At 68 km from Antananarivo, towards Tamatave, Mantasoa is a holiday resort particularly appreciated by the inhabitants of the capital. The setting provides well-being and serenity. It is ideal for spending the weekend or for an extended stay not far from the capital.
Learn more about Mantasoa
Literally meaning "pleasant even raw", Mantasoa is a beautiful historical site. The authenticity of the landscapes, shaped by Jean Laborde will fascinate the history buffs. From 1837 to 1844, the French Jean Laborde, advisor to Queen Ranavalona I erected constructions on order of the queen: an industrial complex including blast furnace, foundry, glassware, soap factory, paper mill, weapons workshop ... and a pleasure palace with a zoo for the queen.
An excursion in the village will make you discover the villa of Jean Laborde, reconverted in small museum. Close to the village, Laborde's grave, the largest in the region's cemetery, is also one of the major attractions. Indeed, he was treated to funerals of national stature in 1878, according to the will of Queen Ranavalona II. This tomb was built by Jean Laborde himself and he named it Soamandrakizay or "eternal happiness".
In addition, the artificial lake of Mantasoa is a considerable asset. It was created in 1936 to regulate the waterways of the Ikopa River and to irrigate the plain of Betsimitatatra, a real rice granary of the country. This lake gives the region a new image, a new charm. The lake is a nice meeting place for water sports enthusiasts: pedalo, water skiing, a walk in the spotlight ... are practiced there. A bicycle trip or a hike around the area encourages escape while enjoying the beauty of the region.
The remains of installations erected by Jean Laborde are visible near the lake. Historically, the fascinating industrial complex founded by the French was allocated to the Jesuits at the beginning of the colonization of the island in 1895. But a large part of the erected industrial city did not survive the events that shook Madagascar during the colonial era . Only the blast furnace, the foundry workshop, the lime kiln and the pottery kiln remain visible
A detour into the Mandraka reserve, Madagascar Exotic, is essential to discover the Malagasy biodiversity. The reserve is 12 km after the junction for Mantasoa. Lovers of Malagasy fauna and flora will be spoiled by this unique site on the island. Many species present, fauna or flora, are endemic. Chameleons, butterflies and insects are scattered everywhere in the middle of the vegetation. The place is also home to crocodiles, turtles, snakes and is ideal for watching the sifakas, lemurs characteristic of the island.
If you are looking for a place of relaxation near the capital, in a pleasant environment, Mantasoa is a destination for you. The most active will find their happiness thanks to the various leisure activities on offer. The site is among the most enchanting of Madagascar.
Explore Mantasoa on horseback
With the installation of a luxury hotel in Mantasoa, tailor-made activities have also emerged. If the rental of quads, mountain bikes and other equipment for water sports is a service well known to visitors, equestrian rides are the new trend to discover. Perched at an altitude of 1500 meters on a well-groomed plateau, Mantasoa allows horse expeditions along a preserved nature. Around the lake or at the mercy of the great pine forest and eucalyptus, nature lovers find something to quench their thirst for unusual itineraries. Horses specially imported from the island of Reunion travel great distances and have been trained to satisfy the walker. Equids acclimatize moreover to the environment of the high plateaux malagasy generous grain crops.
Horses raised in very good conditions
With the goal of making Mantasoa a must-see destination for horseback excursions, local breeders team up with agricultural engineers and other industry professionals from across the Indian Ocean. The tourist actors of the locality therefore want to promote this activity to both Malagasy visitors and foreigners in search of escape in Madagascar.
Mantasoa: small history
Less than a 2-hour drive east of Antananarivo, Mantasoa was the first industrial site on the Big Island. Fief of Jean Laborde, Mantasoa once housed a lime kiln and a blast furnace. These facilities have been perfectly preserved and now house a school. In the small village of Andrangolaoka you can find the tomb of Jean Laborde and his house to visit without hesitation.