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Antananarivo
or "Tana", is the capital of Madagascar.

Situated on the high plateau in the centre of the country, the town is spread across a collection of hills, punctuated by a number of lakes.

The old town is filled with impressive colonial architecture and is pleasantly sedate compared with the bustling lower town and surrounding suburbs.

Most visitors end up staying at least one night in the town, mainly in order to make flight connections and bearing in mind the prodigious unreliability of the Air Madagascar timetable.

If you are interested in taking in some of the local colour, then the best options are usually the small characterful guesthouses in and around the old town, including Hotel Sakamanga, La Varangue, Lokanga Boutique Hotel, Pavillion de l'Emyrne and Residence Lapasoa.

If you are simply wanting a convenient overnight, then it can be easier to stay out by the airport, which is around 12km to the northwest. Amongst the best options here are Au Bois Vert, Le Relais des Plateaux and Le Combava.

Depart by road south to Antsirabe or east to Andasibe.

Depart by plane north to Nosy Be, Diego Suarez or Nosy Boraha, west to Morondava or south to Fort Dauphin or Tulear.
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