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Antananarivo to Tsiroanomandidy

map tsiroanomandidy
  © University of Texas

Ampefy and Lac Itasy
 |  Tsiroanomandidy  

  Ampefy and Lake Itasy

Ampefy is a small typical village set on the banks of Itasy Lake, 100 km west of Tana.
This lake, the third biggest of the island, owes its existence to a large lava flow that obstructed the valley 8,000 years ago. In the middle of the lake there is a small island where the tomb of Andriambahoaka, who reigned in the region in the seventeenth century, is located. From Ampefy, you can ask locals to drop you there with a canoe. A large colony of bats called "fanihy" lives here. "Fanihy" are pure vegetarian and, therefore, harmless.

     Lac Itasy
        © Magali_giaume

The splendid volcanic landscapes of this region offer some good hikes. At Antafofo the river Lily plunges more than 20 m to the depth forming the “Chutes de Lihila” (pronounced lee-lee). According to the legend, its name comes from a “vazaha” plantation owner’s little girl’s name “Lily” who supposedly died here. A 2 hour hike through rice plantations leads to this point. Since pumice stones are the Ampefy star-product along with the fresh fish, numerous stalls and vendors at the entry of the waterfalls site sell them.

Only a few kilometres from Ampefy a path leads visitors to the Analavory Geyser, which offers a gushing spectacle. The geyser site counts four geyser springs. The intensity of the water expulsion varies. To reach this point: On your way to Tsiroanomandidy, 4km from Analavory junction, turn right. Drive about till crossing the bridge on Mazy river (about 5 km). Spot the small "Geysers" sign. Amparaky village lies further at the left.

It is not advisable to swim in the lake because the risk of bilharzia. 20 years ago there were crocodiles here too!

Where to sleep and eat (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Auberge de la Belle Vue
Phone: + (261) 34 06 118 21 / 33 11 599 07
Web: http://auberge-belle-vue.com
Email: contact@auberge-belle-vue.com
Pretty new bungalow complex with charming and comfortable rooms and a beautiful garden with nice views. Friendly atmosphere and good meals.
Price for a double bungalow 38,000 Ar, a familiar one between 47,000 and 63,000 Ar
Hotel Auberge Chez Jacky
MG-118 Ampefy
Tél: +261 20 48 840 13  
Mobile: +261 32 40 764 13
12 Bungalows available from 23,000 Ar for two and 37,000 Ar for four people. Good Malagasy and French menus.
Hotel-Restaurant Le Kavitaha
MG-118 Ampefy
Tel: +261 20 48 840 04
Mail: kavitaha.ampefy@gmail.com
Web: http://hotelkavitaha.net
This place owes its name to the lake which its terrasse looks onto. It has been the best and oldest retreat in town for urban dwellers from the capital. Its main asset is doubtless the shaded terrasse where al fresco lunches use to take place on a dozen of tables, all looking onto the lake, and the new pool.
Double room 38,000 Ar, triple for 47,000 Ar.  A big house for ten people costs 87,000 Ar, suite for 10 people 157,000 Ar
La Terrasse
Phone: + (261) 20 48 840 28
Mail: laterrasse.ampefy@moov.mg
Web: http://laterrasse.ampefy.com
Welcoming and comfortable bungalows buildt in the tradition of the Highlands, all with private bath and hot water. The meals are excellent. Good value!  
A double bungalow costs between 37,000 and 43,000 Ar, for four people 48,000 Ar
Relais de la Vierge
MG-118 Ampefy
Tel: +261 32 02 796 20
Web: www.relaisdelavierge.com
Recently built hotel and restaurant with 6 bungalows for two people and 6 double rooms.


Finding Lac Itasy is easy. From Tana, go 111 km west on RN1 to Analavory. From Analavory, turn left on to RN43. From there there are only 9 km left to Ampefy.
To get there via public transport means take a taxi-brousse heading to Tsiroanomandidy and get off at Analavory. From there there are 7 km left to Ampefy. Catch another taxi-brousse towards south or walk until your destination.


This little town 120 km west from Tana is located at the end of the paved RN 1 which turns from this point virtually impassable. Tsiroanomandidy means: “Where only one ruled”. The village is located in a moonlike landscape and its inhabitants are mainly cattle-holders. The place is known for holding one the largest cattle markets of the island which is held every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning and which constitutes the only attraction of the place. Near the town there is the airfield of Antonov where sometimes flights to take off. The near Bevato massive is known for hunting wild boar and wild oxen.
Tsiroanomandidy is also the starting point of the descending of the Manambolo River
There are only very basic hotels
 Nice houses in the main street  © Madagascar Travel Guide