Pangalanes Canal or Canal des Pangalanes history and building

The Pangalanes canal.

Geographically, the eastern part of Madagascar is made up of cliffs, it is the humid part of Madagascar which knows the highest rainfall. Indeed, it is the place where tropical forests, secondary forests and primary forests of Madagascar are concentrated. The waters of the watercourse streams have met below the cliffs of eastern Madagascar to form rivers, lakes and ponds from the top of Tamatave or toamasina in the north and Farafangana in the south.

Given the wealth of raw materials and export products in the eastern part of the big island such as sugar cane, coffee, cloves, vanilla, ylang-ylang… Indian, Portuguese, French and English ships recognized the region of the east coast of Madagascar. At that time, Tamatave was a trading post and later Foulpointe or Mahavelona became the center of French business.

At the beginning of the 19th century, in 1815 King Radama 1st was the first to take the initiative to initiate the connection of these eastern rivers, lakes and ponds to form the Canal des Pangalanes, but the king had no good results because they were still occupied by the invasion of the English and French. Years passed, treaties were put in place and subsequently violated. And towards the end of the 19th century, the big island of Madagascar was declared and finally became a French protectorate. Two years later, General Joseph Gallieni called for the resumption of work aimed at controlling the east coast in the administrative and military domain. Thus, the Pangalanes Channel and Railway project were relaunched in 1905.

The beginning of the Canal des Pangalanes drill was in 1905 and was not completed until 1989. The creation of the Pangalanes Canal was quite a long period of work and around 700 km, a waterway canal of 665 km from Foulpointe to Farafangana had been accomplished.

Chronology of the Pangalanes Canal construction:
-1905: Tender for the connection of the Pangalanes Canal between the village of Ambinanivolo and the town of Mananjary.
-1907: Opening of part of a waterway between the town of Mananjary and Vatomandry.
-1907 to 1908: Works on the Pangalanes Canal linking Marokontsy Lake and Salakotaka Lake. Then, call for the Pangalanes Canal project between Ifontsy and Ivoloina.
-1908 to 1923: Construction works of the connecting canals of Antsiramianina Ambinavolo and Vatomandry.
-1910: Connection of the Pangalanes Canal from Farafangana to Vohipeno.
-1911: Connection of the Canal des Pangalanes of Mananjary and Andevoranto.
-1911 to 1913: Relation of Tatamamy Lake and the Mangoro River form the Pangalanes Channel of Masomeloka.
-1913: Project tender for the Pangalanes Canal between Tamatave and Ivondro.
-1912 to 1914: Pangalanes Canal Farafangana and Vohipeno construction works.
-1913 to 1918: Relation of Andrevo and Masomeloka
-1918: Tender for the relation project of the Pangalanes Canal Tamatave and Ivondro.
-1919: Construction work in Vatomandry.
-1925: Assessment of the completion of the Pangalanes Canal.
-1924 to 1952: Study and report of the river station of the Pangalanes Canal Tamatave.
-1925: Construction works of the Canal between Farafangana and Loholoka.
-1935: Tender for the Foulpointe Tamatave project.
-1930: Establishment of Kalomalala station and camp construction project at Vahia.
-1930 to 1934: Construction of the Salazamay dam.
-1931: Establishment of a base for Pangalanes Canal agents in the middle of the village of Analalava and Sahondra Lake.
-1931 to 1950: Bank protection works on the Pangalanes Canal and construction of the Tamatave river station.
-1942: Operation of the Pangalanes Canal.
-1943 to 1945: Tender for the Masomeloka threshold relation project.
-1944: Opening of the Pangalanes Canal linking Mahanoro, Vatomandry and Ambila Lemaitso.
-1947: Tanandranomainty and Andranomahitsy diversion project.
-1948: Initiation of project tender for the construction of the Canal des Pangalanes from Tanambao to the river station and from Ivondro to Tamatave.
-1949: Completion of the construction works of the Tanambao river station and Tamatave-Ivondro canals.
-1950: Report of the studies for the mouth of Ivondro and the projects of Vatomandry-Ivondro, Manakara-Mananjary, Mananjary-Nosy Varika and Nosy Varika-Vatomandry.

Mileage and distance between the major points of the Pangalanes Channel:
Tamatave-Akanin’ny Nofy or Palmarium 60 km
Akanin’ny Nofy-Ambila Lemaitso 30 km
Ambila Lemaitso-Andevoranto 11 km
Andevoranto-Vatomandry 54 km
Vatomandry-Mahanoro 73 km
Mahanoro-Nosy Varika 113 km
Nosy Varika-Mananary 92 km


List of rivers and streams


List with names and lengths of rivers of Madagascar classified by slopes

East slope
Nom Longueur
Faraony 150 km
Ivondro 150 km
Mananjary 212 km
Mananara 323 km
Mangoro 300 km
Maningory 260 km
Namorona 103 km
Rianila 134 km
Sandratsio 125 km
West slope
Betsiboka 605 km
Ikopa 485 km
Mahajamba 289 km
Mahavavy 160 km
Mahavavy Sud 410 km
Ie Tandra
Manambolo 370 km
Mangoky 714 km
Onilahy 400 km
Imaloto Lalana 242 km
Sofia 328 km
Anjombony 200 km
Bemarivo 265 km
Tsiribihina 100 km
Sakeny 170 km
Mahajilo Kitsamby 260 km
Meridian slope
Linta 173 km
Manambovo 165 km
Menarandra 235 km
Mandrare 270 km

Madagascar national roads

RN1: The national starts in Antananarivo in the west direction with its 149kms, it passes by Imerintsiatosika, Arivonimamo, Miarinarivo, Tsiroanomandidy and Belobaka.

RN1a: The secondary road connects Tsiroanomandidy with Maintirano.

RN1b: A 94kms route connecting Analavory, Babetville and Tsiroanomandidy.

RN2: A good road that fixes the capital of Antananarivo with Moramanga, Brickaville and Toamasina or Tamatave. It is measured in 367kms long.

RN3: With its 91kms journey, this road links Antananarivo with the Lac Alaotra  through Anjozorobe.

RN3a: 180kms between Lac Alaotra and Andilamena.

RN3b: A good 106kms road connecting Sambava and Andapa.

RN4: The national road of 570kms is good in general, it connects Antananarivo, Maevatanana and Mahajanga or Majunga.

RN5: This 402kms is a half-good and half-bad road, the first one being good links Toamasina, Mahambo, Fenerive Est or Fenoarivo Antsinanana and Soanierana Ivongo and the second part is bad and connects it to Mananara Nord or Mananara Avaratra and Marantsetra .

RN5a: The 406kms of SAVA track connects Ambilobe, Vohemar, Sambava and Antalaha.

RN6: The national road is more or less good, it passes through Ambondromamy, Port Berger, Antsohihy, Ambanja, Ambilobe and Antsiranana.

RN7: It is the longest national road of 956kms that connects several cities between the capital of Antananarivo and Toliara or Tulear such as Ambatolampy, Antsirabe, Ambositra, Ambohimahasoa, Fianarantsoa, ​​Ambalavao, Ihosy and Sakaraha.

RN8: This national road relies Morondava with Belo sur Tsiribihina and Bekopaka. A track of 185kms and only 15kms road made-up.

RN8a: A very bad road of 119kms linking Antsalova and Maintirano.

RN9: With its 382 kms, this route is typified by sand, but from Morondava to Mandabe is good. Pebbles, salins and sand between Mandabe, Manja, Bevoay, Toliary.


RN10: The national route from the south south of madagascar relie Andranovory, a village of the RN7 near Toliary with Betioky, Ampanihy, Beloha, Tsihombe and Ambovombe. With its 512 km, the route is mauvaise.

RN11: A route that is only 103 kms found between Mananjary and Nosy Varika.

RN11a: The long run of 125km is fine but because of its precipitation, it starts with the creuse of a small part. The Bifurque à Antsapanana to the cliffs of Vatomandry, Ilaka Est and arrive to Mahanoro.

RN12: The national population of 300km relies on the southern part of Madagascar from Iranga to Vangaindrano in the direction of Manakara, Vohipeno and Farafangana.

RN12a: A 258km route with a trail of tracks in bac. This route relies to Taolagnaro or Fort Dauphin, Manantenina, Manambondro and Vangaingrano.

RN13: This nation is secondary with 493km of Ihosy, passing by Betroka, Ambovombe and Amboasary sud to Tolagnaro or faradofay.

RNT19: The route relies to Soalala, Mitsinjo et Katsepy.

RN22: Just 38km from the route between Vavatenina and Fenerive Est or Fenoarivo Atsinanana.

RN24: National relie Mananjary with Vohilava with a journey of 45km.

RN25: The 161km route is fine but there is a part between Ambohimahasoa and Vohiparara is the second and the Vohiparara, Ranomafana, Ifanadiana jusqu’à Irondro is the gold ring. And you are the caretaker of the RN7 PK 355 jusqu’à Mananjary, a fine route of round wheels of 176km.

RN27: The relocation route of 275km relies to Ihosy with Ivohibe and Farafangana.

RN30: A 20-minute drive from the National Park, near Ambanja, is the Carrefour d’Ambalavelona located close to Ankify.

RN30a: A Hellville on the 57, passing through Djamandjary and jusqu’à Andilana. On a 25 km ride.

RN31: About the RN6, this is national relie Antsohihy and Antalaha and 129km.

RN32: Encore sur Antsohihy that bifurcation towards Befandriana Nord and Mandritsara forms this national route in 200km.

RN33: This is a long-distance long route which rarely relies to Ambatondrazaka and Ambondromamy with its 340 kms long.

RN34: 368km of good routes in general, relating Antsirabe with Miandrivazo and Miandrivazo with Malaimbandy.

RN35: The National Route is divided into two steps, one on the track of Ambositra in Malaimbandy and the other in Malaimbandy in Morondava.

RN41: This is a good route of roundabout 41km from Ambositra to Fandriana.

RN42: The national reliever in the city of Fianarantsoa and Ikalamavony.