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About Toamasina

Toamasina is a lively and radiant port city located on the coast of Madagascar. Overlooking the gorgeous Indian Ocean, this island metropolis is a lesser-known choice for holidaymakers heading to Madagascar. With so many hidden gems to offer, Toamasina is always quick to delight visitors with its preserved French architecture, bustling market places and golden beaches.

Cheap flights to Toamasina are now available for a limited period of time so prepare to be enthralled by the colourful sights and inviting beaches of this coastal city! Toamasina is home to Toamasina Airport (TMM) located 15 minutes from the city centre by car. Toamasina Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Air Madagascar and Kenya Airways. Popular connecting flights to Toamasina depart from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Toamasina is approximately six hours and 20 minutes.

Why visit Toamasina

historical places of interest

Historical places of interest

A city with a rich and expansive history, Toamasina boasts nearby historical landmarks such as the Place de la Colonne, Belasety Tomb and Fort Manda.

wildlife

Wildlife

No trip to Madagascar is complete without getting up close and personal with its quirky wildlife. Pay a visit to Toamasina’s local wildlife conservatory and view Madagascar’s most lovable and mischievous animals, lemurs, in their natural habitat.

culture

Culture

With its crumbling colonial buildings; dusty streets and bustling, colourful marketplaces, Toamasina is brimming with culture and charm. The vibrancy of Toamasina and its local people is not to be missed!

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Madagascar
Currency Malagasy Ariary
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 241.11 MGA
Language French/Malagasy
Hub Airport Toamasina Airport (TMM)
Airline Air Madagascar
Time Zone GMT + 3
Travel Adaptor C/D/E/J/K

Best time to visit Toamasina

Toamasina experiences a tropical rainforest climate, resulting in year-round precipitation with wetter and drier periods. The months of September to November are the driest part of the year with the least precipitation. February to April is the rainiest period of the year. Average temperatures hover around 24 degrees Celsius, but this temperature drops slightly during July and August. The ideal time to visit Toamasina falls between May and August. This period does not experience heavier than usual rainfall, and far fewer tourists visit during this time so rates will be lower than they usually are.

Weather & Climate in Toamasina

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 25°C 25°C 25°C 24°C 21°C 21°C 19°C 19°C 19°C 21°C 23°C 24°C
High °C 33°C 33°C 33°C 31°C 29°C 27°C 26°C 26°C 27°C 30°C 31°C 32°C
Rainfall (mm) 182 275 245 216 286 230 185 112 112 22 73 73

Overview

Once part of a French-controlled colony, Toamasina’s vibrancy and appeal has only been strengthened by its French history and influence. Sprawling palm trees, dusty roads, colourful taxis and crumbling, preserved architecture perfectly embody the contrasting French and Island influences that have shaped the cityscape. Walk the city on foot and experience the infectious excitement for yourself as you take in the bustling traffic, colourful balconies lining the streets and fresh ocean air.

Pop into one of Toamasina’s local markets and look for unique handmade souvenirs to take home. Sample some delicious local cuisine and treat yourself to locally produced artisanal chocolate. No trip to Toamasina is complete without a visit to its local animal conservatory where lemurs and other quirky and interesting animals can be viewed in their natural habitat.

Visa & Customs

South Africans do require a visa to enter Madagascar. Ensure your passport is valid and will remain valid for at least six months after the duration of your stay. Leave at least 3 passport pages blank for visa stamps.

For more information regarding the visa application process and necessary documentation please contact the General Consulate of Madagascar:

77 Newlands Ave
Newlands
Cape Town
7700

Tel: 021 674 7238

Health & Safety

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entry into Madagascar, however it is recommended that you be up-to-date on all routine vaccinations (MMR). Additionally, it is suggested that you get Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines before travelling to Madagascar, as there is a risk of ingesting contaminated food or water. Malaria is present in certain parts of the country, so it is recommended that you take anti-malaria pills before, during and after your trip.

As with most major cities, pickpocketing and petty crime can occur. Maintain awareness of your surroundings and keep a close eye on your possessions at all times. Do not flash expensive jewellery or equipment when walking the streets. Do not walk the streets at night, as muggings do occur; rather take a taxi cab to your destination.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG TOAMASINA
Meal inexpensive restaurant R100 R100 R55
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R25 R25 R24
Cappuccino R22 R22 R10
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R10 R10 R8
Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro) R37 R37 R15

Where to stay?

Toamasina is not short for choice with regard to accommodation options for travellers! Youth hostels, self-catering accommodation, mid-range hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, as well as luxurious and upmarket hotels are all available throughout the city. Travellers looking to be near the beach should seek accommodation on the beach front. A few steps away from the beach, guests will also be near the array of beachfront restaurants, bars and cafes. Visitors who want to be more centrally located should seek accommodation in Toamasina’s city centre. The heart of action and excitement, the city centre not only provides central access to major city landmarks, but also offers a vast selection of restaurants and bars.

Getting Around

One of the most common forms of public transport in Toamasina, and greater Madagascar, is by the popular pousse-pousse. These small carriages on wheels are attached to a bicycle which pulls it, similar to Asian tuk-tuks. Pousses are quick, efficient and can get you from one side of the city to other very quickly. Be warned, however, that drivers do try and overcharge foreigners, so be sure to bargain down their initial price. Agree on a negotiated price before hopping in. Taxis shuttling passengers around are also available but, as usual, make sure to agree on a negotiated fare before getting in the vehicle. Car rental is also an option; however congestion and lack of available parking space could create for a frustrating time on the road. Speak to your hotel about any shuttle services they may offer.

Main attractions in Toamasina

Parc Ivoloina

Parc Ivoloina

Fort Manda

Fort Manda

Nosy Mangabe

Nosy Mangabe

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