Manakara, the ideal destination on the Indian Ocean
Madagascar is a wonderful island with a magnificent landscape that it offers to the rest of the world. This large island is rich in a variety of magnificent cities, including. Manakara. The latter is the economic and administrative capital of the Vatovavy-Fitovinany region and belongs to the province of Fianarantsoa. It attracts people by the beauty of its landscape and the hospitality of the locals of this region. You will surely enjoy your visit to this part of the island.
Where is Manakara located?
Manakara is located on the southeast coast of Madagascar, near the mouth of the river of the same name. It is from Canal des Pangalanes and has a small port built in 1936 during the colonial period. Its municipality covers 31,756 km², half of which is already urbanized. It has about 40,000 inhabitants, the people of the area are the Antaimoro. Manakara is the end point of the FCE Railway or Fianarantsoa east coast, about 158 km long. It is connected to Fianarantsoa by this railroad and the train journey takes at least 12 hours. A true coastal city, annual temperatures in this region are around 27°C. The ideal time to visit is in June, July, August and September.
How do I get there?
When you are using from Antananarivo, the capital, you have to travel 570 km. The trip by car takes about 12 hours for a direct drive. Driving at night is strongly discouraged due to unsafe road conditions. It is better to leave the capital in the morning and arrive in Manakara in the early evening. You can also make a stopover in Fianarantsoa and spend the night there to set off early the next morning. Alternatively, a stopover in Ranomafana another option. For two-wheelers, it would be ideal to ride a motorcycle alone or in a group. You will take part in a fascinating and adventurous expedition, a trip you will not soon forget.
What you will find on the way
The RN7 is an asphalt road that facilitates travel. But you will notice that it is already in poor condition, especially from Antsirabe to Alakamisy-Ambohimaha. However, this does not prevent anyone from venturing there.
This national road offers a magnificent view of the landscape. Rice fields, mountains, zebus, mud houses... will surely fascinate you. On the side of the road you will also find vendors of Malagasy handicrafts such as various musical instruments, sculptures in different sizes, wooden toys, raffia bags and hats and much more. Vendors of fruits and vegetables grown entirely organically also hold their small stalls between Ambatolampy and Antsirabe and after the bridge over the Faraony River in the east where there are local-endemic tropical fruits all year round.
The journey to Manakara alone allows for an incredible discovery of Madagascar's culture. Motorcyclists especially appreciate this RN7, which offers interesting curves. The motorcycle tour is highly recommended because it gives a feeling of total freedom and much more adrenaline, in short, an adventure not to be missed.
From the turnoff to Ranomafana before Fianarantsoa, the road has many curves and the landscape changes completely. Dense forests, people with a completely different accent are on the way. If you are lucky, you may encounter a rare species of animal, as this part of the island protects more than a hundred endangered species in Madagascar. A short stay, even if only one day is recommended in Ranomafana. Vendors of handicrafts and various fruits are on the site. Not to be missed: a relaxation in the famous heated swimming pool and hot springs of Ranomafana.
Manakara, a paradise city
Finally arrived in Manakara, it is a perfect place for those who seek peace and quiet. You not need warm clothes, the wind brought by the sea provides gentle waves of freshness. The warmth in the region provides a very satisfying well-being. You will have understood, this city is not polluted in any way.
On the spot you will be amazed by the beauty of the area surrounded by numerous Coconut palms lined beach will be surprised. However, the sea current is too strong to allow swimming, not to mention the sharks that can be found in the sea. But you can sunbathe by the sea while being caressed by the sea breeze.
In the city center you will find the market, some offices, the police station, the cybercafés, the Alliance française and the city hall. Hotels are also scattered throughout the city. Finally, the whole is embellished by the undeniable hospitality of the Antaimoro, the people of Manakara. You will appreciate this city, which is a pride of the Malagasy people.
Traffic in the city
There are very few cars in the city. Instead, residents use bicycles for their daily Purchases. That is why Manakara has been nicknamed "The City of Bicycles". Rickshaw pullers are also available to take you wherever you want to go. Thus, you can enjoy a pleasant ride and gradually discover this impressive civilization. If your goal is a quick and efficient visit, motorcycling is more efficient. The city is big enough, and you can make more discoveries if you ride faster. Since there are few cars, the streets are free and you can move freely.
Activities not to be missed
Several activities are open to you:
- A visit to the Antemoro paper mill, Malagasy handmade papers used to make postcards, parchments and letters.
- A small excursion aboard pirogues on the Pangalanes Channel.
- You can visit the famous "Trou du Commissaire", a completely safe beach where swimming is safe. There is also a small restaurant on site and you will also see a small village.
- A swim in the natural swimming pool.
- Several restaurants and nightclubs.