Mahajanga Madagascar



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Description: Maevatanana is located in the central-north part of the island 150 km north of Tana, at the Ikopa River, and is connected by the national road RN 4 to Majunga. Due to its low altitude it is said to

Maevatanana is located in the central-north part of the island 150 km north of Tana, at the Ikopa River, and is connected by the national road RN 4 to Majunga. Due to its low altitude it is said to have recorded the highest temperatures in the country.

But it is not the hot temperatures which have made this small town of about 20,000 inhabitants famous throughout the country, but its former gold mines, which date already the 19th century. Official gold exploitation began with Queen Ranavalona I and it was so successful that government even planned to build a railway to link the town with the capital. The Tsaratanana mineral field extends on a 250 km area showing still significant mineral concentrations of gold, chrome and platinum. The nearby Betsiboka River has witnessed moderate levels alluvial mining activity for over one hundred years. Those visitors who do not get gold fever can opt for the less lucrative but surely not less thrilling activity of watching crocodiles from the river bank instead.

At the entrance to the city next to the service station visitors first see an old colonial-style building dating back to 1895. This is the resting place for more than 300 French soldiers of the colonial expeditionary force who died here as a result of a heavy fight with Malagasy combatants.

Gold seekers tend to come together on Suday at this market on the south of the city, where purchasers coming from Tana, but also the United States and Thailand negotiate on the sale of this precious metal.

This small village is renowned for the manufacture of raffia fabrics using special printing techniques that recall those of the Sunda Islands.

In the West of Maevatanana a bridge on the RN 4 crosses the red waters masses of the Betsiboka River at a place where some tumultuous rapids form. During the wet season foam usually reaches the bridge.




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