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Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)

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Antsiranana, situated in the extreme north of Madagascar, known as Diego Suarez until 1975 and still called Diego by many, is the capital of Madagascar's northernmost province.  It has one of the world's most beautiful deep-water harbours, complete with a photogenic sugarloaf mountain. Visitors usually love this city, which is probably the most French city on Madagascar. It has this colonial feel over it. This is the largest city of the north with a huge cosy market, a range of fine restaurants and some fantastic places and national parks to visit nearby. Diego is the perfect place to hang around and prepare for visiting the neighbourhood.


Diego Suarez is named after the two Portuguese explorers who “discovered Madagascar, is on the island’s northeastern end. Their names were Diego Diaz and Fernando Suarez who visited Madagascar in 1506. In 1885, the beginning of the French protectorate, the French Navy built a military base. The urban growth followed. In 1942, the Allies launched Operation Ironclad and landed forces at Courrier Bay and Ambararata Bay, just west of Diego Suarez. Hundreds of British soldiers fell in the Battle of Madagascar, most of them buried in the special British cemetery in the centre of town. The cemetery, with its rows of white gravestones, is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Until 1973, Antsiranana has served as a port to the French fleet of the Indian Ocean. The military awarded lapsed, the port has been transformed into a site of construction and naval repairs. It is one of the largest in the Indian Ocean. The importance of the port and relations with France explain the presence of one of the most developed shipyards in the Indian Ocean.

The legend of Libertalia is said to have its origin here. Libertatia is said to have consisted of a free enclave forged by pirates under the leadership of Captain James Misson in the late 1600s. It is described in the book A General History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson, an otherwise unknown individual who may have been a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe, though whether or not Libertatia actually existed is disputed and it seems that the whole story could be entirely fabricated.

Diego Suarez Bay

The bay of Diego Suarez, considered to be one of the most beautiful and largest in the worl, probably inspired the legend about the utopian Libertalia Republic   © David Darricau

The story and the legend say that: “Towards the end of the 17th century, a strange community settled in the Bay area and gave birth to the Libertalia Republic. Characters that were closely related to buccaneering: a French pirate named Misson, and a Roman priest, Angelo Caraccioli. They were both inspired by a utopian philosophy based on the freedom of men, religion and races. Libertalia thrived for a few years until the Malagasy, aroused by their chiefs that hardly understood this threat to their authority, attacked Libertalia by surprise and destroyed it”. 

What to see

The town is the gateway to Montagne d'Ambre and Ankarana national parks, and many visitors simply pass through Antsiranana, careless of its charms. Those with the time to linger and discover the decaying colonial architecture (the old covered market and the former Hotel de la Marine for seafarers are notable examples), the vibrant market and the wealth of crafts workshops will find Diego atmospheric and enjoyable. The old military quarter, north of Place Foch, occupies a peninsula and overlooks the port. A particular pleasure of walking around Diego is the unexpected variety of stunning views over the bay, seemingly around almost every corner.

Colonial buildings
The most successful example of colonial architecture is offered by the thread of colonnades of the rue Colbert, which ends in rue Richelieu. By turning left, one discovers an imposing colonial-style residence surrounded by ravenala trees. These are the current headquarters of a territorial administration.

The bay and the port
The Bay of Antsiranana is one of largest and most breathtakingly beautiful lagoons in the world. Shaped like a four-petalled flower with a narrow mouth at its eastern tip, it opens into the Indian Ocean. At the southern edge of the bay the so called Sugar Loaf is its fabulous landmark which one can easily photograph by the roadside when approaching the Emerald Sea.

What to see in the sorroundings of Antsiranana

  • Ramena Beach
Ramena beach
  Diego Bay from Ramena Beach  © MauritsV
A day trip to the nearby beach at Ramena is very recommendable. Ramena is a small village with a sandy uncrowded beach, which does not seem to have benefited much from the tourists excepting some hotels and restaurants on the spot. The beach is popular among aging vazahas aging with young Malagasy fee-washing girls.

You can reach the place by bush taxi from Diego. Taking a taxi is inexpensive too. It's a short but bumpy trip of about an hour. Right at the roadside, there are some clusters of baobabs. These are strange-looking trees that look upturned by a divine whim of some sort. Its branches look more like roots. Of the 8 species of these bizarre trees with branches that look more like roots, six are found ONLY in Madagascar. If you drive by taxi, tell your taxi driver to pull over. The pictures will be worth the stop.

Where to sleep in Ramena (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Phone: +261 20 82 908 52 
Mail: le5troppres@gmail.com
This small hotel has double rooms for 27 € and triple for 30 €, all rooms with private bath and hot water. In summer they offer sea trips with its own boat for 28 € including food and drink. It is the only hotel directly on the beach, so there is no better place to enjoy Ramena Beach. Good food and a nice atmosphere.

Badamera Café
Phone: + 261 032 07 773 50
Mail: badamera@hotmail.com
Here you can camp, stay at a bungalow or in a room with or without a private bathroom. It is a nice
place surrounded by a botanical garden ideal  to relax reading a book or to enjoy the nice atmosphere and buffet on Sundays for 9 € (with a traditional orchestra playing life music). Only 50 m. to the beach. English and German spoken. 
Price for two people from 8 to 24 €. 

Case en Falafy (Chez Bruno)
Phone: 0320267433
Mail: contact@case-en-falafy.com
Web: www.case-en-falafy.com
This is one of the best places in Ramena. Not only very well located, but with plenty of activities waiting for you. The bungalows are very clean and offer you a small terrace and hot water. A refreshing swimming pool and an excellent restaurant offering tasty food. Also lots of activities like diving and fishing.
Bungalows up to three people for 18 €, chalet for 5 people 28 € and for eight people 33 €

Chez Jeannette
In the centre of the town, close to the beach. It is a simple but very charming place, and you will only have to walk 50 meters to the beach!
Double rooms from 22,000 to 40,000 Ar

Villa Palm Beach
Phone: +261 (0)32 02 409 04
Mail: villapalmbeach@gmail.com
Cosy hotel with a warm atmosphere. Rooms have a private bathroom and sea view. There is also a room with air conditioning. At the entrance of the house you will find a small shop, you might find some nice surprises!
Double room from 18 to 24 €

  • Emerald sea

Emerald Bay is just one of 3 enclosed bays in Diego Suarez. It is round shaped, about 20 km in perimeter, shallow in the first few meters- hence the “emerald” appellation and just moderately deep at the centre to change the colour to turquoise and not blue black. The bay comprises several pristine and empty beaches with almost no tourist development (excepting the a few bed and breakfast cottages expatriate-owned huts). There are a lot of fishers willing to take tourists the bay. Ali (mobile: + 261 (0) 32 04 651 49) is a recommendable one.

  • The three bays

A series of beautiful turquoise bays, lined with long white beaches that bear fascinating names such as the Pigeons’ Bay, the Duns’Bay, the Sakalava Bay. In the latter, there are three islets but also the Hotel Club baie des Sakalava, a tourist resort with 1O bungalows in a bay open to the winds and big waves of the Indian Ocean that make this place one of the best surfing spots in Madagascar. You can get there by sea or by the road that leads to Ramena. A superb corner and very not much visited.

You can go to the Bay Dunes first, through Ramena (only with a 4x4). But visitors have to pass through the military zone and therefore be sure to pay some money to a corrupted guard. To avoid this, better access the bays through Sakalava. From there you can access the other bays via a bad track. Enjoy the very beautiful scenery with the emerald sea in the distance.

Baie de Sakalava
Phone: +261 20 82 921 52
Mail: informations@sakalava.com
Web: http://www.sakalava.com
13 new and beautiful bungalows set on a magnificent location. A perfect place to practice water sports suchs as kitesurf or windsurf or just to enjoy nature
Double bungalow between 37 and 55 €

Royal Sakalava
Phone: +261 20 82 926 36
royal@relais-normand.mg  royalbeachhotel@gmail.com
Web: http://www.royalsakalava.com
New hotel opened in 2008 offering 20 charming bungalows with private facilities and private terrace on a beautiful beach. The restaurant serves very good food. Watersports and nature trekkings are also the highlight here.
Double bungalow from 32 €, familiar 52 €

  • Cape Ambre

To get to the extreme northern tip of Madagascar, a 4x4 vehicle is essential. The easiest route (but the road is tough) is the one who passes by and Namakia and Antsahampano. Some taxis are committed to the bush village of Ambodimanga. The trail leading to the village of Antsisikala passes through a very picturesque limestone relief flanked by imposing baobabs.   The fifty kilometres journey takes approximately 4 our 5-hours. At the cape, the magnificent coast seems to have been shredded. From here you are 400 km of Dzaoudzi (Mayotte). You can try to stay overnight at somebody’s house, but bring your own water and food.

  • Windsor castle and Courier bay

At the rock formation known as 'Windsor Castle', you will find some tsingy and a variety of drought-resistant endemic plants. From the top (390 m), the panorama stretches from Montagne d'Ambre in the south to the remote Cap d'Ambre, the northern tip of Madagascar. Traces of the World War II fortifications are still visible. The access is by road until the junction of Antsahampano. Then follow a trail up to Ampasindava, a small coastal village located at the southern end of the Courier bay, where the beaches are succeeding on a dozen kilometres.

  • Montagne des Français
Montagne des Francais
Almost equidistant between Ramena and Diego is the Montagne des Français.
The Montagne des Français Reserve is a dramatic massif lying just across the bay from Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) and adjacent to the popular tourist site of Ramena Beach consisting principally of dry deciduous forest. The Massif covers an area of around 5,000 hectares and ranges in elevation from 100 to 400 meters. Its tortured relief is formed by various rock types, including tertiary limestone and sandstones.  
Montagne de Francais is a popular spot for climbers

The are is part of the larger Ramena protected area complex which also includes Orangea Reserve and the Ambodivahibe Marine Reserve. These three protected areas are currently being created and will be designated in 2008. The ascent offers superb views over the bay, and the prospect of good birding and sightings of Sanford's brown lemurs. There is a French fort and the only (non-rockclimbing) ascent possible are through dug-out worm hole tunnels which could be used to ambush enemy troops. Visitors can explore the canyon area and some caves.The cliffs and caves attract rock climbers. The site includes 180 channels ranging from 3 to 7c on 12 sectors, with very different grades of difficulty. Best climbing time is from June to November.

  • Nosy Hara

The Nosy Hara Archipelago is a group of about 12 islands which is now involved in ac onservation project to protect marine resources from unsustainable exploitation. The unique combination of fossil coral cliffs, jagged peaks, remote locality, and proximity to rich fishing grounds provided ideal habitat for Madagascar’s largest extant bird, the endangered and endemic Madagascar fish-eagle. Nearly as large as North America’s bald eagle, Madagascar’s cousin exhibits a white tail and pale head, but it is much more rare. The estimated population now stands at around 300 birds.

  • Jungle Park

Jungle Parks is another reason to visit this area. This brand new natural camp is focused on sustainable eco-tourism and development of the local communities, which participate actively in the project.
The camp is situated in the natural park of Ambohitra Antsingy, not far from the Montagne des Francais. It offers a wide number of activities to explore and enjoy this beautiful area, like trekking and trails, climbing, speleology or bird watching. 
The bungalows, all of them built with natural materials, are welcoming and comfortable. Some of them, and this is the highlight of this place, are real tree-houses, built on huge tress a stand a couple of meters above the ground. These cute bungalows are also very comfortable and the in the biggest one can sleep up to four people.
Apart from the touristic use of the camp, it also serves as an information and educational centre for the local communities.

You can find more information under: www.jungle-park-nature.com

Where to sleep (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Budget |   Middle-class  |  High-end  |   On the road to Diego

Budget accommodations

Etoile du nord
Rue Villaret Joyeuse
Phone: +261 20 82 218 44
Located in the popular Tanambao district. All the rooms are equipped with private bath, hot water and TV.
Room with fan between 15 and 20 €, with AC 27 € (breakfast included)

Hotel Belle Vue (Chez Layec)
Francois de Mahy 35
Phone: +261 20 82 210 21
Mail: hbellevueds@gmail.com
Just behind the Jardin Exotique. Standard rooms with private or shared toilets with hot water from 22,000 to 45,000 Ar. Lovely sea view from the restaurant. Often full, better book in advance.

La Rascasse
Rue Surcouf
Phone: +261 82 2233 64
Mail: sglveni@moov.mg
Rather unimpressive hotel. All rooms are equipped with TV, fridge and safe. The new terrace over the street gives a nice colorful impression.
Rooms with fan 22,000 Ar
Rooms with AC from 37,000 Ar

Les Arcades
Avenue Lally-Tollendal 3 (At the south of Foch square)
Phone: +261 /20 82 231 04
Mail: arcades@blueline.mg
Reasonably priced, original decoration. Charming dinner room with terrace. Average cuisine. Very fast internet connection!
Room with cold water at 21,000 Ar, with hot water and safe from 24,000 Ar, with hot water, safe, AC from 39,000 Ar

Le paradis du nord
Avenue Villaret Joyeuse
Phone/Fax: +261 82 214 05 / 032 04 859 64
Mail: paradisdunord@moov.mg
Web: www.leparadisdunord-diego.com
Ten comfortable rooms at competitive prices, each one with phone, AC and TV. The owner Eric also offers excursions to the different tourist places with a 4x4.
Double rooms 33,000 Ar
Family room 40,000 Ar

O.N.G. Nutrition and reboisement
Rue du Vengeur , In response to the Álliance francaise
Phone: +261 033 12 926 12
It has three rooms for trainees of this non-profit association, but also for travellers when there is enough room. Good atmosphere, warm and friendly.
Price for a double room from 22,000 to 52,000 Ar (shared toilets)

Suffren hotel
6, rue Suffren
Phone: +261 82 212 82
Nice home-stay, reasonably priced.
Price for double room: 20000 Ar

Middle class hotels

Bodega Cafe (former Chambre d`hotes le Flacourt)
Rue Colbert 5
Phone: +261  032 04 07 443
Web: www.madadecouverte.com/bodega
Old colonial house with one apartment fully equipped and three rooms each with fridge, private bath and fan. It offers breakfast service. The restaurant serves excellent French and Spanisch meals. nowhere else to find in Diego. Good choice!
Room for 20 €, apartment for 25 €

Central Hotel
Rue Lally Tollendal 5
Phone: + 261 20 82 240 25
Mail: chdiego@moov.mg
Web: http://central.hotel-diegosuarez.com
New hotel in the very centre of Antsiranana with 6 welcoming and very comfortable rooms and 4 studios with private faciltites, hot water, safe, satellite TV and AC. Good choice!
Double room between 28 and 32 €, studio from 35 € for 3 people

Hotel de la Poste
Rue du Manechal Joffre
Phone: +261 82 239 24
Web: http://www.diego-hoteldelaposte.com
80 rooms with charming furniture, mini bar, AC and satellite TV.
The airport transfers are included in the price. 4x4 rental with or without driver. Billiards, internet connection, room service. The restaurant offers regional and French dishes.
Double room from 38 €, suites from 52 € 

Hotel Emeraude
In the crossroad of Rue Rigault  with Rue Gauche.
Phone: +261 20 82 225 44 / 032 02 783 81
Mail: contact@hotelemeraude-diego.com
Web: www.hotelemeraude-diego.com
Attractive and small hotel with a very nice garden. The 18 rooms are equipped with all comfort and decorated with style. The airport transfer is included. There are some activities and excursions offered. The restaurant prepares one of the best meals of Diego. Reservation is recommended.
Double room 45 €, triple for 58 €, suite with salon and kitchen for two people 65 € and 73 for three people

Hotel Imperial
Rue Colbert 65
Phone: + 261 20 82 233 29
Mail: accueil@hotelimperial-diego.com
Web: www.hotelimperial-diego.com
Classic address in Diego, centrally located, 39 comfortable and functional rooms (perfect for groups), all of them equipped with safe, AC, mini bar and satellite TV. Airport transfers are included in the price.
Room for two guests 42 € to 50 €, 4 new panoramic suites for 83 €

Hotel le Colbert
Rue Colbert 51
Phone: +261 20 82 232 89
Mail: hlcdiego@moov.mg
Web: www.hlcdiego.com
Hotel with 34 spacious, comfortable rooms equipped with private bathroom, phone, safe, mini bar, AC and satellite TV. Excellent cuisine.
Double room from 42 € to 50 €, triple room 62 €

La belle aventure
Rue Freppel 13
Phone: +261 20 82 919 18
Mail: labelleaventure@moov.mg
Web:  www.labellaventure-diego.com

New hotel with 10 comfortable rooms with private bath, hot water and satellite TV, some with terrace with views over the sea. Transfers to airport are free, menu is good and inexpensive. Good quality-price  relationship!Double room between 24 and 34 €

La rosticceria
Rue Colbert 47
Phone: +261 20 82 236 22 / 032 07 096 10
Mail: larosticceria@moov.mg
Web: http://www.hotel-diego.com/
This small hotel has six rooms with a lovely small terrace. Familiar place. The restaurant is one of the best in town.
Price for room 30 €

La Terrase du Voyageur
Rue du Mozambique
Phone: +261 20 22 326 27
Mail: terrasseduvoyageur@moov.mg
Web: http://terrasseduvoyageur-hotel.com
Brand new hotel opened in 2009 with 26 welcoming and impeccable rooms with all comforts. The hotel offers an interesting cultural programm (live music, films), and thematic excursions around Diego Suarez. Good choice!
Double rooms from 28 to 38 € (fan/AC), triple rooms for 43 €

Le Balafomanga
Rue Louis Brunet 18
Phone: +261 20 82 228 94
All rooms are equipped with mini bar and satellite TV. It has a small swimming pool and a quiet terrace.
Room with fan 27 €, with AC 32 €

Le jardin Exotique
Phone/fax: +261 20 82 219 33
Mail: lejardinexotique@moov.mg
Web: www.hotel-diego-suarez.com
Charming small guesthouse with nine comfortable and cosy rooms with mini bar and satellite TV. Superb bay view from the terrace. Good choice!
Rooms from 28 € with fan to 32 €

Le mexicoco
Rue Francois de Mahy 1 (close to the jardin exotique)
Phone/Fax: +261 20 82 218 51 
Mail: contact@mexicoco-diego.com
Web: http://www.mexicoco-diego.com
four welcoming and comfortable rooms tastefully decorated with TV, AC and private terrace for 22 €. The atmosphere is familiar and peaceful. Good choice!

Le Petit Paradis
Quartier du Consulat
Phone: +261 (0)32 47 891 13
Mail: petit.paradis.diego@gmail.com
Web: www.petitparadis-hotel-diegosuarez.com
7 welcoming rooms with private bath, safe and free wi-fi. Rent of quads and motorbikes. 
Rooms between 20 and 30 €, apartment for 36 €

Le Village
Philibert Tsiranana Avenue
Phone: +261 (0)32 02 306 78
Mail: levillagediego@yahoo.fr
Web: www.levillage-diego.com
These bungalows have a living-room and can be equipped with kitchen. The complex has got a swimming-pool and a restaurant. It is located at the town's entry, about 15 minutes by foot or 5 minutes by taxi to the city centre. Quiet and comfortable location ideal for families with kids.
Price for a day from 22 to 29 €

sakalava bay Antsiranana
Sakalava bay by Diego  © MauritsV

High end accommodations

Rue Richelieu
Phone/Fax: +261 20 82 210 33  / 032 07 666 15
Web: www.hotels-diego.com
The only downtown hotel in Diego Suarez. Charming little hotel with 24 impeccable, welcoming and beautiful rooms with all comforts. The town centre is 5 minutes by car or 10 minutes on foot. Guests can take advantage of the many possible excursions offered in Diego and its surrounding area.
Rooms from 89 to 106 €

Le Grand Hotel
Rue Colbert 46
Phone:+261 20 82 230 63 / 82 225 94
Mail: grandhotel_diego@yahoo.fr
Web: www.grand-hotel-diego.com
Good location in the town centre. 66 rooms with international standard, all equipped with: individual safe, mini bar, telephone, AC, TV, WC and shower. The Restaurant is cosy and offers local and Indian Ocean products.
Room for 106 € and 4 suites for 175 €

On the road to Diego

Middle class hotels

Babaomby Island Lodge
Phone: +261 032 55 009 39
Mail: mailto:babaomby@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.babaomby.com
8 large and very comfortable tents by the sea on a great location, ideal for practicing wind- and kitesurf, diving and trekking. Good choice!
Price for one person  88 €, fro two 114 € (with full board)

Hotel L'Ile aux baobabs
Baie de Rigny, Ambolobozokely
Phone: +261 032 40 487 87
Web: www.normada.com/ileauxbaobabs/
Located in an isolated private beach, 1 hour from Diego Suarez, this hotel offers  3 very comfortable bungalows equipped with showers and toilets. Airport transfer service offered.
Double bungalows 43 €

Hotel Meva Plage
PK 13, Ankorikakely
Phone: +261 20 82 913 23
Mail: mevaplage@gmail.com
Web: http://www.mevaplagehotel.com/
8 charming bungalows direct by the sea on a private beach. All bungalows have a small    terrace and are equipped with all comforts. There is a pool and a good restaurant with sperb views over the bay.
Double bungalow for 54 €

King´s Lodge
Phone: +261 88 225 99
Web: www.kingdelapiste.de
Mail: infoking@moov.mg
The King's Lodge is a small hotel with an emphasis in a relaxed, family atmosphere. It sits at the foot of the French Mountain, 8 km from the city and the airport. All rooms offer an exquisite view of Diego-Suarez Bay and 'Sugar Loaf.
A transfer service allows you to visit Diego-Suarez at any time.
Room prices for one or two persons: 48 € per night (breakfast not included). 

Les cocotiers
Pk 13 route de Ramena
Phone: +261 032 02 386 73
Mail: hotelcocotiers@gmail.com
Web: www.lescocotiers-diego.com
A peaceful haven ten meters from the beach located in a coconut grove. The hotel offers 12 rooms including 6 bungalows with toilet, shower (hot water), sink, safe in all rooms.  There is a pool filled with seawater. Meals are based on local seafood and meat.
Double room 38 €, room for 4 guests 49 € (Full board 19 € and extra bed 10€)

Les Flibustiers
Phone: +261 (0)32 02 533 63 / +261 20 82 918 73
Mail: lesflibustiers.diego@yahoo.fr
Web: www.normada.com/flibustiers
Charming complex on the beach with a robinson feeling (it is actually the only isolated hotel on the Diego Bay). It is accesible by 1 hour boat drive from Diego (100,000 Ar return drive). Meal at 20,000 Ar. Energy is produced with solar panels and there are tours and water activities offered. Good choice!
Double bungalow for 43,000 Ar, family bungalow for 4 people 64,000 Ar

Phone: +261 82 225 99
Mail: infoking@moov.mg
Web: www.kingdelapiste.de
Situated on an exceptional lcoation 4 km outside from Diego-Suarez on the road to Ramena Beach. Transfer service to Diego and the airport at any time.
Each of the 12 air-conditioned bungalows has a full bathroom and shower, TV, safe and a private terrace.
Prices for one or two people 61 €

High end accommodations

La Note Bleue Hotel
Phone: +261 032 07 125 48
Mail: bleudiego@gmail.com
Web: www.diego-hotel.com
Exclusive lodge with 20 junior and 4 deluxe suites facing the famous Sugar Loaf. The town is 5 min ride. It has a large swimming pool, one Club Nautique, one club for big game fishing, one travel agency, one bar with snooker, a squash court and a restaurant.
Standard room for 129 €, 4 suites for 184 €

Where to eat on the way to Diego-Suarez

On the beach, good food and a nice atmosphere.

The administration of this restaurant changes often, therefore it’s difficult to judge its food. 

Where to eat

Good and cheap

Au Lotus
Chinese’s food to take way.

French pastry of Grand hotel
A meeting point to enjoy the street in the morning or afternoon. Very good pastries.

Close to the bus station of Ambilobe, rue de l'Ankarana. Not expensive.

La cantine
63, Rue Colbert
Phone: +261 032 40 336 39
Snacks bar, it offers burgers, fried chicken, brochette, juice fruits.

La  Vahine
Rue Colbert
This restaurant and snack bar remains open until very late in the night. The shared terrace is popular in the afternoon. The atmosphere is friendly. There is a nightclub in the basement.

Le Balafomaga
18, Rue Louis Brunet
Phone: +261 82 228 94
European and locale food (excellent foie gras) in a Malgache house , terrace with bamboo covert to sit.

Le Mexicoco
1, Rue Francois de Mathy. Closed to Foch square
Phone :+261 82 218 51
Good famiiar atmosphere. You can eat and also have a drink.

Le Mora Mora
In the corner of Rue Montcalm to Sylvain Roux
Creole and Malagasy specialities. It also offers comfortable rooms.

Le paradis des Fruits
16, Rue Surcout
Phone: +261 032 44 158 954
This Restaurant is a tee salon, who offers different vegetarian food and desserts.
The menu changes everyday.

Fixed menu, open 20 hours everyday, live music in a lovely open air patio. 
Rather for a drink and snacks.

Sant Diego Rock café
Avenue Tollendal
Phone: +261 82 219 88
Hamburgers, Crêpes, breakfast and milkshakes. It offers also pizzas until midnight.

Voki be
23, Rue Colbert
Phone: +261 032 04 138 97
Monday closed. A sandwich shop that also offers salads, dish of the day, fruit juice and kebabs of meat and crocodile.

Good Cuisine

Bistro Colbert
49, rue Colbert
Phone:+261 82 232 89
Located at the hotel with the same name, it is one of the best restaurants in Diego. There are also cocktails.

Da Ruggero  
Opposite of Camp Militare
Phone: + 261 032 04 802 77
Italian restaurant which offers a good traditional food

La Rosticceria
Rue Colbert
Comfortable restaurant which offers excellent Italian dishes; Mediterranean ambient and music.

La Campanina
Cité Bazeille, Boulevard Etienne
Phone : +261 82 238 74
Closed on tuesdays and wednesdays. It offers a wide selection of Pizzas, seafood and couscous.

L’ etincelle
Rue colbert, opposite of Grand Hotel
French cuisine

La Jonque
7, rue rigault
Phone +261 82 221 23
Upstairs from hotel Emeraude
Vietnamese  specialities, expensive but good food.

Le Nirvana
Phone +261 82 218 27
Behind hotel Maymoune
Very good Indian restaurant

Le Venilla
Rue Surcourf
Phone +261 82 229 25
Upper class and fine cuisine. Varied menu: seafood, filet of Zebu, lobster. A fantastic culinary experience.

Tsara be Vaovao
36 rue Colbert
Phone+261 032 04 940 97
Probably the best restaurant in the city.
Frisch vegetables lobster, a wine cellar. You can eat on the terrace.


Rue Colbert
Phone: +261 82 239 05

The most lively discos are located in the centre of the town and offer a Kwassa-Kwassa atmosphere all the night, like the Nouvel hotel in Rue Colbert.

On Friday evening, the place to be is Maxim, on the road to the airport.

Da ruggero is a quieter place. Every Saturday there is an open air disco.

La Taverne, in front of the Grand hotel, is also a popular place.

Foch and L’Almiral Coubert squares usually display popular salegy dances at the weekends.


The city, built around the bay, has a modern and well-kept appearance, but the impression one gets is  that the population is not very numerous. The area is famous for its fishing products and handicrafts made of zebu horn and sea turtle shells. Its handicraft men continue a long tradition and manage to create exquisite objects. The best handicraft shops are the ones that belong to Moussa Feno - the slope that extends from the Hotel de la Poste to the Customs office - and Patricia Bardu. A visit to the great market where a great many handicraft men, fishermen and farmers sell their products will give you a very animated picture of the economy of the province of Antsiranana.

There are many souvenir shops and jeweler’s everywhere.

Artisans house
44 rue Lally
There is a wide selection of the regional craftwork products such as wood carving, miniature boats, landscapes made of sand, precious stones etc. Fairly priced.

Francis “Captaine Vanille”
Phone: +261 030 40 155 81
You will find the best vanilla here. (www.capitainevanille.com,

Ino Vaoyao
69, Rue Colbert
Malagasy crafts, jewelry, rum, spices, postal card.
Euro and Visa are accepted.

Maki shop
Rue Lally Tollendal
Phone +261 032 07 040 01

Chez Badou
10 rue Colbert
Phone +261 82 212 59
Crafts and jewelry

Perle d´o
Avenue Lally Tollendal
Phone +261 032 02 551 10
Jewelry, leather

Boulevard Etienne
Phone +261 82 223 47
Malagasy Art gallery


You can travel direct with the bus from Antananarivo in the Place of 14 October.
The ticket is between 50000Ar and 70000Ar, the journey takes 3 days and 2 nights for the 1000km
There are also connections to Mahajanga and Nosy Be via Ambilobe.
To Ambibobe tariff is about 10000 Ar.
To Ambanja between 15000 Ar and 20000Ar

To Sambava between 30000 Ar and 40000Ar by truck (the hardazous journey takes 24 h if everything goes well.

If you want to travel by bus buy your ticket and make reservation for your place in advance.

For local transport there are yellow taxis for one day or half day for good price
and quality service. To reach Ramena you will be charged about 50000Ar return.

Practical guide


Rue Richelieu
Phone +261 82 211 83/89
Open from 7.30am to 11am and from 14.30 to 16
Western Union

On the corner Colbert and Flacourt
Phone: +261 828 22
Cash and visa card.
Open from 7.30am to 11am and from 14.30 to 16

On the corner of Avenue of France.
and street Colbert
Phone :+261 82 221 46 /293 72
Open from 7.30am to 11am and from 14.30 to 16

On the corner of Colbert and Richelieu
Phone : +261 82 231 81
Master Card accepted
Open from 7.30am to 11am and from 14.30 to 16


There are many phamacies in the street Colbert.

Centre hospitalier regional ( Regional hospital center)
Rue du Corail
Phone: +261 82 20 61 / 215 13
All day open

Dental practice
Phone: +261 8221465

Avenue de l`Independence
Phone : +261 82 214 65

Hospital Militaire
Boulevard Sakaramy
Phone: +261 82 227 03 /315 26


Main post office
In the Place Hotel de Ville

Phoneekom Malagasy
Boulevard Etienne, close to Post.

Cybercafe at the hotel Les Arcades, in the city centre
Price 60 Ar/min. Open until 22pm

Useful addresses

24 rue Colbert
Phone +261 82 210 31
Fax +261 82 237 08
Mail. afdiego@moov.mg

French consulat
Rue Benyowski
Phone/Fax: +261 82 213 39 or 82 210 43 / +261 82 293 54
Ppen from 8 am to 11 am

Police station
Phone: +261 82 223 90

Guided tours (local tours operators)

Cap Nord voyages
51 Rue Colbert
Phone: + 261 82 235 06.
Mail: cap.nord.voyages@moov.com
Web: www.cap-nord-voyages.com

Diego decouverte
7 rue du general de Gaulle
Phone: + 261 32 40 09187-
Mail: information@vtt-madagascar.com
Web: www.diegodecouverte.com 

Diego raid
Rue Colbert , beside Grand HoPhone
Phone +261 (0)32 40 00 175
Web: www.diegoraid.com
Mail: contact@diegoraid.com
Rentals of quads and 4x4 with guides.

Eugene Gaulam
Cites grand pavois n° 330
Phone: +261 032 02 691 06
Mail: goulamguide_ds@yahoo.fr
Specialist in chameleons and reptiles, you learn how to find the animals

Evasion sans frontìere
Phone: + 261 20 82 230 61
Mail: esf.diego@moov.mg  esf@netclub.mg
Web: http://www.mada-evasion.com

Le king de la piste
Boulevard Bazailles
Phone: + 261 82 225 99/030 04 908 10
Mail: infoking@moov.mg
Web: www.kingdelapiste.de

Le paradis du nord
Rue Villaret joyeuse
Phone/Fax: +261 20 82 214 05 / 032 07 075 86
Mail: paradisdunord@moov.mg
Web: www.leparadisdunord-diego.com

Mada Quad
9 rue colbert
Phone: +261 032 40 888 14
Web: www.madaquad.net
Mail: madaquad@gmail.com

New sea roc
26 rue colbert
Phone: +261 82 218 54/032 04 724 46
Web: www.newsearoc.com