The Royal Palace and Fortress of Ambohidratrimo

Royal Palace of Ambohidratrimo

Ambohidratrimo is a town located about 15km north west of the capital, one of the 12 sacred hills.  A king named Ratrimo reigned supreme well before the arrival of Andrianampoinimerina, hence the name of Ambohidratrimo.

The remains of the past are well preserved in a royal palace called Rova d'Ambohidratrimo, where the royal tombs, topped with the traditional 'tranomanara' in wood, tell the amazing stories of the buried royalty.

For the record: Ratrimo was the first king of Ambohidratrimo in the 1150s. With neighbouring borders of the Sakalava kingdom, the palace was regularly exposed to attacks forcing King Ratrimo to turn the city into a fortress where three rows of large ditches wall the city.

The site is one out of 12 hills where on each of them, Andrianampoinimerina placed one of his 12 women, in his goal for reunification of Imerina.


Royal Palace of Ambohidratrimo

In addition to historical interest, the hill offers a panoramic view of all Tana, an ideal location for meditatio. It is also a place of sacrifice to ask for blessings.

This article was featured in Prime Magazine April 2018

Useful Information

When to go

Ambohidratrimo has a climate close to Antananarivo. Rain is very common in summer and winter is also affected by some rainfall. The best times to visit Ambohidratrimo are the months of April, May, September and October.

How to get there

From the capital, take the north west road for about 15km. Traffic can be an issue so come from the Ivato International Airport side, where you only have a few kilometres to reach Ambohidratrimo.

Where to stay

Choose the nearby Green Palace in Ambohidratrimo with its very well maintained garden and charming setting. On the way to the airport you will also find the Relais des Plateaux, The Savanna Hotel and the Chat'o Park Hotel.

Where to eat

Opt for the restaurants of your hotel to avoid going back and forth in town. Otherwise, the Tamrap Thai Restaurant or Palanquin are also good for Asian cuisine. Korean is available at the Korea Barbecue Restaurant.

What to see

Rova stables offer horseback riding in and around the palace. Themed days are also creataed to discover the history of the hill. But the palace is not the only tourist attraction in the city. The Ravintsara plantation (for the manufacture of essential oil) is also worth visiting. It is located in the district of Imasoarivo in Ambohidratrimo.