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Ambalavao Zebu Market

Ambalavao, land of Zebus

Ambalavao marks the border between the south and the Highlands and the border between the Betsileo people and the Bara people. It nestles at the bottom of a valley surrounded by granite mountains and dominated by the Andringitra massif, with the second highest peak in Madagascar (2,876 meters). Seven kilometers from the southern outskirts of the city, there are three rocky nipples called southern gates that have long served as landmarks for mail planes.

History of Ambalavao

It was in this region that the Betsileo faced the Bara in the 18th century and the Merina in the 19th century to preserve their territory and their independence. The region is marked by numerous sacred sites in memory of these tragic events. The rock of Ifandana, south-east of the city, was the place from which those who preferred death to the Merina dominion threw themselves. The village grew in importance in 1900, when the colonial administration elevated it to the rank of district capital and built schools there. A road connecting Ambalavao to the capital Antananarivo was opened in 1916.

What to do in Ambalavao

The most famous zebu market in Madagascar and second in importance after Antananarivo takes place in Ambalavao every Wednesday and Thursday and, it is certainly the best time to visit the city to attend the negotiation of livestock sales.

The Ambalavao vineyards are impossible to miss, a visit is recommended to see how wine is produced in these parts of the world and finally, savor the final product. Also not to be missed is the Antemoro paper production center (at the Aux Bougainvillees hotel), the silkworm farm and the embroidery workshop.

Ambalavao is the gateway to the Andringitra National Park and Anja Reserve is only 12 km away, right en route to the south.

Tours that may be of interest...

The Classic Tour of Madagascar, from the Rainforest of Andasibe to the dry Southwest coast on the Mozambique Channel through the Central Highlands of the Merina and the Betsileo. A magical trip to discover some of the most iconic sights of Madagascar including the Parks of Ranomafana and Isalo.
12 Days
Bike not included
A 13 days super tour by bicycle and on foot visiting the parks of Andasibe, Ranomafana and Isalo, along the most beautiful secondary roads. For the more sporty travelers.
13 Days
A private 20 days Itinerant tour of Madagascar from North to South, from Diego Suarez to Anakao, from the savannah landscapes of the north to the lush parks of the south, 6 uniques National Parks along the main road of Madagascar, different villages and also relaxation in dreamlike paradise beaches.
20 Days
The anthropological tour of Madagascar, we will visit and learn about the past, the present and the future of some of the most interesting people of the Highlands and the East Coast, from the food to the music and their traditions. An experience not to miss.
16 Days
A 15 days private tour along the spectacular Highlands of Madagascar. From the rainforest of Ranomafana to the lunar landscape of Andringitra National Park, from the Betsileo Countryside of Somaina to the famous Isalo National park. A trip full of easy treks in some of the most incredibles sights.
14 Days