Mahajanga, formerly Majunga, city (1993 pop. 100,807), NW Madagascar, on the Mozambique Channel. Despite its shallow harbor, Mahajanga is one of the nation's chief ports. The Betsiboka River valley provides access to the interior. Mahajanga has food processing, cement, and sisal processing industries. Mahajanga has a fishing industry and coffee, rice, sugar, and sisal are grown. The city was the capital of the Sakalava kingdom, which flourished in the 18th cent. France occupied Mahajanga from 1883 to 1885 and retook it in 1894. The city experienced major immigration from Comoros until riots (1976-77) resulted in the immigrants' deportation.

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


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

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 of 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 bordwalk (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 typhoon hit Mahajanga, causing significant damage to the port facilities and to some buildings located on or near the coast.


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

Autonomous Province

See Mahajanga Province.



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