"The journey to the Itasy waters" Ampefy by Norali

Ampefy Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 60 photos

Water, water, water…in all kinds of form.

That could sum up the pitch for this Malagasy destination in the Moyen-Ouest part (Middle-West) of Madagascar.

Water in the form of geyser springs in Amparaky;

Itasy lake (the third biggest in Madagascar) & other related smaller lakes in the vicinity;

Volcano crater lakes that are nestled at the top of those domes;

Liliha waterfalls in Antafofo.

Still, I wouldn't sum it up this way as there was much more than the aforementioned water-related spots. Great they were, gorgeous they were, stunning as well... so that a roadtrip was not enough to live the Ampefy & Itasy experience.

Anyway, here are memories collected from a roadtrip to the Itasy area.


The road, the ride, the (golden retriever) robe

It all started with a ... roadtrip... on one of most scenic routes here.

First, of plains, of eucalyptus trees, of big villas... so typical to Tana suburbs.. quite boring.

Sooner though, you'll get your share of hills with lavaka, of more remote villages, those once famed for this and that & which have still kept an old cachet of some relatively glorious past. The case of Fenoarivo, with those traditional Merina trano gasy (houses) edging the main arteria & which are in a desperate need of maintenance. Also the case of Arivonimamo, once where the internaional airport was. Still huge, still crowded, still showing its own cathedral to the travelers who pass by. A cathedral? and this Arivonimamo is not even a province capital (as only province capitals use to have their own bishops). That's the way it is. Arivonimamo is not your average Malagasy city... Will tell about it (the Imamo area & its people) later.

Aaah! but then, there is more than old glory towns, there is the route itself, in good shape, so good it can kill. At times, you drive on cliffs and temptation is to drive fast as in... Fast & Furious. Hehehe watchout! cliffs & good road...

Anyway, my page doesn't show it, the road is scenic & we were in such a hurry I only asked for few halts to take pictures. Outside those towns, I was stuck in awe facing such beauty. I can say it, with those volcano domes, nipple-shaped, table-shaped. Many even look like this Italian cake that uses to be served at Xms. Don't remember its name. Pandoro, I think. Especially, when past Miarinarivo town & approaching Analavory, the whole reminds the visitor of its past activity: volcano's. The past... last activity seemed to date back to 8000 years ago.


Present, the beauty lies in the chain of such domes on which grows beige & ochre & gold short grass. Almost like the robe of a beautiful golden retriever.
Sometimes, the domes are cultivated & look like a patchwork has wrapped them.

For some time, I stuck my face to the windows of our car, fascinated by such stunners, astonished by unusual encounterings & sights. This abundance of papaya! those mountains of cassava being sun-dried in yards. Most amazing is the sight of those veg patches on hillsides (remember the patchwork I talked about earlier?). Everything grows on this dark lava clay, no need to use fertilizers, no need to water cultivations. Fish... is the main protein source altough they breed zebu as well. Famine shouldn't hit this area. Mind you, the fish they serve at Le Kavitaha can weigh up to 1kg (!). Up to you to decide which to order: 400-600g ? 600-800g ? 1kg?

A cool place, Ampefy & surroundings.

Ampefy means "The Liliha waterfalls", the "fish dish", the lake(s)... all water-related.

It could also means "great views", "cool hikes", "exciting climbs". I wouldn't stop thinking of it until I get my first adulthood crater lake (one I'd climb to, of course ~ I can be a geek like that).

Well, it is an area to satisfy the hedonist in me in many aspects. Not the least, the fresh produce Itasy has to offer. Mmmm... papaya, fish, sweet potaton, tomato...

A cool place to visit for at least two days... with someone you love. I envision the hikes (that I couldn't do. I'll return there at least for the crater lake, with you, perfect stranger), the chilling near the lake, the picnic near the geyser springs site (wow!), watching the sun setting on the Itasy lake. We'll soak up the ambience at the waterfalls site... that sound!

As usual, to read about my experiences there, check the General Tips first.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Scenery, fresh produce, geysers (my fave of all those waters!), beautiful domes
  • In a nutshell:Perfect gateway for urban dwellers
  • Intro Updated Aug 17, 2007
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Reviews (21)

Comments (2)

  • filipdebont's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM

    Great geyser pic, Norali, what to think, well it's nature - it did also see a lot of geysers in Yelowstone last month (very wet and hot, and some smelled like rotten eggs)

  • cadzand's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2007 at 1:33 AM

    I don't think anything :) Quelle belle excursion dans un pays aux mille trésors cachés. Comment va le petit prince ? Et les projets ? Bisous.


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