Ampefy and Itasy lake

"Where there are dams"

Lily waterfalls à Ampefy, Madagascar

The RN1 is better known as Arivonimamo Road, the former single international airport of the whole island that does not despair of one day recovering its past greatness thanks to the freight. Imerintsiatosika that it crosses about thirty kilometers of the capital Antananarivo, was home to a NASA station in the 1960s. It is today the favorite rendezvous of a certain golden youth with its beautiful circuit karting.

But the road goes much further, and its asphalted ribbon leads to Tsiroanomandidy, capital of Bongolava region and one of the largest markets of zebu in Madagascar. The beasts come from everywhere, from Manja, Antsalova, Maintirano, even further afield. Transactions take place from Wednesday afternoon to Friday and it be said that several billion of Ariary are swaped each week at "Tsididy" during these 3 days. Sign of opulence, some "patron'omby" or large merchants habit to land there by plane. When the cattle are sold, they leave in a truck for Analavory, Mahasolo, or Mahitsy to meet the fate that one guesses ...

Itasy lake in Ampefy, Madagascar

Itasy, landloked by an almost perfect circle formed by the Bongolava, Vakinankaratra and Analamanga regions, is an essential element of the volcanic highlands. The main types meets, vulcanian as Andranoratsy and Andranotoraka, or strombolian like Mount Kasigy. As these volcanoes are relatively recents, their form is still very clear. More than 40 lakes of volcanic origin constellate the region. Some are crater lakes, others like Itasy Lake itself formed after lava flows hampered the normal flow of rivers. It is the same phenomenon that one owes the formation of the Lily falls, not the waters discharge from a height of 23 meters.

Ideally located along the river of the same name and the small little lake Kavitaha, Ampefy is the tourist center of a region which is also the geodesic center of Madagascar. Its Cultural Festival "Fest'Ampefy" Has in just two editions reached peaks of popularity. But rather than the decibels and the large crowd, others prefer the Sacred Island and its bat colonies or the Mount of the Virgin and its panorama during a very ordinary weekend! Without forgetting to bring back to the ice box the succulent fish that have always made the fame of Itasy ...

Text: Thompson Andriamanoro
Photos Pierre-Yves Babelon

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