9 Most Famous Landmarks In Madagascar

Madagascar boasts ecological diversity, rich history, and spectacular natural beauty. Located on the eastern coast of the Indian Ocean in Africa, Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world.  These are the major landmarks in Madagascar that you should visit when you travel there.

Major Landmarks In Madagascar

landmarks in madagascar
One of the famous landmarks in Madagascar

It is home to thousands of endemic plant and animal species. With various national parks, lush green rainforests, white sand beaches, birding tours, rich and diverse culture, and historical sites, Madagascar has become one of the world’s top travel and tourist destinations.

If you have chosen the island for travel, read on to learn about the top landmarks in Madagascar. They will give you insight into the country’s history and culture and make your trip one to remember for years to come!

Read: Most Famous Landmarks In Nigeria

Ambohimanga Royal Hills

Royal Hills: Image, UNESCO

The Royal Hills of Ambohimanga are some of the most important natural landmarks in Madagascar. It is the ancient ruins of a long-gone city and now enjoys UNESCO World Heritage Site status. You will find many ancient burials and sanctuaries from the Malagasy culture. 

The site is also home to two famous palaces, two basins, one pavilion, and four royal tombs. On the top of the hills is a forest, whereas the lower levels consist of cut areas used for agriculture. The city is also noted for its wall enclosure with fourteen gates made of stone and ditches built for protection in the 19th Century.

Baobab Avenue

Baobab Avenue, one of the most famous landmarks in Madagascar

Baobab Avenue is one of the most visited landmarks in Madagascar because of its gorgeous landscapes, drawing tourists worldwide. The landscape comprises a group of unusually-shaped trees running between Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina that are 800 years old. 

What really makes Baobab Avenue among the top landmarks in Madagascar is that the trees did not stand in isolation forever. They once belonged to a dense forest that was cleared out for agricultural reasons. The baobab trees are considered sacred in Malagasy culture.

Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park: Image: Frank Vassen

Covering more than 250 miles of rainforest, the Masoala National Park is located in the northeast. It is famous for its wide-ranging biodiversity, from flooded coastal forests to mangroves. Masoala is among the few places in Madagascar to incorporate marine parks, featuring a wide array of wildlife. 

You will also find ten rare species of Lemur here, including aye-aye, uncommon reptiles like the tomato frog, and numerous birds. The marine parks are ideal for kayaking and snorkeling.

The Andafiavaratra Palace

The Andafiavaratra Palace: Image, Alex Dunkel

Initially owned by the British, the Andafiavaratra Palace stands among the most famous historical landmarks in Madagascar, later owned by the country’s prime minister in the 19th Century. The palace is of British style, with huge rooms and pink paint. It is now a museum, exhibiting thousands of artifacts, antique jewelry, furniture, and outfits. 

You will also find various wall hangings inside the castle, showing different Madagascar leaders and their histories. These exhibits were restored after a massive fire struck the Rova of Antananarivo.

Lake Tritriva

Lake Tritriva: Image, Bernard Gagnon

An emerald green volcanic lake, Tritriva is located in the central highlands of Madagascar. It’S part of an extinct volcano, with a depth reaching 160 meters. Local stories tell of two lovers who threw themselves into the water and drowned as they were not allowed to get married by their families. 

Many people believe that they came back in the shape of a tree, standing alone at the lake’s edge without any other green body until the area was reforested. Interestingly, the lake rises during the drought while it shrinks during the rainy seasons. Various underground streams in the lake are the main cause.

The City of Antananarivo

If you want to experience attractions that are a mixture of natural and man-made landmarks in Madagascar, the city of Antananarivo is the answer! It is the country’s capital and the most extraordinary attraction among its beautiful cities. The city has Europe-like vibes, with French hotels and many shops with a made-in-France signboard. 

You can spend your time wandering its charming streets and taking in the sights and sounds of accordions (not to mention the intoxicating smell of fresh croissants). Just a few kilometers away, you will find a breathtaking lilac-colored lake surrounded by a lush green park with rare species of animals and plants.

Tsingy De Bemaraha

Tsingy De Bemaraha: Image, Olivier LeJade

Famous for the mesmerizing limestone formation, Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve is on Madagascar’s western coast. It is home to unusual geological formations. ‘Tsingy’ refers to the peaks marking the gigantic limestone plateau, meaning that “one cannot walk barefoot on the pointed peaks.” The geological formation makes it an excellent habitat for rare species of plants and animals. 

The western side is surrounded by dry forests, whereas the east is covered with lush grassy savannas and bushes. You will find several rare lemur species, including Decken’s sifaka, a scarce species famous for its black face and white fur.

The Andohalo Cathedral

Andohalo Cathedral: Image, Honey Gale

Andohalo Cathedral is a famous historical landmark in Madagascar. The cathedral was built during the French colonial era and is reminiscent of Notre Dame in Paris. It is also popularly called the Cathedral Of Immaculate Conception, as it is believed to be built on the bones of God’s servants. 

The building is in the Gothic revival style and features intricate stained glass and extensive use of marble within the imposing cathedral.

Ile Saint Marie (Nosy Boraha)

Pirate Cemetery: Image Jialiang Gao

The island of Nosy Boraha is located on the country’s eastern coast. It consists of soft-sand beaches with clear turquoise water and hundreds of palm trees and fishing spots. The island’s history goes back to the 18th Century when it drew pirates plundering the Indian Ocean. 

You can still view many wrecked ships from the shallow waters, and visit the island’s Pirate Cemetery.

There are a handful of cafes, a market, and a church. Water activities like kayaking and snorkeling are popular while humpback whales can be viewed on a boat ride during the summer.

Wrapping Up – Major Landmarks In Madagascar

Undoubtedly, Madagascar is a beautiful island. The breathtaking landscapes, majestic forests and national parks, rich historical spots, rare flora and fauna, and tranquil waters make Madagascar a once-in-a-lifetime destination. 

The famous landmarks in Madagascar, such as Lake Tritriva and the Masoala National Park, can make your trip all the more unforgettable. Happy touring!  

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