Antananarivo is the Gateway to Madagascar

Antananarivo, Madagascar served as the ruling monarchy’s center of power for 350 years. As a result, they built the royal palace complex (Rova) at highest point on the Hill of Analamanga. Antananarivo visitors who choose a hotel located on the hill of Analamanga will be ideally located. Therefore, the city destinations are within easy walking distance. Indeed, the Rova was originally built in the 17th century and we can visit the site today.

The Antananarivo pronunciation is not so difficult after you practice a few times. However, if the task is too daunting, just say “tana”. Everyone in Madagascar will understand what you are referring to.

Lokanga Boutique Hotel Hilltop Location

We stayed at the lovely Lokanga Boutique Hotel on the centrally located royal Hill of Analamanga. As a result, there was fantastic views overlooking the city. Additionally, Lokanga has a restaurant with outdoor dining that features the city views. The food and wine is also excellent here. Indeed, Lokanga Boutique Hotel is a luxury destination with colonial ambiance and all of the amenities.

Furthermore, taxi service is available from the hotel and the Lokanga staff speaks excellent English. Additionally, it is possible to walk to most sightseeing adventures. Indeed, Lokanga is located within easy walking distance of the Rova of Antananarivo. Due to the hilltop location it is also an easy downhill stroll to the Avenue de l’independence. However, it may be advisable to take a taxi back up the hill.

Photo Lokanga boutique hotel
Picture of the courtyard at Lokanga Boutique Hotel.
Sunset Photo Taken from Hill of Analamanga overlooking Antananarivo Madagascar
The Lokanga Hotel is located on the Hill of Analamanga and there are sweeping sunset views of the city from all the hotel suites.

The architecture and antique furnishings at Lokanga are nostalgic and speak of a bygone era. Lokanga was originally built in the 1930s and since then has been completely renovated. Fortunately, they took meticulous care in preserving the essence of the original construction.

Lokanga boutique Hotel
Photo of our suite at Lokanga Boutique Hotel.
Photo Hill of Analamanga in Antananarivo Madagascar
Avenue de l’independence is only a short stroll down this hill from the hotel.

Rova of Antananarivo

Our hotel was situated within a short distance from the Queen’s Palace. The palace is one of the top Antananarivo tourist attractions. It is well worth the time for a visit because it reflects centuries of monarch rule. Unfortunately, the palace was damaged in a fire in 1995 however, most of the restorations have been completed.

Photo Rova of Antananarivo
Photo taken from the hilltop grounds of the Rova.
Photo of Queen's Palace

Photo of the Rova
A military relic located on the grounds of the Queen’s Palace.

Antique French Taxis in Antananarivo

The Citroen 2cv Taxi is a ubiquitous antique French taxi that is found in Madagascar. Unfortunately, not all of them are in such good condition. After I had traveled in Madagascar for 2 months and upon returning to the Antananarivo airport we had to push start the Citroen 2cv Taxi. However, this only happened on one occasion!

Photo Citroen 2cv Taxi
The famous Citroen 2cv Taxi found throughout Antananarivo.

Gateway to Madagascar

Antananarivo is a great place to initially get accustomed to Madagascar. As a result, I was to spend 2 months traveling in the country including visits to the Isalo National Park and traveling extensively in Southern Madagascar. Additionally, the Lokanga Boutique Hotel is ideally located to explore “Tana”. Our next stop would be Anakao in SE Madagascar.

In conclusion, I highly recommend a visit to Madagascar in the near future.

Additional sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antananarivo
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rova_of_Antananarivo