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Taolanaro Madagascar Cruise Port Guide


As ships are moored or anchored in this port, you will be tendered ashore.

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This town, also known as Fort Dauphin, is built on a small peninsula backed by mountains. It offers excellent beaches in a beautiful setting. There's not much in the town itself (a fort built in 1643 is no longer open to the public), but an excursion can be made to the Berenty Reserve (50 mi/80 km to the west-it has a museum and botanical and zoological gardens). The reserve is owned by the wealthy de Heaulme family and provides accommodations and food. Visits are only possible as part of an organized tour.

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Nearby Places:

Other excursions include visits to the ruins of an old Portuguese fort, Baie St. Luce (a beach with comparatively safe swimming). To the west is a large area of spiny forest. There are also interesting hiking routes in the hills overlooking the town.

Shopping and Food


The unit of money is the ariary. This unit preceded the French rule, and Malagasy franc notes had the value in ariary printed on them too (50000 francs = iray alina ariary = one million ariary). The ariary is worth about half a U.S. cent.

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The remarkable thing about Madagascar is that the entire island speaks one language: Malagasy, (pronounced 'Malagash' or even 'Malgash', not as the spelling suggests) an Austronesian language. Because the island is so large there are many different dialects. The Merina dialect is the "Official Malagasy" of the island and is spoken around highlands of Antananarivo. Most Madagascans, however, speak Merina across the island.

French is the second official language of Madagascar. The government and large corporations use French in everyday business, but 75-85% of Malagasies only have limited proficiency in this language. Madagascans assume that all foreigners are French speakers and therefore can speak several different phrases. Attempts by foreigners to learn and speak Malagasy are liked and even encouraged by the Malagasy people.

The third offical language is English, though very few people speak English. It became an offical language in 2007.

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