Madagascar’s second-largest city Tamatave (also known as Toamasina) used to be a popularresort town for holidaymakers during the colonial times. Tamatave is to Antanarivo what Brighton is to London or Nice is to Paris. Nowadays, it is the country’s largest port and oversees a growing hub of economical activities.

Even though there is a beach at Tamatave – swimming isn’t recommended due to pollution and sharks but you can discover the beauty of the terrain and culture of Malagasy people.

The origin of the Malagasy name Toamasina is disputed. One theory states that it was derived form the Portuguese name São Tornás (St Thomas), while another’s attribute it to King Radamal’s first visit to the seaside in 1817. It is said that the king knelt to taste the water and said, “Toa masina” (Engl.: It is salty). Either way, this unusually-named town is a great place to spend your Madagascar holiday!

Other cities in Madagascar to explore:


Jenman African Safaris Collection