Toamasina, Madagascar's second largest city and most important seaport, is located on the east coast of the country. In 2018 Toamasina had about 326.000 inhabitants. The city is the capital of the province of the same name, the seat of regional administrations and an archdiocese, the location of a branch of the University of Antananarivo and the hub of Malagasy foreign trade.
Madagascar - Toamasina - General Directorate of the Ministry of Finance
Madagascar's main port
Toamasina owes its outstanding position to an offshore, elongated coral reef, which enabled the development of a protected harbor with two inlets. Toamasina, the former Tamatave, played a central role as Madagascar's most important port as early as the beginning of the 19th century. Today it is mainly bulk and bulk goods as well as containers that are handled. The country's most important oil refinery also produces in Toamasina.
Madagascar's history has a checkered past. The first settlers may have been Indonesians and Malays in the 10th century. The first European to discover Madagascar at the beginning of the 16th century was the Portuguese navigator Diégo Suarez. In the following years France, Great Britain, the Kingdom of the Merina and again France ruled the island. It was not until 1960 that Madagascar became independent.
Madagascar - Toamasina - Eveché de Toamasina
Clearly structured cityscape
Large parts of Toamasina were built on a sandy peninsula. The streets of the center are laid out like a chessboard and go at right angles from the coastline. The straight cityscape in the city center is due to two hurricanes. First in 1927 and then again in 1986, they caused such devastation that the city had to be rebuilt according to plan.
Madagascar - Toamasina - City Hall
Toamasina's most representative street is Avenue de l'Independance. Their lanes are separated from each other by green spaces. The most important public administration buildings are located on this street. Otherwise there is a lack of spectacular sights. Unfortunately, some buildings from the French colonial period are showing considerable signs of deterioration.
Madagascar - Toamasina - Avenue de l'Independance
Opposite the harbor begins a very wide, natural beach area, on which a kilometer-long promenade lined with palm trees extends. The beaches invite you to swim; However, due to pollution of the water and possible shark attacks, such activities should be avoided.
Madagascar - Toamasina - Toamasina beach and town
Toamasina is a lively city visited by many tourists. We report on an entertaining excursion in the city area with a motorcycle rickshaw in our article: Experience Toamasina by tuk-tuk.
Update March 2021