Located in the Golf of Mozambique, in western Madagascar, Majunga or Mahajanga has for emblem a large baobab tree and three turtles. A stay in this beautiful city will allow you to discover an impressive cultural wealth and a preserved landscape. “The City of Flowers” is an exotic destination to discover during your stay in western Madagascar.
The city of Majunga, as we know it today, was created during the seventeenth century. It was founded by the Antaloatry, people with a mix of Arab and African origins. The Arabs have always regarded it as a city of flowers. It was even a royal city before colonization, around the nineteenth century. According to legends, to choose his capital, Andrimandisoarivo (the brother of the king of Menabe) put his little daughter in a canoe and let the wind direct it. It is said that the canoe drifted on the city’s current location, which then became the capital of the Sakalava Kingdom.
The Merina and French conquerors
The king Radama I, Andrianampoinerina’s son, set out to conquer Boina at the beginning of the 19th century, forcing the Indians and Comorians to leave the region. Mahajanga experienced a real development from 1740, with the arrival of the leaders of the Sakalava Kingdom. The African coastline, along with the Middle East, chose it as a place of exchange with the Big Island. It was only in 1883 that the French landed in the city, planning to occupy the whole island militarily.
A cosmopolitan city
Today, the city reveals a magnificent cultural kaleidoscope, mixing Sakalava, Tsimihety, Arab, Chinese, Indian and European influences. It is a cosmopolitan city that continues to arouse the curiosity of tourists, not only for the beauty of its beaches, but also for the flavor of its dishes, the color of its landscape, its lush vegetation, its climate and especially the generosity of its inhabitants. The remains of 18th century Arab counters and colonial-style houses are still visible in the city.
The beaches are perfect for idleness, especially that of Amborovy which stands out for its beauty. Here, holiday bungalows mix with traditional houses. The Cirque Rouge is one of the most beautiful places not to be missed in the region; a nature masterwork! This canyon was shaped by wind and water. With a red ochre background, it offers you a moment of serenity and calm.
Lake and waterfalls
A great number of unique natural sites are also to be discovered around the city. Lake Mangatsa is about 18 km away from the city. According to local beliefs, the fish that live there are sacred and can make people’s wishes come true. Anjohibe Caves are a little further north, where you can enjoy a natural swimming pool, a magnificent waterfall and the impressive Mafanina waterfall. Some Propithecus Verreaux Coquereli species live around the site.
Other activities to do
- Visit Ankarafantsika, Baly Bay and Namoroka Tsingy National Parks
- Enjoy a beautiful walk through the historic center and admire the beauty of colonial architecture
- Make a wish to the sacred lake of Mangatsa
- Visit the Bazaar Be and Tsaramandroso markets
- Attend a Moraingy show or cock fights