The Amazing City of Mohair

 

A typical Malagasy city, it has a western flair due to the many cattle, goats and sheep that are kept in this arid landscape. But Ampanihy is famous for its mohair rugs. Here, livestock farming is part of the daily life of the locals. The great market which takes place every Saturday morning and which unites all the inhabitants from the city and the surrounding villages, is the must-go place to discover the artisan products of Ampanihy – including the famous carpets. The city of Ampanihy is the capital of the Mahafaly plateau, located in the south-western part of Madagascar. It is an unavoidable stopover on the way to Fort Dauphin from Tuléar.

A must-see is an imposing baobab tree, situated about 25km off the village, being one of the largest of Madagascar. Close to the town of Ampanihy, the lemurs shelter in the trees alongside the banks of the Menarandra River,an unexpected and rare spectacle within the cities of Madagascar. Large turtles also roam freely on the roads, making the visit of this unique city even more memorable.

 
 
Mahafaly Culture
 
The road linking Tuléar to Ampanihy, called the "tomb trail", will let you discover very special tombs, decorated with vivid paintings, depicting scenes of daily life, but also the personality of the deceased or characterizations of their whereabouts. Impressive sculptures, also linked to these tombs, are part of the very particular funerary art of the Antandroy and Mahafaly.
 
This article was featured in Prime Magazine October 2018

Useful Information

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When to go

Benefit from the sun of Ampanihy, which shines all year long. The weather is rarely less than pleasant, with almost no rainfall. Choose the temperature that suits you, between 19.8°C (in July) to 28.4°C (in January).

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How to get there

Take a flight to Tulear. From there you can do the trip to Ampanihy, preferably by 4WD, passing through the small flagship towns of southern Madagascar, Betioky and Ejeda.

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Where to stay

For your sojourn we advise you to stay in Tuléar, as there is no hotel in Ampanihy or in the surrounding area. In Tuléar, opt for the luxuries of the Moringa Hotel, located right in the city centre or for the Serena Hotel with its beautiful rooms and impeccable service.

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Where to eat

There is no restaurant in the town of Ampanihy. Bring a takeaway meal from your hotel. In Tuléar you can eat at the restaurant Blu (the portions are very generous), or at Giancarlo's Garden.

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What to see

Many excursions are possible, ranging from views of mining, making mohair carpets to the processing of semi-precious stones outside of town. Also there's the Saturday morning market, where you can find food crops, cereals and vegetables...

Prime Magazine Madagascar 2018 | All Rights Reserved