Central Madagascar


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Highland hideaways in Madagascar’s rainforest


Undulating hills topped with rice paddies, seemingly impenetrable rainforest, and open grassy spaces characterise Central Madagascar’s mountainous terrain. The central highlands are distinctively cooler than their coastal counterparts and promise a refreshing retreat from the populated beach towns and buzzing cities. The landscape here is one dotted with lemurs, thermal baths, crater lakes, and quaint towns that will no doubt satisfy outdoor enthusiasts, gourmands, and those in search of a relaxing getaway.

Walking along Antsirabe’s bustling yet open streets will leave visitors surprised to learn that it is Madagascar’s 3rd largest city. This highland hub has been a health spa retreat since the 1900s when the country was a French colony. European architecture contrasts with traditional 2-story mud-brick homes, while restaurants serving an array of cuisines speak to the city and country’s diverse history.

Madagascar’s central region is an ideal base from which to explore a multitude of attractions nearby and to serve as a rest stop for those exploring the country. Large tracts of protected rainforest make up Parc National de Ranomafana, some 227km from Antsirabe. This area is home to several species of lemur including the critically endangered Golden bamboo lemur and greater bamboo lemur.

 
 
Highlights
  • Situated in the central highlands, which is dotted by rice paddies, rainforest, crater lakes, and quaint villages and towns 
  • The climate here is much cooler than the rest of the country
  • Thermal baths have made the area a health spa getaway since the early 20th century
  • The rainforest is home to several lemur species, some of which are critically endangered 
  • Good base while exploring the country due to its central location 

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