Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital, is not only full of life, but also full of markets. One of those is the handcrafts‘ market Andravoahangy on Route Digue, located few kilometres from Ivato airport. Hundred of artisans merged together here to the biggest handcrafts’ market of the country, which offers really everything the heart could wish for.
Boothes side by side make a length of more than one kilometre, and in each you can buy countless things. The small huts are numbered serially, so you’ll find your favourite easily again if visiting twice. Besides lots of other things, you can get here statues made from tropical wood*, wooden boxes and tableaus with inlaid works, wooden carvings, precious stones*, numerous decoration articles made of metal, Antemoro paper, wooden masks, raffia bags, raffia placemats and figurines, spices, small dinky cars made of old cans, magnets, key rings made of wood, recycled cans or raffia, dishes, wooly and spider silk scarfs, hand-painted images on canvas, t-shirts and Lambas…
All the stuff is made in Madagascar, and most is even hand-made. Please better go without shells, plants or stuffed animals due to species conservation reasons, especially since those articles are going to be confiscated by customs at the airport. As well be suspicious about very old looking stone figures and zebu horn decoration: Some of those are taken from Mahafaly gravesites in southern Madagascar – which is absolutely fady (taboo). Indeed some families nowadays sell funerary goods, but usually against their will, just because they somehow need to care for their big families. For the products marked with an * you need export certificates or at least an aquittance, for which you should ask right before buying the articles.
Principally, you are expected to bargain and haggle over all prices. You’re welcome to bargain untiringly with the vendors, but please always stay fair!
The handcrafts’ market is open each day from around 8.30 a.m. to 5 o’clock p.m., and is always worth a visit. Anyway, you should bring some hours of time for Andravoahangy, because many people have been gotten lost yet in the various offerings… Who doesn’t find the right souvenir here, has not been touched by Madagascar’s soul!
Marché artisanal de la Digue
(Your driver will surely know the way even without any adress!)