Visit in this province:
- Toamasina city and surroundings beach resorts (rather Mahambo than Mahavelona);
- Moramanga city (national movement for independence began here in 1947). Its name derived from the abundant production of mango. :-) "Moramanga" means "Cheap mango". See my Tlogues "Heading East" I, II for this 1947 movement.
- Andasibe (Perinet) nature reserve, the closest nature reserve from Tana.
- Islands off Toamasina: Nosy Boraha and other smaller islands (Ile aux nattes, Ile aux prunes..)
- Lakandranon' Ampanalana ( Canal des Pangalanes), a channel that was fit out by the French. They have rivers, pounds, lakes merged so as to give birth to a 700-km-length river. It enabled the transportation of goods and thus, trades between coastal cities. See my "Off the beaten path tips" on it.
Fondest memory: When I was a kid, I spent few weeks in a village named Ambila Lemaitso. This village, like many others in East Coast, is edged with the Indian ocean (at East) on one hand and with Lakandranon' Ampanalana (at West)... I spent days in a private bungalow, bathing in Indian ocean from 10 to 12 and washing myself to remove salt in Lakanadrano... It took 10 minutes to reach the beach and 10 others to reach soft water of Lakanadrano from our bungalow.
See my "off the beaten path tips" for that: Lakandranon' Ampanalana across Ambila Lemaitso village.
Faritanin' i Toamasina is the province of Malagasy first port city . It is located on Eastern coast of Madagascar and edged with Indian Ocean. It stretches from Antongila Bay (North) to Nosy Varika.
It is mainly inhabited by Betsimisaraka (for main parts), Bezanozano (Western part of Moramanga), Sihanaka (Ambatondrazaka region) peoples. "Betsimisaraka" means "the many who will not be separated". As for other Malagasy cities, Merina, Antandroy and other Mpiavy (immigrants from other tribes) live there as well... alongside Chinese, french, Indiano-Pakistanese communities.
Landscape is made of rainforests in the inland and superb beach shores. Deep rainforests use to house several species of lemurs, orchids, birds. Nonetheless, they are endangered since hurricanes, torrential rains, floods and Man contributed in destroying such wonders... WWF and Malagasy government implemented programs to protect nature and last remnants of the whole deep forest that covered Madagascar in the past. Note that its nickname of "Blue Island" just turned into "Red Island" following political choices (communism) the past regime made on one hand and red earth that replaced deep blue forests on another hand.
Not to forget as well that the French fit out Lakandranon' Ampanalana known as Canal des Pangalanes. Rivers, lakes, pounds were "merged" so as to make it easy to convey goods and develop trade between coastal cities in a large channel... 700 km accessible by boat, pirogue...
This is the rainiest part of the Island. Most unpredictable as well. In rainy season (Jan- March), water and winds just combine their powerful actions with strong hurricanes (cyclones) that devastate everything. April to May, far less rain and bright sun. From June to October, those kind of sudden, heavy but short rains in sunny weather. They just leave sky clear, bright sun and smoky earth. All of that just comes in unpredictable ways since climate changes in Madagascar and elsewhere.
Fondest memory: See my Toamasina province page as well as pages on cities of:
- "Heading East" I, II below Tlogues
Lakandranon' Ampanalana is my fondest memory of this part of the island. See my "Off the beaten path tips" as well...
Located in the Eastern coast of Madagascar, Toamasina is the first Malagasy port city.
* See there Parc zoologique Ivoloina (Duke Primate Center, to see lemurs and flora) in North Toamasina (11km from center).
* Tahiti kely ("Little Tahiti") beach.
* Foulpointe (a beach resort in North Toamasina, 59km). Interesting from a historical point of view as well. For Foulpointe, see my Mahavelona (its Malagasy name) page.
* Mahambo, my favorite, as it is less touristy than Foulpointe. 35km north from Foulpointe.
Fondest memory: Mahambo beach is my favorite in Toamasina (a page on it later!). I miss the most while away from Toamasina is the smell of spice (they use to dry spices suh as clove in gardens).