Lake Tritriva is an emerald green lake, located about 15 km from Antsirabe in Madagascar’s central highlands. The next town is Belazao, which is easy to reach via RN34 by 4×4. The lake is of volcanic origin, approximately 160 m deep and part of the eponymic mountain Vakinankaratra region.
People of lake Tritriva tell the legend of Rabeniomby and Ravolahanta, two young people fallen in love, whose relationship wasn’t countenanced by their parents. He came from a noble family, but she had only poor parentage: In fact, it’s the Malagasy version of Romeo and Juliet. The tragical story ends with the couple jumping down the steepy rocks into lake Tritriva together – forever unified in death. As legend has it, they came back in shape of a tree, which has been staying solely and without any other green at the edge of the lake until the area was reforested. It is called “hazo malahelo”, the sad tree. If one breaks a branch or leaf, red fluid is said to leak out – the beloveds’ blood. Once a white man shall have tried to cross the lake to follow up the legend of the bleeding tree. But he didn’t make it over the lake, but capsized and drowned.
Today couples usually throw small stones into the lake and make a wish. Bathing is forbidden, the lake is strictly fady (taboo, sacred). Since it has various shoals and contains sulfurous water, swimming there isn’t a really good idea anyway.
There are underground streams running between Tritriva and other lakes, providing a paradoxic phenomenom: During rainy season, lake Tritriva has only few water, but it burst it banks during dry season. Due to the various rocks the water is flowing through until reaching lake Tritriva, the lake’s also known as oracle for the people: If the water turns red, something serious will happen in Madagascar.