"Madagascar’s centrally located capital city has been the island’s political hub since it was captured by the emergent Imerina monarchy in the early 17th century. Central Haut-Ville and the hills surrounding the capital are capped by several palaces and other venerable buildings dating to the pre-colonial era, while the city centre itself has a more contemporary French-Malagasy architectural feel and culinary culture. ”
- Philip Briggs
Antananarivo and surrounds
The main air gateway to Madagascar and domestic transport hub, Antananarivo straddles a series of wooded ridges and marshy valley in the country’s temperate central highlands. The city’s historical heart is Haut-Ville, a ridge-top suburb distinguished by its steep and winding cobbled alleys, expansive views over the city centre, and cluster of impressive 19th-century edifices including the three-storey Manjakamiadana Palace and baroque Andafiavaratra Museum.
The most important of 12 sacred hills associated with the monarchs of Imerina, the out-of-town Rova Ambohimanga, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, incorporates two handsome palaces entered via traditional vavahady gates (which comprise a circular stone disc door that could be rolled into place when the city was under siege). Also worth a visit, the 16th century Rova Ambohidrabiby is probably the oldest capital of Imerina, while the two-storey wooden palace at Rova Ilafy is now an excellent ethnographic museum.
The pick of several low-key sanctuaries dotted around the capital, Lemurs’ Park supports free-ranging populations of seven introduced diurnal lemur species. Of greater interest to birders, Tsarasaotra Park is a good place to look for endemic waterbirds such as Meller’s duck and Madagascar grebe.
When to go
Find out when is best to visit
What People Say
The personalised service provided was far beyond my expectations. A three week trip visiting four countries in Africa, multiple game reserves, wineries and much, much more was flawless. While a close encounter with a leopard and her cubs…
We got in touch after hearing about Hide & Seek from a friend. Have to say hats off to Jamie, he was so patient throughout, even through our indecisiveness! Ultimately we ended up with the most incredible holiday of our lives. Thank you again, we will be back!!
Thank you for arranging our Safari holiday in Kenya and Tanzania for us. It was to celebrate our 40th. Wedding anniversary which was on July 1st. 2018, and through your arrangements, we have had a holiday that we will never forget...
Margaret and Stephen
Thanks so much for a truly unforgettable once in a life time holiday. Hopefully we will be in touch again soon!
Nick and Sarah
Spot on in terms of itinerary . We not disappointed by any of the suggestions and had the best holiday ever! Thank you!
Jamie was very helpful throughout the booking process and recommended the perfect holiday. There was nothing we would change having now been out to Tanzania. I would highly recommend Hide & Seek to friends and relatives.
Jamie was excellent. Once I described what we wanted I knew he would come up with the business. ..and he did!!! 5 stars
We spoke to numerous travel agents over the period we looked at booking our honeymoon and only hide and seek gave me the confidence I was looking for. Really pleased with our decision.
Glen and Amanda Crawford
Hide and seek dealt with our last minute travel plans extremely well. Obviously, our accommodations shifted as availability diminished but ultimately they came up with a vacation that we will never forget.
Bob & Jen