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Tamatave - panoramio.jpg
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Location in Madagascar
Coordinates: 18°09′18″S49°24′36″E / 18.15500°S 49.41000°E / -18.15500; 49.41000
CountryFlag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar
Region Atsinanana
  MayorNantenaina Rakotonirina
  Total30.9 km2 (11.9 sq mi)
11 m (36 ft)
 (2018 census)
  Density11,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC3 (EAT)
Postal code
Area code +261
Climate Af

Toamasina (Malagasy pronunciation: [toˈmasinə̥] ), meaning "like salt" or "salty", unofficially and in French Tamatave, is the capital of the Atsinanana region on the east coast of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean. The city is the chief seaport of the country, situated 215 km (134 mi) northeast of its capital and biggest city Antananarivo. In 2018 Toamasina had a population of 325,857. [3]



Downtown in 1912 Rue de Commerse. Tamatave. Madagaskar - SMVK - 021960.tif
Downtown in 1912

Under French rule, Toamasina was the seat of several foreign consuls, as well as of numerous French officials, and was the chief port for the capital and the interior. Imports consisted principally of piece-goods, farinaceous foods, and iron and steel goods; main exports were gold dust, raffia, hides, caoutchouc (natural rubber) and live animals. Communication with Europe was maintained by steamers of the Messageries Maritimes and the Havraise companies, and also with Mauritius, and thence to Sri Lanka, by the British Union-Castle Line. [4]

During the colonial period, owing to the character of the soil and the formerly crowded native population, the town was often plagued by epidemics; the plague broke out in 1898, and again in 1900. Since the draining of the neighboring marshes, there is some improvement, although there are still outbreaks of malaria and other diseases, such as chikungunya.

Notable person


Toamasina owes its importance to the existence of a coral reef which forms a spacious harbour, entered by two openings. The city center is built on a sandy peninsula which projects at right angles from the general coastline.

South of the town there is the mouth of the Ivondro River in the Indian Ocean.


Toamasina features a trade-wind tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification. While Toamasina has no true dry season month where less than 60 mm (2.4 in) of precipitation (on average) falls, the seaport has noticeably wetter and drier periods of the year. September–November is the driest period of the year, while February–April is the wettest time of the year. Average temperatures are relatively constant throughout the course of the year, though it is slightly cooler in the months of July and August, where average highs are around 24 °C (75 °F), and warmer in the months of January and February, where high temperatures on average are 30 °C (86 °F). Toamasina averages 3,368.2 mm (132.61 in) of precipitation annually.

Climate data for Toamasina (1991–2020, extremes 1889–present)
Record high °C (°F)37.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)30.7
Daily mean °C (°F)26.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)23.2
Record low °C (°F)18.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)412.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)18.517.419.515.717.219.721.317.313.812.110.915.4198.8
Average relative humidity (%)83838584858584858382838484
Mean monthly sunshine hours 224.7198.2191.0196.9192.1162.5162.8184.6209.7232.7236.0219.22,410.4
Source 1: NOAA [5]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1951–1967), [6] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows) [7]


The port of Toamasina. Port Toamasina Madagascar.jpg
The port of Toamasina.
Lighthouse of Ile aux Prunes Phare de l'Ile aux Prunes.jpg
Lighthouse of Ile aux Prunes

The town is the railhead for the line to the capital. Pousse-pousse (bicycle rickshaws), tuk-tuk (motorized rickshaws), and taxis are available throughout Toamasina to get around the city. Toamasina is the northern end of the Canal des Pangalanes.

The port of Toamasina serves as Madagascar's most important gateway to the Indian Ocean and to the world.

The city is served by Ambalamanasy Airport, which has limited domestic and international service. The city is the country's main seaport for international shipping.



The University of Toamasina was founded in 1977. There is also a Lycée Français de Tamatave, a French international school.


The CHU Morafeno is the university hospital of Toamasina.


The Barikadimy Stadium with a capacity 25,000 spectators. It mostly hosts football competitions and the AS Fortior and Tia Kitra FC Toamasina.

Places of worship

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, Malagasy Lutheran Church, Assemblies of God, Association of Bible Baptist Churches in Madagascar, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toamasina (Catholic Church seated in the Cathedral of St. Joseph) and Iglesia ni Cristo. [8] There are also Muslim mosques.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Toamasina is twinned with:

See also


  1. Rakotoarivelo, Julian (2021-09-04). "Toamasina : Menace de destitution du maire de la ville". Midi Madagasikara (in French). Retrieved 2022-09-20.
  2. Estimated based on DEM data from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
  3. Census 2018
  4. Chisholm 1911, p. 387.
  5. "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  6. "Klimatafel von Toamasina (Tamatave) / Madagaskar" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  7. "Station Toamasina" (in French). Meteo Climat. Archived from the original on August 22, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  8. J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 1768
  9. Le Port est jumelé à quatre villes portuaires Archived 2015-09-08 at the Wayback Machine (in French)

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