ANTANANARIVO – FIANARANTSOA
Take the N7 road which crosses the refreshing highlands (about 1300 m of altitude) with its surprising narrow adobe houses, towering rocks, terraced rice fields where the green contrasts with the red colour of the earth. Then it’s onto the pretty spa town of Antsirabe, famous for its rickshaw vehicles. Next it is Ambositra, capital of wood crafts and finally Fianarantsoa, Madagascar garden and for the wine lovers the only vineyard wine from the island.
FIANARANTSOA – MANAKARA
Take the train 163 km , 18 stations, 20 km / hour : a unique vision of this region, about 100 000 villagers depend entirely on this train service, you have to soak up the joy of the people that come alive at every train arrival to sell you their products, fruits, samossa, crayfish, and seed necklaces etc.
During the trip you will go through a wide variety of scenery, lush nature, tea and rice fields, primary forest, traveller’s trees, waterfall, flowers, fruit trees , coffeas, banana , lychee and mango trees … It is an unforgettable memory, although sometimes you have to be patient during an interminable loading or breakdown.
Notice to passengers:
Do not be in a hurry, choose to go down Fianarantsoa to Manakara (especially in the rain the train has more problems on the way up).
Remember water and a torch, frequent stops allow you to buy snacks along the way.
is the largest city in the southeast coast of the island of Madagascar , and is the capital city of Antemoro and Vatovavy-Fitovinany region in the province of Fianarantsoa. It is connected to Fianarantsoa by the famous FCE train line. Manakara, a former colonial area, is a peaceful city, with its bicycles, and its “rickshaw ” vehicles. The daily colourful market offers a wide variety of products. Manakara Bé has beautiful beaches, shaded walks along the Indian Ocean. You must be careful swimming in the ocean as it can be dangerous.
This canal was operational as early as the first half of the twentieth century. The Pangalanes channel allowed the whole eastern coast of Madagascar to get the goods to the port of Tamatave. It stretches nearly 700 km from Tamatave to Farafangana parallel to the Indian Ocean. Today due to a lack of maintenance ( proliferation of water hyacinth ), it is impossible to link Tamatave to Farafangana .
MANAKARA – RANOMAFANA
On the way back, we recommend the road towards RANOMAFANA ( means hot water ), you can visit the national park with its tropical humid forest where you can observe 12 species of lemurs, 96 species of birds and lush vegetation (rosewood, tree ferns, bamboo …).
The village, a small spa, with a natural hot spring pool open to the public, where you can swim and admire the enchanting surrounding mountains, or go for a massage.
TO SEE AND DO
You must not miss the day boat trip (pirogue) on the Pangalanes with a fresh fish picnic. You can hire bicycles or motorcycles for a visit to EDEN SIDI at about 15 km from the town. This is an outstanding area, with good restaurants, and the possibility of swimming (Pangalana) and above all you will be able to approach the lemurs.You can swim in ‘Trou du commissaire’
Internet cafe available.