"Hot Mahajanga !" Mahajanga by Norali

Mahajanga Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 68 photos

Le baobab

I don't even say that my page is under construction, knowing that I would not have time to build a decent page...

Here: the multicentennial baobab tree, the emblem of the city.


More than ever, the city is the one that really needs this type of transportation.

Weather is so hot that people avoid walking in the afternoon.

This is then the most common transportation means in the warmest region of Madagascar.

The West coast is the home of the Sakalava & Antalaotra clans as Antananarivo province is the home of the Merina people. Antalaotra people are "people from the laout": "laout", in Malayomealnesian language meaning "sea". Antalaotra people were the Muslim foreigners that used to settle in the area either for good either for the sake of their trading businesses: spice, slave, other commodities trading. Eventually, those persons got children with Sakalava women and from there came the still existing clan of Antalaotra. They lived apart from the Sakalava, in their own quartier (the nowadays "Quartier Général" of Mahajanga).

However, Sakalava people have influences from Arabs, Persians since the latter already inhabited the area in 11th and 12th centuries. Hence the relatively high pecentage of Muslim Malagasy in this part of the country (less than 5% of Madagascar population is Muslim). To the Arabs and Persians, there are the Indo-Pakistanese who were brought there by the French and who are still considered as immigrants. Both Muslim Arabs and Indo-Pakistanese have left some patterns on the architecture of the buildings. It is common to see women with either sari either the Muslim attire for women.

The history of this area is fascinating (at least for me) as it being part of the Spice Track that liaised parts of Africa (Zanzibar is not that far), Arabian coasts and SE Asia. Not so simple as I tended to sum up, with its share of intricacies.. I would tell more in the future as soon as I finish the first English-written book I'm reading on the histories of clans, areas, pirates of Madagascar.

Apart from those foreigners, Mahajanga use to welcome Merina people and people from further South who went there decades ago to earn their living. Then, there are the French and Greeks. Much fewer Chinese families than in, say, Tana or Toamasina.

Besides, whilst Chinese immigrants are the biggest minority group in Toamasina, Indo-Pakistanese make up the bulk of immigrants in Mahajanga, mostly active in commerce (so were the Antalaotra people whose settlement could be traced back to the 10th century).

Mahajanga is probably the most cosmopolitan area of Madagascar.

Bathing in urban area is impossible though Amborovy beach, my fave, is superb. It serves as holiday home for rich families in Mahajanga, and even in Madagascar since they have their "secondes résidences" there...

As for those who go to Amborovy to enjoy the beach (like I did), those are the average tourists that stay in hotels or at families'.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The view on the bay from Jardin Damour ;-) Amborovy beach, nightlife
  • Cons:Heat, May soon become too crowded with holidaymakers
  • In a nutshell:Perfect for those who seek for heat, nightlife in those crowded dives
  • Intro Updated Jun 18, 2005
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