We often hear about the city of Matsiatra which is the capital of Betsileo but we do not really hear about how Matsiatra looks like. Besides, when we talk about river trip in Madagascar, the most appreciated are Pangalana and Tsiribihina, however in the river of Matsiara, we can also make picturesque discoveries. Reason why the river is still classified among the hidden destinations of Madagascar.

The river of Matsiatra is not too visible in blogs or traveling guides, not even in the programs of organized trips proposed by the Malagasy tour operators but we can make incredible discoveries.

Actually, the river allows you to make a very interesting stroll on a traditional pirogue. The departure is at Masoabe where you will make many stops for a total mixing with the life of the Betsileo ethnic.

You will discover its picturesque landscapes of rice terraces, a beautiful waterfall, traditional houses made with red dirt, zebus and carts and of course the Betsileo with their generous smiles. During this route you will also have the opportunity to discover the royal remnants of the Betsileo noble people.



If you wish to include the descent on the river of Matsiatra, count approximately 1 hour and 30min of traveling, 5 hours of stroll in pirogue and 45 minutes to get to the city of Fianarantsoa. Afterward, the descent can be done in one day.

However, it is also possible to make discoveries in several days and settle down at the inhabitants (Consult your tour operators in Madagascar or the Fianarantsoa regional service of the tourism of


The river is in the province of Fianarantsoa at 415km of Antananarivo. Following to the RN7, the road is easily accessible and asphalted but to reach the boat on the river of Matsiatra, it is necessary to travel approximately 60km.


For good and cheap accommodations in Fianarantsoa, we recommend you the Victoria hotel, Zomatel, Sofia hotel and Tombotsoa. The prices of the overnight stays are from 25$.