AMBILOBE is an important junction town with a lively market on the north bank of the Mahavavy River. It links the Tana–Diego axis with Madagascar’s northeast coast road at Vohemar via the terrible RN5A through Daraina.

Out of Ambilobe heading north on the RN6, the road is mostly in good condition as it skims across a flat plain. Then it climbs into hillier areas where the surface is much more damaged, and communities of rock-breakers line the road as you get towards Ankarana.

From Ambilobe south to Ankify, the RN6 is fast and mostly in reasonable condition. The route to Ankify no longer goes via Ambanja: a new road sprouts to the west, 7km north of Ambanja, and arrows straight through the cacao plantations, eventually becoming a causeway through the mangroves, before reaching Ankify port.

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