6 Things to do in Antananarivo

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1. City Tour

Your interest will help you to choose what to do in the city tour. But it all depends on the time you have. With full day trip, you get to do whatever you like.

The Rova

The Rova was the royal palace of the Merina monarchs of Madagascar. It is situated on top of the highest of Antananarivo’s many hills. The stone Queen’s Palace is the most recognizable, originally built from wood but later in the 19th Century clad in stone. The huge eagle that was brought from France by Jean Laborde can be seen atop the main gate. Found atop Analamanga Hill. Catch the full history there.

Antananarivo main market (Analakely Market)

Worth a visit is Antananarivo’s main market. For hours you will fascinated as you will be engulfed in the market!  And it will definitely be an interesting couple of hours…. See if you recognize most of the things. Being sold in the market is clothes, shoes, food, household items, dodgy DVDs and just about anything. Don’t go there with your valuables.

Old Train Station

Only a few minutes from the main market, is the Avenue de l’independence. And at the end of the Independence Avenue is an old train station, Soarano Train station. In the old days, trains to Ambatondrazaka, Tamatave and Antsirabe left from Soarano Train Station. These days only a few freight trains heading to the East Coast pass the station. The main building was restored in 2009 and is now rented out as several retail shops and business center.

The train station platform is used as an open restaurant terrace, where many cultural events and exhibitions take place. Popular to both locals and foreigners is the restaurant Café la Gare. Make sure to have lunch there. It usually has a great ambience.

 2. Lemurs Park

Just outside Tana, is a Lemurs Park with free roaming lemurs. Lemurs Park is a small botanical garden and lemur reserve. It is located 22km southwest of Antananarivo off the RN1. It is an interesting day trip choice that introduces you to lemurs even though you will still get to see them later on in the forest reserves. Great to visit with kids and with people with limited mobility. The several lemur species are habituated to humans so you can get very close and observe them at close range. There is a restaurant on site. The park is mainly about lemurs but there are also some tortoises enclosed, with chameleons, geckos, and lizards roaming free.

3. Le Chat’o (Kids)

Le Chat’o is a fun park located 8 minutes’ drive from Susie’s Place. With a kid’s pool, trampoline, merry-go-round, inflatables, billiard, mini golf etc… it is a nice way to keep the kids busy. It is also a nice place for parents to lounge and read, with a drink at the restaurant/bar.

Open Daily.         From 9:30 am – 6:00 pm

4. La Ferme d’Ivato

La Ferme d’Ivato is located about 6km from the airport.

It is a farm dedicated to organic farming. The farm consists of animals, fruits and vegetables. Here you get to experience how the Malagasy farmers organically grow their crops, as natural as possible, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Most farmers do not use harsh pesticides on their crops. As such, most fruits and vegetables sold in market places throughout the country are organic. They produce, package and sell organic fruits and vegetables in and around Antananarivo.

The restaurant on site serves the farm’s delicious products cooked Malagasy style. This is as fresh as you can get it. So grab yourself something fresh!

Opening hours:                                 11am to 3pm

5. Craft Market

Worth a visit, the Digue Market is Antananarivo’s biggest market place at the RN4 to the airport. It is located 4km from the city center. It offers a wide range of minerals, semi-precious stones, wood carvings, beautifully crafted bags and décor elements. And everything is made in Madagascar. Whether it is shopping for souvenirs or just taking a walk through the market. You get to experience Madagascar in crafts and interact with the locals.

Don’t buy shells, plants,  or animals…. Ask about things that require export certificates before you buy them otherwise they will be confiscated at Customs.

The prices are bargain-able!

Open Daily.         From 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

6. Crocodile Farm

The three hectare zoological and botanical crocodile farm is found in a small valley in about 20 minutes’ drive from Susie’s Place. This is something fun to do with kids.

You get to observe the crocodiles, and get to see many other animal species and the various plants of Madagascar. Among the animal species you will see chameleons, snakes, geckos, lizards, frogs, birds, tortoises etc… However, the huge Nile crocodiles are the center of attraction. You will see hundreds of crocodiles sunbathing at the shores of the lake.

If you would like to see the crocodiles feeding, the best days to go are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at around 1PM

Ever tasted Crocodile meat? Well, if you would like to, on site there is a garden restaurant, Coco d’Iles Taverne, which will give you the opportunity. Don’t worry if Crocodile meat is not your thing, they also have other meals on the menu.

The crocodiles are bred for their meat and luxury leather products like wallets, belts, bags etc… which are quite pricey.

Open daily

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm

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