Ambatondrazaka is a small, delightful town situated over several hills at the southern end of the 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 the lake Alaotra is overgrown and cannot be seen from the city anymore. In 2004 the town's population was estimated at 75,675. The town has several churches, a stadium, old train station and a market offering fresh products of the area.
By car Ambatondrazaka can be reached from Tana via the RN2 direction Moramanga and from there via RN44 directly to Ambatondrazaka. A railroad once connected the city with the capital but is no longer in use.
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" - "under Razak's stone". 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".
Hotels in Ambatondrazaka
- Hotel Max et Irène
- Hotel Le Paradis du Lac
- Hotel Voahirana (has an excellent restaurant)
Excursions around Ambatondrazaka
- Chrome mines 80km west from Ambatondrazaka.
- Agricultural institute "Station Agricole CALA" located about 18km north on a peninsula.
- Trip around the lake (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).