The Red Island of Africa


January 16-17

Again, almost entire day spent on the road. The whole trip is a challenge not only for the old man Tractor, but also for the travelers, which it carries. Roads in very poor conditions, mud, rain, and dust, and the heat are a test for all of us.

Three Rickshaws::Antsirabe, Madagascar::
Three Rickshaws
In Front of Hôtel des Thermes::Antsirabe, Madagascar::
In Front of Hôtel des Thermes
Madagascar's Capital::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Madagascar's Capital
Lokanga Hotel::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Lokanga Hotel

On the way, we stopped in Antsirabe for a few moments, but it was not any special place. Two hours before Tana, we were caught in a heavy rain, which lasted until the next morning. These were the remnants of a tropical storm Chedza. Fortunately, this storm passed with the full force the day before. In the evening, we reached the Lokanga Boutique Hotel at the Royal Hill. This hotel was probably the nineteenth century building filled with many antiques. It was a wonderful place of refuge from the bustle of the crowded city. Lokanga has a tremendous view of the entire city. We decided to spend here our last two days in Madagascar.

Our Team::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Our Team
Taxi Driver::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Taxi Driver
Old Citroën::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Old Citroën

Tana (Antananarivo) is a very densely populated, typical third-world city. Traffic jams, air pollution, heat, dust, piles of garbage, bad smells, and people begging at almost every intersection are the attractions a traveler can always count on.

2CV::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Roof Rack::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Roof Rack
Pile of Garbage::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Pile of Garbage

As a rule, I tried to avoid such places, but this time we had no choice. This was because we needed a "spare" day before flying out of Madagascar. We planned that way in the case of any unforeseen difficulties. Because of its age, anything could happen to our Tractor. Bad weather was also an unpredictable factor. This is why we wanted to be near the airport the day before. Fortunately, everything worked out in our favor, and without any major problems. Having additional free time while staying in Tana we decided to learn more of Madagascar’s history.

Rova Main Gate::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Rova Main Gate
Passage to Queen's Palace::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Passage to Queen's Palace
Royal Chapel Back Door::Antananarivo, Madagascar::
Royal Chapel Back Door
Manjakamiadana::Antananarivo, Madagascar::

Royal compound of Antananarivo on the Royal Hill is commonly known as Queen’s Palace. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in fire in 1995. What we were able to see are mostly the reconstructed from the rubble buildings. The palace itself has no windows and is completely empty inside. Great view from the top of the hill was nothing new to us, because almost identical city skyline we had from windows of Lokanga hotel located next door.

© 2015 Maciej Swulinski