Situated in the central highland region known as the Hauts Plateaux, the capital Antananarivo (known as Tana) was built in a commanding position atop a long ridge 1400m above sea level. Founded in 1610, it is the largest city in Madagascar with over two million inhabitants.
As Tana is the hub for international and domestic flights, most visitors will pass through at some point. It is an interesting city in its own right, with some excellent restaurants and hotels. Sites of interest include the shell of the old King’s palace (Rova), nearby Ambohimanga Royal Palace (a World Heritage Site), Tsarasaotra Lake (exceptional for birds), train station, artisanal market (great for crafts, fossils and minerals), Presidential palace and the main market, or zoma.