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Foulpointe (Mahavelona)/Madagascar

Introducing Foulpointe (Mahavelona)

Mahavelona, more commonly known as Foulpointe (fool-pwant), is a small, nondescript coastal town near some white-sand beaches. There are sharks offshore; swimming anywhere away from the hotel area, which is protected by a reef, is risky. The best beaches are at the southern end of town, which has acquired a distinctly resorty air, with a hatful of tourist hotels and overpriced restaurants attracting attendant posses of hawkers, kids and fishermen proposing souvenirs, boat trips, snorkelling or beach barbecues. Bargain hard before taking up any of these offers.

Ruins of the 19th-century Merina Fort Manda, built for Radama I, are about 500m north of Mahavelona. Its walls, which are 8m high and 6m thick in places, are made from coral, sand and eggs, similar to the material used in the walls of Ambohimanga, near Antananarivo.

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