Tana / Antsirabe
After breakfast, drive to Antsirabe located 160 km south of Tana and founded in 1872 by Norwegian missionaries attracted by the cool climate and the healing properties of the thermal springs.
But at halfway, stop in the town of Ambatolampy to visit some workshops were aluminum cooking pots are locally made by skilled workmen. Most of the cooking pots that we use in Madagascar come from this town.
After that, leave Ambatolampy to Antsirabe through a panoramic view of the Merina ethnic group countryside made up of rice paddies, cornfields, vegetable fields and typical Merina family tombs.
On this road portion, possibility to see one of the most famous cultural ceremony: the FAMADIHANA (turning of the bones) by the Merina and Betsileo people, two ethnic groups leaving on the highland. Briefly, this ceremony consists of opening the family tomb, taking out the bodies wrapped in silk shroud, keeping them in the village outside the houses while traditional music is blaring and all the people dancing. On that first day, the bodies are wrapped in new silk shrouds. Meals are especially rice and pork meat, local rhum flowing freely. That can last two or three days according to what have said the soothsayer when is the blessing time to put them back again in the tomb. During the whole ceremony, all visitors are welcome to dance, eat and drink on the traditional music rhythm. Note that the best time to see this ceremony is on August- September.
Arrival in Antsirabe in the afternoon, visit of the workshop of semi-precious and ornamental stone, cut or rough called “chez Joseph” as Antsirabe is also known as the capital of semi-precious stones.
Then visit of the local market to see the fruits and vegetables and local products of the area followed by a rickshaw (known as pousse-pousse) trip back to the hotel for a dinner and overnight.