I am sitting with Seheno at the lakeshore on a hot Saturday morning, and while her grandson plays with local children catching alges in the lake, we are eating sugarcane cut into small pieces and Seheno tells me about the legend of the lake.
Lake Andraikiba is a volcanic lake and it lies 7 km west of Antsirabe. We get there easily by bus in half an hour, and from the bus station we do not have to walk too much to arrive to the lake. It is a much liked place by locals to take a day trip, refreshing and relaxing after the hot and crowded city. handicraft shops are offering their products and we can hardly escape from the vendors who are competing to invite us into their shops to buy some souvenirs.
In the 19th century the lake was a favorite retreat for Queen Ranavalona II. According to the legend, the lake is haunted by the ghost of a pregnant girl who drowned during a swimming competition with another girl for the prize of marriage with a noble man. Locals say that each day at dawn she can be seen resting on a rock by the lakeshore.
Even if I have not seen any ghosts at the lake, I have seen many girls resting by the lakeshore after washing clothes in the lake and putting them to dry on the grass. Although it is not possible anymore to swim in the lake, it is very pleasant to take a walk around the lake. Tourists can take a short boat trip as well or use the paddle boats on the lake.