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Toamasina

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... is located in the Eastern region of Madagascar.


The main reason for international visitors to pass through this area is whilst travelling by road from the capital Antananarivo and the forest reserves of Andasibe to the west and the island of Nosy Boraha to the north.

This coastline is really rather remarkable. The ocean can become very angry, making the beaches windy and unpleasant and with dangerous rip-tides and sharks out to sea. But just inland lies a string of beautiful lakes known as Les Pangalanes, surrounded by coastal forests and marshes, intersperced by small scale agriculture. During colonial times the French connected these lakes by canal, creating a remarkable inland waterway 665km in length.

The first lake encountered when descending from the highlands is Rasoabe, which has a number of simple accommodation options mainly aimed at expats weekending from the capital. The seond major lake Ampitabe has some more interesting accommodation options including Ampitabe Bush House and Le Palmarium.

Around 50km further north, the town of Toamasina is a bustling place with elements of faded colonial elegance, but not a great deal to tempt the visitor.

Another 50km north is the much smaller settlement of Foulpointe, which again is not of any great interest, although the ocean is generally more calm here. The best accommodation is probably Hotel Manda Beach.
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