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Province de Diego-Suarez
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About Location

Toamasina is a city on the east coast of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean.The city is the chief seaport of the country,situated 215 km (134 miles) northeast of its capital and biggest city Antananarivo,near the centre of the eastern coast at 18 10 S, 49 32 E.According to the 2001 census,Toamasina had population of 179,045.The city is served by Toamasina Airport.

Toamasina is the capital of Atsinanana region. Gervais Rakotomanana is the president of the city by special delegation since 30 May 2007.The former mayor, Roland Ratsiraka, was suspended after a decision in the municipal council in early 2007.Toamasina owes its importance to the existence of a coral reef which forms a spacious and fairly commodious harbour, entered by two openings. The city center is built on a sandy peninsula which projects at right angles from the general coastline. On this are crowded together a considerable number of houses, with shops and merchant offices located in the main thoroughfares.

The city has wide palm tree-lined avenues and a wide selection of hotels and restaurants.The beaches in this area are famously beautiful, although sharks and pollution often prevent swimming and watersports.Bazary Be is a famous colorful street market, specailizing in exotic spices and locally made handicrafts.The central market in the heart of the city is one of the most popular sites in the city.The city is home to the University of Toamasina, which is part of Madagascar's public university system.Toamasina is also the see city of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toamasina.

Under French domination,Toamasina was the seat of several foreign consuls, as well as of numerous French officials,and was the chief port for the capital and the interior.Imports consisted principally of piece-goods,farinaceous foods,and iron and steel goods,and exports of gold dust, raffia, hides,caoutchouc (rubber) and live animals.Communication with Europe was maintained by steamers of the Messageries Maritimes and the Havraise companies,and also with Mauritius,and thence to Sri Lanka, by the British Union-Castle Line.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest major airport to Toamasina,Madagascar is Toamasina Airport (TMM / FMMT).This airport is in Tamatave,Madagascar and is about 6 km from the center of Toamasina,Madagascar.If you're looking for international or domestic flights to TMM,check the airlines that fly to TMM.

By Train

Tourists can also avail the railways to get in to Toamasina.In course of your journey you can see forest packed with palm trees, bamboo trees,ferns,eucalyptus trees and also water falls in Andekaleka.

By Road

Tourists visiting this city can travel by taxi-brousse.Taxi-brousses are cars like a sedan or vans with a seating capacity of eight to nine people.This is a favorite means of transportation as you can travel in comfort as well as it is reasonable. Again by traveling through a taxi-brousse you can interact with other Malagasy people and know the region in a better way.But for this you need to book the seats in advance.There are several tour operators which arranges for taxi-brousse,so you can book your seat with them for a sightseeing trip around Toamasina.These even take you to other cities of Madagascar such as Antsiranana in north,Mahajanga in north-west.

Key places to visit
Belasety tomb, Place De La Colonne, Ivoloina zoological park, Prune Island, Ivondro Falls, Bazar kely, Musee De Universite, Palais Des Enfants


Places to Visit

Belasety Tomb

Here rest the mortal remains of prophetess Seraphine Frantsay,who lived in the seventeenth century and was famous for her miracles.Visitors come here to ask her for love, fortune, health or good luck.

Place De La Colonne

It is said that in the seventeenth century, prophetess Timasy Vavitiana lived in this place and making miracles. She was buried in this place and her descendants perpetuated the tradition by being successively buried here to, which turned the spot into a worship place, a practice which did not count on the support of the religious missionaries, the colonial administration decided to exhume the sacred relics and bury them in the municipal cemetery.

Ivoloina zoological park

In Toamasina city suburbs there is the zoological park of Ivoloina (11 km north of the centre).Created in 1898,it was originally an experimental garden,and offers now a good insight view of thirteen lemur species,as well as a selection of Madagascar’s flora.The park is a project of the primate department of the Duke University and makes a sensational effort in lemur breeding and conservation.Lemur will come to eat bananas in your hands.

Prune Island

This beautiful little island covered with dense forest (approximately 1 hour and 30 min by boat) provides an excellent opportunity for a day excursion escaping from the city hastle.Underwater life here is superb,a mask and a tuba will help you to approach closely the wonderful ocean wildlife. Bathing is also safe,since the coral barrier keeps the sharks away.You can also walk through the islands forests,stroll in the woods or walk to the lighthouse.There is no accommodation,so if you decide to stay overnight,be prepared for sleeping under the starred sky and do not forget a mosquito net.

Ivondro Falls

Drive on the RN2 south for 25 kilometres.Just before crossing the Ivondro river,there is a track to the right (4X4) that goes up the valley until Volobe,where there is a hydroelectric plant.You will have to leave your vehicle here and continue to the falls on foot.

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