Location of Mahajanga in Madagascar

Mahajanga [maːˈdzaŋɡə̥] (French: Majunga) is a city and a district on the north-west coast of Madagascar.



The coast promenade in 2008
The same street after the cyclone Gafilo in 2004
One of the beaches north of the city

The City of Mahajanga (Mahajanga I) is the capital of the Boeny region. Population: 135,660 (2001 estimate[1]).

Mahajanga is a seaport, the most important one in Madagascar after Toamasina. The marine terminal accommodates containerships and small (150 gross ton) general cargo freighters. Because of limited water depth at the wharf, only small ships can call at the terminal. Deeper-draft ships anchor off the terminal and transfer cargoes to and from barges, which move it to and from the terminal. Severe storms during December 2006 damaged the bulkhead, allowing water to flow in and wash backfill out from under the terminal's paving blocks. The resulting collapse of pavement blocks has made operations at the terminal less efficient and reduced the storage space available. The largest and most valuable containerized export is frozen shrimp.

There is an international airport with regional flights to the Comoros and Mayotte.

The city is located on the Betsiboka River, which then leads to Bombetoka Bay.

Mahajanga is a favorite tourist destination for both Malagasy tourists and international travelers, with beautiful beaches, a coconut-lined boardwalk (La Boru), and eight months of hot yet virtually rain-free weather.

The city has a sizeable Muslim population. In 1977, it was the scene of ethnic unrest, forcing the evacuation of the Comorian minority living there.

In December 2006, a cyclone hit Mahajanga, causing significant damage to the port facilities and to some buildings located on or near the coast.

In the 1880s a community of roughly 200 Indian traders had formed at Mahajanga at the mouth of the Betsiboka River. Thus, the etymology of the word "Mahajanga" is Indic. Confusion arose over their legal status; they often declared themselves to be Malagasy subjects in order to evade the laws against slave-holding or the building of stone houses, both forbidden to British subjects, while their dhows, which they used to transport goods to and from the African mainland, flew French flags. Initial arrivals were mainly Muslim Khojas, Ismailis and Daoudi Bohras, with some Hindus settling later. The 1911 census found 4,480 Indians in the country, making them 21% of the total foreign population and the second-largest foreign population after the French. Following the nationalisation of private businesses in the 1970s, many were compelled to leave; those who remained were largely uneducated, but stayed on and gradually built their businesses. By 2000, they were generally believed to control 50-60% of the country's economy, making them the target of demonstrators during periods of unrest.


Mahajanga II is the district surrounding Mahajanga I. Population: 46,790 (2001 estimate[1]).


See Boeny.



  1. ^ a b INSTAT

Coordinates: 15°43′S 46°19′E / 15.717°S 46.317°E / -15.717; 46.317

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mahajanga — (anc. Majunga) v. du N. O. de Madagascar, sur le canal de Mozambique; 130 000 hab.; ch. l. de la prov. du m. nom (150 023 km²; 1 253 000 hab.). Port de pêche. Conserveries; huilerie; industr. textile. Aéroport international. En 1894, un corps… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mahajanga — 15° 43′ S 46° 19′ E / 15.72, 46.31 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mahajanga — 15.71666666666746.316666666667 Koordinaten: 15° 43′ S, 46° 19′ O …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mahajanga — ▪ Madagascar formerly  Majunga,         town and major port, northwestern Madagascar. It lies on the island s northwest coast, at the mouth of the Betsiboka River, whose estuary widens there into Bombetoka Bay. The town was the capital of the… …   Universalium

  • Mahajanga — Original name in latin Mahajanga Name in other language MJN, Mahajanga, Majunga, Makhadzanga, mahajanga, Махадзанга State code MG Continent/City Indian/Antananarivo longitude 15.71667 latitude 46.31667 altitude 20 Population 154657 Date 2011 03… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Mahajanga — geographical name city & port NW Madagascar population 121,967 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Mahajanga — Mahajạnga,   früher Majunga [maʒœ̃ ga, französisch], Hafenstadt an der Nordwestküste Madagaskars, an der Mündung des Betsiboka, 100 800 Einwohner; Provinz Verwaltung, katholischer Bischofssitz, Universität; Zementfabrik, Schlachthof, Textil und… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mahajanga — Majunga stor …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Mahajanga Province — Coordinates: 16°45′S 46°15′E / 16.75°S 46.25°E / 16.75; 46.25 …   Wikipedia

  • Mahajanga (province) — Province de Majunga Mahajanga Administration Pays Madagascar Type Province Capitale Mahajanga …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.