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Diego Suarez


... is located in the Northern region of Madagascar.

The town of Diego Suarez, also known as Antsiranana, is the fourth largest in the country. It is a blend of faded colonial outpost and bustling modern hub. Most international visitors don't stay in the town itself, but the best accommodation is probably the centrally located Grand Hotel Antsiranana.

The town sits on a very large inlet around which there are some modest beach resorts, but the more interesting coastline is on the eastern side where there is some excellent diving and kite-surfing. The best accommodation here is Babaomby Island Lodge.

Around 35km south of town lies the Montagne de l'Ambre national reserve, a volcanic massif shrouded in rich tropical forest. An excellent network of trails enables visitors to experience the impressive flora and fauna, with habituated populations of Sanford's brown lemurs and crowned lemurs. The best accommodation is at Le Domaine de Fontenay and The Litchi Tree, both in the nearby settlement of Joffreville.

Another 35km further south lies the Ankarana national reserve, a large limestone massif with some fine tsingy erosion platforms, surrounded and punctuated by deciduous forest, so a completely different flora. Some tough trails lead through dramatic rock formations to secret forests and lakes. A magical place. The best accommodation is at the excellent Iharana Bush Camp.

Often the best way to see the area is to fly into Diego Suarez and then overland southwest to end up a the beach lodges of the Nosy Be area.
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