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Safari Highlights in Madagascar
Toamasina (commonly known as Tamatave) is the major city on the east coast of this tropical Indian Ocean holiday island. Tamatave is the country’s largest port, responsible for 70 % of all cargo traffic to and from Madagascar. For travellers on a Madagascar vacation or tour, it’s an enjoyable place, with long, wide avenues lined with flamboyants and palm trees, a seaside promenade and a good selection of hotels and restaurants. This makes Tamatave a lovely area to spend some time at while you are on a Madagascar tour exploring the island and all its beauty. It’s a convenient spot to break the journey between Antananarivo and Ile Sainte Marie, or to organize a trip down the Canal des Pangalanes…. Whatever you reason for spending some time in Tamatave is; you are guaranteed to have a great time!
Toamasina is a popular vacation destination among the Malagasy and is to Antanarivo what Brighton is to London, or Nice is to Paris. Even though there is a beach at Tamatave – swimming isn’t recommended… which isn’t an issue because as soon as you visit this area on a Madagascar tour all you will want to do is 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' ('It is salty')… Either way, this unusually named Madagascar town is a great place to spend your Madagascar holiday or vacation at!