Ambatomainty Fianarantsoa: the Potter's Village

Fianarantsoa, the capital of the Haute Matsiatra region, is not only famous for its old houses as if frozen in the past, but also for its craftsmen. The village of Ambatomainty, renowned for the dexterity and talent of its craftsmen, is one of the city's key sites. For just one day, come and immerse yourself into the life of a potter. Ambatomainty is a two hour walk away from Fianarantsoa. Before you reach there, each erected as a tribute to a personality who has influenced the history of the village.
The entrance to the village is bustling with the hubbub of the 468 primary school children. This school is supported by an association that implements projects to improve the living conditions of families, such as the creation of sanitary facilities. On your way, you will be welcomed by the songs of the villagers with the sound of traditional music.
The villagers of Ambatomainty have been making a living from pottery since 1805. The clay used to manufacture the pottery is extracted from their land. In this village everything is handmade, and all the raw materials originate from the village. After the clay is extracted, it is crushed and mixed with sand to obtain a paste that can be easily shaped. Once moulded, the object is heated and painted with red earth. If you are lucky you may meet the "Azoma Manga", that is to say the dean of the village Mr Toza, who will tell you about the history and the beginning of pottery in this village.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine September 2018

Useful Information

When to go

The climate in Fianarantsoa is temperate and warm. You can go there any time except during the cyclonic seasons between February and April.

How to get there

To reach Fianarantsoa it will take a 6 hours drive from the capital. Once in town, rent a car or take a hike to visit the village of Ambatomainty, which is a 2 hour walk away from Fianarantsoa.

Where to stay

Hotel Soafia is located in the heart of the city of Fianarantsoa. It is also possible to reserve a room in Zomatel, Soratel, in the guest rooms of Villa Sylvestre or Cotsoyannis.. But in order to enjoy your visit further, the village of Ambatomainty offers guest rooms too.

Where to eat

Tsara Guest House restaurant offers European specialties and La Surprise restaurant Betsileo, typical Malagasy dishes. At Lac Hôtel, the chef's specialty is the wild duck hunted by the owner himself. Also try the Little Food or the Golden Dragon.

What to see

During your trip to Fianarantsoa, do not forget to visit the old city, the statue of the Blessed Virgin, one of the historical monuments of the city. From there, the panorama across the city is superb.