The highlands of central Madagascar – often called the Hauts Plateaux, although they are mostly anything but flat – stretch from north of Antananarivo far towards the south of the island. The region, which ranges in altitude from 800m to more than 2000m above sea level, includes dramatic granite mountain ranges, lava ridges and outcrops. While there’s very little indigenous natural forest left, the human landscape is captivatingly beautiful, with deep valleys filled for hundreds of years by terraced rice fields and characteristic rows of traditionally built houses, and the interest never wanes as you travel through the region.
Covered in this section are the most compelling parts of the island’s centre: the busy provincial agricultural town of Antsirabe; the historical city of Fianarantsoa; the rainforest gem of the Parc National de Ranomafana; and the ring-tailed lemur reserve at Anja near Ambalavao – all of which can easily be reached along the RN7.
Top image: Fianarantsoa © Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock