tourists for this seaside resort. This island of northwestern Madagascar is worth discovering, if only for its rich flora and fauna. The local vegetation is, in fact, dominated by the presence of baobabs. The diversity of its marine fauna is also one of the attractions of Antsoheribory. The ruins of the ancient Arab sultans house on the island are also among the cultural attractions to capture on the scene.
Shortcomings in infrastructure
To achieve the expected success, the promotion of Antsoheribory will have to go hand in hand with the improvement of the existing infrastructures. To date, the island has neither electrical facilities nor access to drinking water. Tourist accommodation is also lacking in this green setting. In addition, access to Antsoheribory is not easy. It is only during the dry season that it is possible to join the island in 4X4 from Kaptsepy. During the rainy season, but also throughout the year, taxis-dugouts provide the direct link of the island with Majunga. It goes without saying that isolation is one of the main obstacles to Antsoheribory's economic development. To solve this problem and promote the destination, the VOI Baobab community association plans to launch an awareness campaign to mobilize private and public partners.