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Ambatondrazaka is a small, delightful town situated over several hills at the southern end of Lac Alaotra in Madagascar. The town is surrounded by large rice fields and the region is commonly known as the rice granary of Madagascar. Due to lack of water the most southern part of Lake Alaotra is overgrown and cannot be seen from the city anymore. The town has several churches, a stadium, an old train station and a market offering fresh products from the region.

The town was founded by Randriambololona and her three children: Raseheno, Ramiangaly and Razak who settled here in the late eighteenth century. From a historical and linguistic point of view, Ambatondrazaka originates from two words: Vato, which means "stone" in Malagasy, and Razak. After Razak won the war against the Vazimba he celebrated the victory and held a stone in the air. This stone was the origin of the town's name: "under Razak's stone".

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Ambatondrazaka is the capital of the Alaotra Mangoro region and the Ambatondrazaka district. In 2004 the town's population was estimated at 75,675.

By car Ambatondrazaka can be reached from Antananarivo via the RN2 direction Moramanga and from there via RN44 directly to Ambatondrazaka. To Ambatondrazaka it takes about 6 hours by taxi-brousse from Antananarivo and about 4 hours from Moramanga. A railroad once connected the city with the capital but is no longer in use.


  • Hotel Nabotel
  • Hotel Max et Irène
  • Hotel Le Paradis du Lac
  • Hotel Voahirana (has an excellent restaurant)

Excursions around Ambatondrazaka

  • Trip around the lake passing small villages and rice fields (approximately 1 day by car).
  • Visit to Bandro Park near Andreba (about 45 minutes by taxi-brousse) and pirogue ride on the lake.
  • Chrome mines 80km west from Ambatondrazaka.
  • Agricultural institute "Station Agricole CALA" located about 18km north on a peninsula.
  • Trip around the lake passing small villages and rice fields (approximately 1 day by car).
  • Trekking in the rainforest of Didy, about 60km from Ambatondrazaka.
  • Zahamena National Park, north-east of the town of Ambatondrazaka (half day by car).
  • Starting point for the Smuggler's Path from Lake Alaotra to the east coast.

Additional information

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