Route Nationale 7

Route nationale 7 (RN7) is a primary highway in Madagascar of 980km, running from the capital Antananarivo to Tulear at the south-west coast of the country. It crosses the regions of Analamanga, Vakinankaratra, Amoron'i Mania, Haute Matsiatra, Ihorombe, and Atsimo-Andrefana. The RN7 might be Madagascar’s busiest highway (not to mention tourist trail), but to the barefoot Bara herdsmen, walking from as far as Toliara with nothing but a stick and the clothes on their back, it’s just a footpath useful for herding hundreds of zebu to market in Antananarivo. To really experience Central Madagascar’s chameleonlike ability to change, you’ll have to get out of your car. There is fantastic trekking through cloud forests and volcanic craters in the region’s stunning national parks, home to vegetation and animals (lots of lemurs) found nowhere else on earth. For a more cultural experience, spend three days trekking through Betsileo villages.

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