The Madagascar highlands’ (hautes plateaux) is an extensive area in the central region of the island, extending from Antsirabe south to past Fianarantsoa. Gently sloping hills intermingled with terraces and rice paddies, along with a few charming villages, form the main part of the highlands and therefore make it a very beautiful & rustic place to go for a Madagascar vacation. The central highlands temperatures are considerably cooler than anywhere else in Madagascar, and most of the year the skies are clear and the air is cool. The highlands are a great central base for your Madagascar vacation where you are able to explore the nearby regions for some fun day trips or even stay at the beginning (or the end) of your Madagascar vacation.
One of the most striking towns in the Madagascar highlands is Fianarantsoa, which is built on the slopes of a hill in a similar manner to Antananarivo – just much smaller. Some of the hotels in this town will arrange tours of the local wine farms should you wish to go wine-tasting; the closest vineyard is Lazan’I Betsileo, which is more or less 15 km north of Fianarantsoa.
Parc National de Ranomafana, also nearby Fianarantsoa, protects a large area of rainforest in the east, including many lemur species and the only known habitat of the golden bamboo and broad-nosed gentle lemurs. This area is also great for hiking during your Madagascar vacation and is also popular for great lemur sightings.
Then there is the old spa town of Antsirabe, situated 170 km to the south of Tana. The name “Antsirabe” means “place of much salt” and relaxing thermal baths can be enjoyed during your Madagascar vacation in this town. The Star Brewery is also situated in Antsirabe; this brewery manufactures the ever-present THB (Three Horses Beer).
There is plenty more to explore in the Madagascar highlands, including walks among the various Zafimaniry villages and watching highly-skilled woodcarvers at work, while enjoying the experience of rural village life. This region is more suited for a relaxed Madagascar vacation spent on long discovery walks, shopping in the quaint villages and spotting lemurs on day trips. If you would like a unique Madagascar vacation then you should consider the central highlights, however, if you are looking for something more specific like a Madagascar beach holiday then chat to us – we can tailor make your dream holiday for you anywhere in Madagascar.
Discover more about the places in central highlands: