At the northern tip of Madagascar is Diego-Suarez (Antsiranana). It is the 3rd port of Madagascar. Former French garrison, the city has lost its grandeur but still retains a feeling of nostalgia and great atmosphere. The marks of colonization haunt her like ghosts. There is an amazing cultural diversity in the city, always ready to party. Great place for nature lovers, natural and marine parks are a stone throw away from the city.
Twenty kilometers from Diego-Suarez, Ramena a small authentic fishing village with a great choice of shacks that serve the most amazing seafood at great prices. The beach is also great with great warm clear water. A great destination for beach lovers.
Amber Mountain National Park
The Park constitutes an endemic ecosystem, being covered by a dense dry forest to the east, a dense humid forest to the west and a dense mountainous forest at the top. Several animal species have found refuge: 19 species of mammals, of which 8 are lemurs of which two main species: the crowned lemur and the brown mouse lemur (the smallest lemur in the world). There are also 49 species of reptiles in the area, including 11 species of chameleons and we cannot fail to mention the brookesia, the smallest chameleon in the world. 77 species of birds and 20 of amphibians have been sighted in the park. The flora is equally exceptional. There is a wide variety of oleaceae (lianas), a wide variety of rare orchids, along with tree ferns, palm trees, epiphytes, lichens, ficus, and a host of fine woods. Some trees are used by local people for healing purposes. The park brings a note of freshness to the warm and dry environment of the region. The park has crater lakes from which dense networks of rivers start. The city of Antsiranana gets its water from Mahasarika Lake.
The Red Tsingy of Irodo Valley
50 km south of Diego-Suarez is a group of beautiful red tsingy, to visit in the afternoon before sunset to profit from the great colors. These tsingy are the result of an erosion also called limestone pavement. The mixture of different oxides and the work of time gave birth to a set of a few hundred small fairy chimneys.
Ankarana National Park
The Ankarana National Park is famous for its tsingy, karst formations offering the rather breathtaking vision of hundreds of sharp limestone needles and peaks, erect towards the sky. In addition, water erosion has caused the creation of more than 100 caves which were inhabited during inter-ethnic conflicts. Some even house royal tombs. A dream place for hikers.
Ankarafantsika National Park
Ankarafantsika National Park is one of the last refuges for many endangered species of Madagascar. Made up of a diversity of dense and dry forests, the site is best known for its numerous lakes where different endemic species coexist.
The small village of Andasibe is worth the detour for its western allure and its pretty wooden houses. It is the entrance to one of the most visited National Park of Madagascar, Andasibe-Mantadia.
Antsirabe is located not far from the Malagasy capital, at an altitude of more than 1,400 meters: we have to say that during the austral winter, it is cold for Madagascar. This ancient spa town has kept its quaint colonial style. Antsirabe is peaceful and calm, perhaps a little sleepy. You can go on lovely mountain bike or horse rides in the Vakinankatatra. In addition, the city has thousands of beautifully decorated rickshaws. Great for hikers, Lac Tritriva and Mt Ibity are great destinations.
90 km from Antsirabe and 1,350 meters above sea level is Ambositra, a pretty town with beautiful adobe and brick houses. Numerous plows drawn by zebus that roam the city. Ambositra is a big peasant town full of charm and relaxing. The surrounding mountains and the visit of artisan villages can be the occasion for pleasant strolls.
Ranomafana is a small village lost in the mountains, hidden at the bottom of a large deep valley and immersed in the dense forest of the East. It would never have left anonymity if its natural hot spring had not revealed it towards the end of the 19th century. Today is arguably the most the entry town of the most known National Park of Madagascar.
Ambalavao is a charming town with several very beautiful betsileo style buildings. It is the hub of the zebu trade in the region. The cattle that pass through the city every day create a pleasant animation. The Ambalavao region is known for its land of wine, wild silk and chewing tobacco. From here we can visit the National Park of Andringitra.
The village of Ranohira is located in the Isalo massif. This is the starting point for exploring Madagascan Colorado. Ranohira is just a small town with little tourist interest aside the park.
Located south of Saint-Augustin, Anakao is the region's best-known fishing village. It is very popular with visitors for its fishing returns and its possibilities for excursions, snorkelling or diving in a canoe vezo. Surf lovers will also find their happiness. Anakao cannot be reached by road unless you like spending more than 8 hours in a terrible dusty road. The ferry from Toliara take 45 minutes to reach Anakao and it departs every day at 9.30 AM.