We got in from Sambava and were met by our driver and headed back to Hotel Sol for our final night. We enjoyed our night in the hotel, with dinner followed by hot showers. We packed up for our flight the next day and just relaxed. The next morning, we headed out to explore Antananarivo before our flight to Mauritius. We headed up to the royal hill of Ambohimanga, which consists of the king’s and the queen’s palaces as well as a royal burial ground. The hill of Ambohimanga is also known as the Blue Hill and is the birthplace of the Merina kingdom and is one of 12 sacred hills in the area. Each hill was for a different queen. The smaller palace was for the king and the larger, more decorative palace was for the queen. In addition to the palace, there is a small pavilion, a pen for the sacred zebu, a sacrifice area, royal tombs, and two royal baths.
There were beautiful views of the Tana area from the Blue Hill, especially from the queen’s palace. After exploring the palaces, we stopped to get some cash from an ATM (three different attempts! Bring cash to Mada.), we went to a grocery store to stock up on goodies (i.e. coffee, rum, chocolate, etc.). The grocery store was in a mall, very modern. Then we headed to a traditional digue market to haggle and buy souvenirs. I’m not a huge fan of haggling, but I love my new straw bag. Then we headed to the airport and flew off to Mauritius!
(In case you’re curious, we booked our tour through African Safari Tours Holiday Vacations!)