The surroundings of Mahajanga (Majunga) from the tourist point of view
The Cirque Rouge du Grand Pavois
One of the runways that RN AP-54 to the airport and the beautiful beach of Amborovy extended towards the sea, leads to Cirque Rouge and its lunar landscape.
The eroded walls of this natural amphitheater display the full range of reds to compose a particularly stunning image in the light of the setting sun.
The Cirque Rouge du Grand Pavois, classified as a national natural heritage and now protected, is located ½ hour from the city center.
As a result of intense erosion of alternative sandstone layers with several colors (pastel green and pink, ocher, light yellow and sanguine), this place presents fantastic lunar landscapes, especially at sunset.
Fairytale chimneys, silicified forests, springs and with Ravenala palms (Ravenala madagascariensis) overgrown shoals complete the spectacle of this natural amphitheater that contains sacred and precious places (medicinal plants).
6 thematic tours (landscapes and views, fauna and flora...).
Access by car, but also by bus and cab or even on foot (12 km from the city center).
Visit is recommended in the afternoon.
This small body of water, hidden among bast and other palms, 12 km northeast of Amborovy, is a sacred place, as indicated by the red, white and black cotton ribbons tied around the tree trunks.
It is "fady" - forbidden - to pollute the lake and fish in it, because according to tradition, some of the fish it harbors are reincarnations of the royal ancestors of Boina. The locals come and ask them to fulfill a wish by throwing coins and bread crumbs at them.
The turquoise and translucent waters of this small lake, bordered by weeping willows, give it a magical aspect.
Impressive carp and eels, which are the souls of the old Sakalava kings carry, animate this natural aquarium in which the roots of sacred trees, adorned with scarlet or immaculate fabrics, zebu skulls and other devotional objects. Place of worship and offerings.
30 minutes from Mahajanga airport. Accessible all year round. Several visits, including that of the Philibert TSIRANANA Museum. Ideal picnic area.
On the banks of the Mangatsa River find regularly Tromba ceremonies (cult of possession) takes place.
The Anjohibe Caves
This rocky site, also Zohin'Andranoboka called, 80 km northeast of Mahajanga, is served by a rough seasonal runway, 22 km from the city near the Marohogo forest station flows into the RN 4.
Access is via a trail that passes through savannah and cashew nut plantations.
The Anjohibe location combines a variety of tourist attractions that deserve to stay at least one night (campsites on site).
The caves represent a network of spaces that communicate with each other for several kilometers: numerous limestone concretions that form imposing stalactites and stalagmites that can reach 10 meters high. The most important speleological site in Madagascar.
The Lake from Andranojoby is a real natural swimming pool. Downstream waterfalls offer a height difference of 20 m. A small adjacent forest is populated by lemurs, which are easy to observe (Coquerel's Sifaka).
A tour leads from the site through the Mahajamba bay (huge mangrove forests and their Avifauna, traditional activities in the villages ...) to the bridge of the Sofia River on the RN6 (20 km from Port-Bergé removed): for those who want to continue their discovery of Madagascar through the northernmost regions.
Accessible from April to November in 4 x 4 (63 km of a route that includes 20 km of asphalt road from the town of Mahajanga from precede).
Numerous guided tours: Pirogue rides, caves, mangroves, villages....
This labyrinth of galleries and subterranean chambers, which is located under the Mahabo limestone plateau near the Mahajamba bay runs, is one of the most spectacular of the Big Island. The longest corridor is 5 km long and the chambers, true forests of stalactites and stalagmites, are 10-15 m high.
You can go up an underground river and swim in a large natural pool. It is advisable to be accompanied by a guide or use the services of a tour operator.
The fishing village Katsepy and the lighthouse
The small Fishing village Katsepy is located in the northwest of Majunga, at the mouth of the Mozambique Channel and the Betsiboka Riverand it is a pleasant place for excursions.
Crossing the mouth of the Betsiboka River is by ferry, speedboat or pirogue and takes between 30 minutes and an hour.
Visit the lighthouse (magnificent panorama), the Blue Circus, the heavenly mines of Sankoany (13 km south of Katsepy) and ... lazing on the beach. You can also rent a motorboat through the tourist office (foresee the crossing and guide fees); the motorboat can take you directly to the lighthouse or to the village of Katsepy.
When you are at the Katsepy Lighthouse disembark, you can visit the Cirque Bleu, a circus of natural erosion from the Quaternary period.
On the walls you can find different sedimentary layers with colors (more than 18!) ranging from white to purple to red ocher and over purple or green. You will also be able to admire quite well preserved fairy chimneys.
The morning continues in the direction of the lighthouse.
Do not forget to bring sunscreen, because even in the southern winter the sun is strong and early. The climb to the lighthouse is relatively difficult because of the heat.
Before visiting the lighthouse, you can take a walk in the forest, where you will meet 3 species of lemurs: the crowned sifakas (found only in the Boeny region), the Mongoz lemurs and the Fulvus lemurs.
The Katsepy Eiffel Lighthouse was built at the beginning of the 20th century by French engineers. It was completely repainted in 2013 and is still in operation.
After climbing 174 steps, you will be 30 meters high and enjoy an exceptional panoramic view of the mouth of the Betsiboka River.
The most attentive observer will notice a grave at the foot of the lighthouse, it is the burial place of the daughter of the engineer who was responsible for the construction of the lighthouse.