Mahajanga, Madagascar

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Mahajanga, Madagascar

Region: Mahajanga

Geographic Coordinates: -15.716700, 46.316700
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.
Population: 246022
Language: Malagasy

Mahajanga, Also known as Majunga, Is a coastal city located in the northwest region of Madagascar. It is the capital of the Boeny region and is situated at the mouth of the Betsiboka River. The city has a population of approximately 220, 000 people and is one of Madagascar’s largest cities. Mahajanga boasts stunning beaches with crystal clear waters making it an ideal destination for tourists seeking to relax and unwind. The most popular beach in Mahajanga is Plage de Grand Pavois which offers visitors a range of water activities such as snorkeling, Diving, Surfing and jet-skiing.

Another popular attraction in Mahajanga is Cirque Rouge which features unique red sandstone formations that are over 200 million years old. The city has a rich cultural heritage which can be seen in its architecture, Cuisine and music. The traditional Malagasy houses made from wood and thatch roofs are still visible in some parts of Mahajanga while modern buildings have been constructed to cater to tourism needs. The local cuisine consists mainly of seafood dishes such as grilled fish served with rice or cassava leaves.

One must visit Baobab Alley when visiting Mahajanga; it’s an avenue lined with towering baobab trees that are over 800 years old! This alley provides visitors with breathtaking views during sunrise or sunset making it one of the most photographed places on earth. Visitors can also explore Ankarafantsika National Park which covers an area over 1350 square kilometers providing shelter for various species including lemurs (Madagascar’s iconic primate), Birds like couas and raptors along with reptiles like chameleons.

For history buffs interested in colonial architecture, There are several historical sites to visit including Fort Manda built by French colonialists during their occupation period between 1895-1960s along with other historic monuments dotted around town showcasing French influence. Mahajanga is a city that offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, Cultural heritage and adventure. Its stunning beaches, Red sandstone formations and baobab trees make it an ideal destination for nature lovers while its rich history and architecture attract those with an interest in culture and colonialism.

With so much to see and do, Mahajanga is definitely worth a visit when travelling to Madagascar!

Important Landmarks

  1. Avenue of the Baobabs
  2. Cirque Rouge
  3. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
  4. Nosy Be Island
  5. Ankarafantsika National Park
  6. The Sacred Tree of Mahajanga
  7. Grand Pavois Beach
  8. Antsanitia Resort Beach
  9. Amborovy Beach
  10. Jardin d’Amour (Garden of Love)

Primary Industries

  1. The city of Mahajanga, located in Madagascar, is home to a variety of industries and businesses.
  2. These include:
    • Fishing
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Textile production
    • Retail trade
    • Transportation services
    • Manufacturing units
    • Mining sites
  3. The city’s coastal location makes fishing a major industry here while the fertile land supports agriculture including rice, cassava and vegetables.
  4. Tourism is also an important industry with its beautiful beaches attracting visitors from around the world.
  5. Textile mills produce cotton fabrics while small manufacturing units make items such as soap and candles.
  6. The city’s bustling market offers fresh produce and handicrafts for sale.
  7. Mahajanga serves as an important transportation hub with a port and airport serving both domestic and international destinations.
  8. With growing urbanisation comes demand for construction materials like cement blocks providing employment opportunities to local people along with the mining industry which extracts minerals like gold from nearby sites.

Noteable History

  1. The arrival of Arab traders in the 10th century who established a trading post in Mahajanga.
  2. The arrival of Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias in 1500 who named the area São Lourenço after Saint Lawrence.
  3. The establishment of French colonial rule in Madagascar in 1896 which saw Mahajanga become an important commercial center for French traders.
  4. Mahajanga played a significant role during World War II as it served as a strategic base for Allied forces fighting against Japanese troops stationed on nearby islands.
  5. Philibert Tsiranana, a Malagasy politician, is associated with Mahajanga and served as the country’s first president from 1959 to 1972.
  6. Dama from Tsingy, a singer and songwriter known for his fusion of traditional Malagasy music with modern styles like jazz and rock is also associated with Mahajanga.
  7. Additionally, the city is home to several important cultural sites such as the Palace of Boina (a former royal residence), Andranomena (an ancient burial site), and Anjohibe Cave (known for its prehistoric rock art).

Museums and Things To See

  1. The Sacred Tree of Mahajanga
  2. The Musée de la Marine
  3. The Jardin d’Amour
  4. The Cirque Rouge (Red Circus)
  5. The Baobab Alley in the nearby town of Morondava
  6. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  7. Ankarafantsika National Park
  8. Antsanitia Beach
  9. Andranomena Special Reserve
  10. Mahavavy-Kinkony Wetland Reserve

Cultural Events

  1. Donia Festival: This is a major cultural event in Mahajanga that takes place every year in July. It is a celebration of the city’s culture and traditions, featuring music, dance, food and crafts.
  2. Independence Day: Madagascar celebrates its independence from France on June 26th every year. Mahajanga joins in the celebrations with parades, flag-raising ceremonies and other patriotic events.
  3. Fête de la Mer: This festival takes place in August and celebrates the sea and its importance to the people of Mahajanga. There are boat races, fishing competitions, seafood feasts and traditional dances.
  4. Tsingy Festival: The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is located near Mahajanga and is home to unique rock formations known as tsingy. The park hosts an annual festival celebrating these formations with guided tours and cultural performances.
  5. Malagasy New Year: Malagasy people celebrate their new year on March 21st with traditional rituals such as family gatherings, feasts, dancing, singing and gift-giving.
  6. Eid al-Fitr: As a predominantly Muslim city in Madagascar (about 50%), Mahajanga celebrates Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan with prayers at mosques followed by feasting at home or communal meals.
  7. Christmas: Like many parts of Madagascar influenced by Christianity (about 41%), Christmas is celebrated on December 25th with church services followed by family gatherings for meals or parties featuring music performances or fireworks displays.
  8. Madagascar International Kite Festival: This annual event usually takes place around September/October timeframe where kite enthusiasts gather here to showcase their kites flying skills while enjoying local food delicacies along beautiful beaches of this coastal town.


  • La Belle Vue – a seafood restaurant with a beautiful view of the sea.
  • Chez Nono – serves traditional Malagasy cuisine such as romazava (beef stew) and ravitoto (pork with cassava leaves).
  • Le Bistrot Gourmand – offers French-Malagasy fusion cuisine.
  • Le Bon Coin – known for its grilled seafood and meat dishes.
  • La Terrasse de l’Océan- serves fresh seafood caught from the nearby waters.
  • L’Orchidée Blanche – offers a mix of international and Malagasy dishes in a cozy atmosphere.

Some popular local dishes to try include:

  • Ravitoto sy henakisoa (pork with cassava leaves)
  • Romazava (beef stew)
  • Koba akondro (sweet banana cake)
  • Mofo gasy (Malagasy-style fried doughnuts)

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Avenue of the Baobabs
    2. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
    3. Ankarafantsika National Park
    4. Cirque Rouge
    5. Mahavavy River Safari
    6. Sacred Lake of Mangatsa
    7. Antsanitia Beach
    8. Amborovy Beach
    9. Mahajanga market
    10. Crocodile Farm and Reptile Park


    Experience The Extraordinary.

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