After a series of step-like ridges on the winding descent from Antananarivo, you’ll reach the small town of MORAMANGA (“cheap mangoes”), which is the capital of the Bezanozano people, who live between the Betsimisaraka on the coast and the highland Merina. The closest transport hub and supply base for the Parc National d’Andasibe-Mantadia, the town is famous as the starting point of the insurrection against the French on March 29, 1947, when militants stormed a police camp with spears. A reprisal massacre of political activists left more than 100 dead. There’s a monument near the railway station commemorating their deaths, a mausoleum on the outskirts of town and a newly refurbished Police Museum at Tristani Police Camp, which is still mostly a collection of old weapons and odds and ends.

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