Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar and is one place you do not want to just pass through as you are heading to the different parts of the country because it also has its own attractions that you wouldn’t want to miss. The locals normally refer to it as Tana and as the capital city, this is where you will first land because it is a home to the Madagascar international airport. Therefore before you head to the different parts of the country, first tour the capital city because you will be mesmerized with whatever you will find. The different places and activities that you can carry out within the capital city Antananarivo include the following:
Visit the crocodile farm in the city
The croc farm is a popular park that is located near the international Madagascar airport in the Antananarivo. It is known as a croc farm due to the high number of crocodiles that are found in the park. The croc farm is always open every day from 8:00am to 5:00pm and all adults have to pay a small fee in order to gain access to the park but young children under the age of eight enter for free.
You will be able to see numerous crocodiles and probably get a chance to see them and not forgetting the park is also a home to other numerous animals like the famous lemur, chameleons, snakes, the fossa and a wide range of bird species that are endemic to Madagascar can be viewed. The feeding of the crocodiles normally happens during the lunch hours so you can plan your visit to match with the feeding time but if you are into birding, then morning hours will work for you perfectly.
Visit the Anglican cathedral
The Anglican cathedral was constructed in 1889by White William and Alfred Anker who saw to the completion and unique design that we see today. You must wondering what is so good about seeing the Anglican cathedral and it is the way it was constructed. The cathedral was constructed in a Gothic setting and if you do not know what gothic looks like, then you must visit the cathedral and also get a chance to view the inside of the cathedral.
Shop at the Analakely market
Your visit to the Analakely market will give you an insight of how chaotic life can be in Madagascar. It always has a wide range of people moving up and down looking for things that they are going to use in their daily life. It might not be your dream place for touring but it will definitely give you an insight of how the Malagasy people live every day.
The market will give you a chance to get yourself some fresh food, vegetables and fruits from the different stalls in the market and you will also get a chance to taste some of the local food that is prepared by the locals and sold in the different stand stalls. Although you should be warned that the area has a lot of people who can pick pocket you so it is best to leave all that you think is valuable to you and stay with only some cash that will help you purchase the different things from the market.
Go for birding at the Tsarasaotra Park
The Tsarasaotra is a small park that is located in the center of Madagascar and it is the perfect place for all those who love birding. Its location gives it easy aces and it has a lake within which is Lake Alarobia and this is where most of the birding is done as it harbors the fourteen bird species that are found in the Park. There are various endangered birds that can be seen and the most common two include the Malagasy pond heron and the Meller’s duck. And since the park is privately managed, you will need to part with an entrance fee and the tickets can be got but after prior booking otherwise you might find that it is fully booked.
Explore the Musee de l’Art et de Archeologie
This is located at in the village of Tana which is located in the city center and it was established in 1970. It has a lot of archeological things that amount to 7000 and these can be viewed when you visit the place. It is the perfect destination for all those that love history as these objects will tell you the hidden history of Madagascar as a country and it is protected by the Antananarivo University.
The objects project the different tribes that are found in Madagascar and on a lucky day you will be able to participate in discussions that are held by the different speakers that are invited by the University curator.
Explore the Ambohimanga
The Ambohimanga hill is considered to be sacred by the different Malagasy people and it is also known as the royal hill. This is where the royal kings and queens of Madagascar used to stay before the French came to the country. A pilgrimage to the hill will give you an insight of how the Malagasy people lived before the colonial era set in.
In the area, you will get to see the queen’s palace which was constructed with a lot of glass everywhere and the dilapidated place of the last king which is a big contrast to the queen’s palace. You will also be able to able to see the various graves that are found in the area and most people now make a pilgrimage to the area to worship and due to its significance when it comes to the culture of the Malagasy people and that is why it was declared a UNESCO heritage in 2001.
Explore the Rova complex
The Rova palace is also known as a fine place to rule and it was formerly owned by the rulers of the Madagascar. It is located on a hill and can easily be seen by everyone all the way from the city Centre. It is not in its previous glory due to the fire that gutted it in the year 1995 but it is still worth the visit as you get to see the ruins first hand and also get to view the royal cemetery.
Visit the French Institute of Madagascar
For all those who are in love with culture and want to see some action then this is the best place to be. They hold everything from song concerts, plays live performances and anything that connects with music dance and drama. And in order for you to be able to view these performances, you need to book your ticket early and contact the institute through their websites. This was put in place to show and make people understand the different cultures that are found in Madagascar and the how the different cultures blend into one to off one community.
The lemur park
The lemur park is usually open from 9:00am to 4:00pm and its strategic location makes it a good place for one to meet and get to know more about the endangered lemurs. There are various lemurs that can be seen moving around the Park and you will also get to see all the different kinds of plant species that are found in the park and these can give any botanist a field trip. You will also be able to see the various chameleons, turtles and other species that habitate in the area on your nature walks in the Park and the park has clearly marked routes that you can use during the nature walk.
Visit the Immaculate Conception cathedral
The cathedral that is located in Antananarivo the capital city of Madagascar and the beauty of the place can only be compared to that of the capris cathedral. The first construction of the cathedral begun in 1873 and ended in 1890 and if you are not impressed with the outside, take a stroll through the inside because it has its own unique beauty as compared to the outside. The ornate décor gives it a lasting impression and not forgetting the glass that was used to beauty it and when you get the chance you can also attend mass in the cathedral and it is also used as the archdiocese of Antananarivo.
A trip to the Musee Andafiavaratra
The Musee Andafiavaratra is a place where you will be able to see some of the store away things that were rescued by the different people from the burning place. It has various portraits of the different rulers especially kings that ruled Madagascar before the colonial era, a fossilized skeleton and you get to know the history of the different kings and queens who ruled over the country. It was once a house of the former prime minister of Madagascar known as Rainilairivony and the pink color that id decorated on all the walls is something to view especially with the wall portraits against them.