MD - Antsirabe


Antsirabe (‘Place of Big Salt’) started life many centuries ago as a market village whose economy was based on salt extracted from its thermal springs and the bountiful agricultural produce of the surrounding volcanic hills. The modern town, founded in 1872 as a hill retreat for Norwegian missionaries, replaced nearby Betafo as the capital of Vakinankaratra, an ancient kingdom that had become a vassal of Imerina half a century earlier. Now the third-largest city in Madagascar, Antsirabe is an important artisanal and agricultural center, and the site of the country’s largest beer, tobacco and cotton factories.

Discover Antsirabe

Antsirabe is famed for its innovative artisanal culture. Maminirina Corne de Zebu makes richly-textured souvenirs from cow horns, while the adjacent Miniature Broderie Mamy manufactures brightly colored toy cars and bicycles from recycled metal.  On Saturday a market set in a walled hilltop compound on Antsirabe’s southwestern outskirts is one of the country’s busiest and most colorful.

Surrounding Antsirabe are several scenic crater lakes stud the volcanic countryside around Antsirabe. Andraikiba, 4 miles west of town, is most popular, but the smaller Tritriva, 6 miles further southwest, is quieter. Footpaths run around both lakes but there is a fady (taboo) on swimming in Tritriva.

The pre-colonial capital of Vakinankaratra, Betafo, 13 miles west of Antsirabe, hosts a large concentration of traditional double-story clay-brick Merina homesteads.

Camps & Lodges

We have curated a selection of accommodation options for Ngorongoro Crater. Our recommendations are based on firsthand experience and are chosen for their unique character, location, and exceptional service.  Our consultants are able to suggest properties that are perfect for your travel style.

Featured Trips

Our itineraries will give you taste of what is possible when you travel in Ngorongoro Crater, and they showcase routes we recommend.  Consider them as inspirations because each of our programs are uniquely created by our knowledgeable consultants.

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