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a large region of the island of Madagascar
This eastern section of the country is traversed by a continuous mountain range running northeast to southwest and peaking around 100km in from the coast. These mountains define the weather and ecology of the country, with a humid tropical climate to the east and a dry cooler climate in the central highlands to the west. On the high peaks themselves are the remnants of the rich tropical forests which once covered much of these lands.
Most of the best agricultural land is to be found to the west of this range, which is why the French colonists took pains to drive two separate railways up from the coast, one to the capital Antananarivo
, the other to the more southerly town of Fianarantsoa
Most visitors to Madagascar find themselves having to pass through the capital Antananarivo
on multiple occasions during a trip, often having to overnight each time, which is a pain.
The next most commonly visited areas are the mountainous lemur reserves around the rail-stop settlement of Andasibe
, around 4 hours by road east from the capital along the RN2. It is possible to continue east down to the coast at Toamasina
and on to the tropical island of Nosy Boraha