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Row of trees near Ambatolampy
Home » Africa » Madagascar » Madagascar on a scooter | Part 2 | Antananarivo (Tana) – Antsirabe (175 km)

Madagascar on a scooter | Part 2 | Antananarivo (Tana) – Antsirabe (175 km)

Who dares to buy a second-hand scooter in the capital of Madagascar to buy? To travel more than 4.000 km over this enormous island? No one before me had ever come up with this idea. I just did it and discovered the real Madagascar. Travel with me to the Red Island and get to know the baobabs, lemurs, chameleons, snow-white beaches and above all the hospitable Malagasy: TONGA SOA. In this second part I tell a little more about the entire route and I ride the scooter from the capital Antananarivo on the Route National 7 to Antsirabe.

Also read:

The route of the scooter trip 2017 in Madagascar

Route scooter tour 2017 Madagascar
Route scooter tour 2017 Madagascar
  • RN 7 (Route National): The main road in Madagascar is the RN7 from Antananarivo to Tulear. This road is completely asphalted and has a length of almost 1.000 km. The road condition is generally fair to good.
  • RN 34/35: This road runs from Antsirabe to Malaimbandy (RN34) and on to Morondava (RN35). This road is asphalted.
  • RN25/RN11: This is a branch of the RN7 towards Ranomafana and Mananjary. Just before Mananjary this road turns into the RN 11.
  • RN12: The RN12 is a continuation of the RN25 and goes to Manakara.

The above roads are asphalted. The rest of the roads south of Antananarivo are usually sandy and very poorly maintained. For example, in the rainy season from November to April it is almost impossible to drive to Tsingy.

Last scooter check in Antananarivo

It is a quarter to eight when I report to the scooter dealer in Antananarivo for a final check. The installer gets to work right away. He fixes a blinker and pulls some wiring right. 'Bon voyage.'

Last scooter check in Antananarivo
Last scooter check in Antananarivo

More than an hour and a half later I finally leave the impossible traffic in the city behind me. It drives well on the by-pass road. I just have to watch out for passing trucks. As a precaution I stay close to the verge.

The by-pass road around Antananarivo
The by-pass road around Antananarivo

On to the first stop in Behenjy

How wonderful is it to ride a scooter through the undulating landscape of Madagascar? I don't have to ask anyone to stop. I determine that myself and I do it regularly. Like a beautiful mural in Tsiafahy. Or at an orange seller who stands along the road with her stall.

Also read: Round trip Madagascar | 6x must-sees for an unforgettable trip

Artistic mural in Tsiafahy
Artistic mural in Tsiafahy
Delicious oranges for sale in Tisafahy
Delicious oranges for sale in Tisafahy

Around two o'clock I arrive in the village of Behenjy. It's time for a refuel at the local 'gas station'. There are hardly any real gas stations in Madagascar outside the larger cities. For my scooter that can travel about 75 km on a tank, I have to rely on the local alternative. That alternative is a rack of plastic bottles filled with gasoline.

Just to be safe, I buy an extra one and a half liter bottle. Because you never know.

Refueling outside the big city in Madagascar
Refueling outside the big city in Madagascar

In the village I walk around all kinds of sights. For example, I notice that a cinema is located in a shed. There is a program board in front of the cinema. For the equivalent of 20 euro cents, I can choose from no fewer than four Hollywood blockbusters. What about Mad Max 4, the Expendables 2 with Sylvester Stallone and Apocalypto with Mel Gibson. It is that I have more than 100 kilometers to go.

Program board of the cinema in Behenjy
Program board of the cinema in Behenjy

And what about the TIERELIER? Or is this something else. The French word Tirelire means piggy bank or piggy bank. In Madagascar it is the name of the jackpot. And it stands at 63 million Ariary. A whole amount that unfortunately you have to divide by 4.000 to get the equivalent in Euros (15.750 euros).

The Tirelire or jackpot is at 63 million
The Tirelire or jackpot is at 63 million

Nicest stops on the way to Antsirabe

The better sculpture on the RN7
The better sculpture on the RN7

It is very special to see that the stalls along the road usually sell local products. For example, I drive through an area with only rabbits for sale. Elsewhere there are only racks with miniature vehicles made of wood.

Rabbits for sale on the RN7 towards Antsirabe
Rabbits for sale on the RN7 towards Antsirabe

Equally beautiful are the views that I have from the road on the undulating hills. Near the town of Ambatolampy I see a row of very remarkable trees. They have two or more 'canopies'. No idea what this tree species is called, but that will happen more often in Madagascar. Almost everything you see in terms of flora and fauna on this unique island is only found here.

A beautiful row of trees near Ambatolampy
A beautiful row of trees near Ambatolampy
On the way to Ambatolampy
On the way to Ambatolampy

By five o'clock I have covered more than 100 kilometers when I reach the village of Antanifotsy. Shortly afterwards I stop at a number of racks and stalls. They all sell miniature versions of the trucks and minibuses that drive past here every day. Including the logo of the local beer brewer and soft drink giant THB (Three Horses Beer).

Wooden miniature versions of the road users near Antanifotsy
Wooden miniature versions of the road users near Antanifotsy
Arrangement of miniature wooden versions of the road users near Antanifotsy

I make the last stop at six o'clock. Near the village ambohimandroso I marvel at the enthusiasm with which the local saleswomen shower the passengers in the taxi brousses. They loudly praise their potatoes, carrots and watermelons. By now I'm starting to get used to the rather long place names. Ambohimandroso is one of them, but certainly not the longest.

Fresh produce sales near Ambohimandroso
Fresh produce sales near Ambohimandroso
Spectators on the hill watching the saleswomen near Ambohimandroso
Spectators on the hill watching the saleswomen near Ambohimandroso

With my legs stiff and a growling stomach I pass under Antsirabe's welcome cloth. Tonga STI. Welcome. It is seven o'clock and an exciting ride is over.

Antsirabe, Ville d'Eaux
Antsirabe, Ville d'Eaux

Also read:

Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

What is it like to drive more than 10.000 kilometers in Madagascar on a locally bought scooter? Or on a pikipiki (scooter in Swahili) through East Africa? In more than 20 years I have visited more than 100 countries. This has resulted in a lot of priceless travel experiences, which I would like to share with you.

ERIC – OVER 100 COUNTRIES
– Currently in Kenya.
– Share unique travel experiences.
– Favorite destinations: Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, India and Colombia.

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

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