The small village of Ampefy is located approximately 120 km from Antananarivo, on the shores of Lake Itasy. The place is much appreciated for a weekend trip to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a quiet environment. This small and peaceful town welcomes you in an exceptional landscape characterized by crop fields and traditional houses.
Ampefy: a change of scenery just two hours from Tana
Located two-hour drive from Antananarivo, the village of Ampefy welcomes you in a country setting favorable to relaxation. It is a perfect stopover to spend a few days resting in peace away from the bustling city, around Lake Itasy. You will enjoy meeting the locals and farmers, always with a wide smile. You will also meet herds of zebus, which may sometimes seem scary, but it is completely safe. Just stay on the side of the road and the herdsmen will guide them with a whip while smiling and greeting you on the way. It’s a unique experience you’d probably like to capture if it doesn’t bother those primarily concerned!
Lake Itasy and its fish populations
Lake Itasy, renowned for being full of fish, is the region’s main attraction. Covering an area of 3,500ha, the third lake of Madagascar is more than 1,200 meters above sea level. It is the perfect place to enjoy a canoe trip from or to the Islet of the Virgin. Ampefy promises pleasant hikes or bike rides in search of the lakes of Antohomadinika and Andranoratsy, as well as some marshes. If you like fishing and canoeing, you will enjoy visiting this region. The landscape is simply splendid and includes valleys lined with wild flowers. You will also appreciate the local markets where the famous Itasy fish (mainly carp and tilapia) are sold, as well as fruit and vegetables that visitors greatly appreciate.
The Lili Waterfalls
A detour to the Lili Waterfalls, in Antafofo, is a must during your stay at Ampefy. To fully appreciate the charm of the region, it is preferable to go there on foot. The hike will take you through volcanic hills and small villages with red-mud houses. The buzzing waters can be heard in the distance, and the environment gets cooler with each advance. The waterfalls are approximately 23-metre high and create refreshing plumes of water. Many legends were born from these waterfalls, including that of the “Vazaha” farmer who saw his daughter Lili disappear at this place. After an unsuccessful search, the villagers named the waterfall after the girl. Here, nature offers you spectacular scenery.
The region is also home to magnificent geysers, those of Amparaky. To get there, you have to cover 10 km of tarred road from Ampefy to Analavory, and then take a 12-km track. The site consists of a clayey area dotted with holes in the ground, from which jets of water flow. When it’s too hot, visitors stand beside the jets where the pressure is strong enough to take a cold shower (without removing clothes of course and without using soap). Indeed, the water is not hot, because it is not volcanic geysers, but an artesian well phenomenon, like volcanic geysers in Iceland and Norway. The local people have built a swimming pool for children where the water is warmer. How about a clay massage?
What to do in Ampefy?
- Take a canoe trip around Lake Itasy from or to the Islet of the Virgin.
- Hike or bike to the Lili Waterfalls to enjoy the lush green landscape.
- Visit the sacred islet where the tomb of a 17th century sovereign is located. The canoeists can take you there.