Toamasina (Tamatave), Madagascar

Lemur in Madagascar

Introduction to Toamasina (Tamatave), Madagascar

Thanks to its busy avenues and boulevards, spicy markets, traditional dancing, beautiful beaches and close proximity to some of the island’s famous lush landscapes and iconic wildlife, Toamasina (also known as Tamatave) is the place to visit for typically Madagascan experience.

Located on the incredible east coast of Madagascar, Toamasina – the island’s second largest city and most important seaport – isn’t just perfectly placed to handle much of the foreign trade; it’s also an ideal stopping point en route to discovering some of the best beaches, bays and natural wonderlands in the region. Warm, soft sands are found close port; while further inland the lush landscapes of the spectacular Ivolonia Zoological Park await exploration.

If you’re looking for a memorable Madagascan experience then the short trip to Ivolonia is a must. Here you can explore over nine Kilometres of untouched forest, hiking trails, gardens and mangroves in search of a wonderful array of native fauna and flora. There’s the chance to encounter various species of Lemur – including the Black and White Ruffled, Blue-eyed Black and Great Bamboo Lemur – as well as tortoises, chameleons, boa constrictors, tomato frogs and much more; all while taking in the park’s stunning lakes, waterfalls and tropical orchards.

Those who prefer to stay in Toamasina – commonly known as Tamatave – will also experience a typically Madagascan way of life. While escaping into the island’s unworldly interior is about immersing yourself in the peace and natural beauty; staying in the city is about sampling the hustle, bustle and wonderful local culture. Explore the palm lined avenues and boulevards on foot, or perhaps via an iconic ‘Pousse-Pousse’, and discover busy bazars selling spices and souvenirs, a handful of restaurants, tea rooms and boutiques. You might even see enchanting performances of traditional dancing outside the pretty City Hall. There are also a few museums to discover, such as the Musée du Port – which showcases the history of Toamasina both before and after it was destroyed by a cyclone in 1927 – and Musée de l'Université which is home to a selection of fascinating local artefacts. 

See All Toamasina (Tamatave), Madagascar Cruises

Cruise only prices from: Interior: | Ocean View: | Balcony: | Suite: | Single:
For more information, or to book, call us on 0800 0355 130 562-546-4800

Filter your excursions by:


  • Journey down the Pangalanes Canal observing the daily life of natives
  • Enjoy native folklore music and food 
Price£60.00 - £70.00
DurationApproximately 8 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included

The Canal des Pangalanes is a 600 kilometres (373 miles) long lagoon formed naturally by the washing of sand up on the island by the Indian Ocean currents and by the silting of rivers, has been used both as a means of transportation up and down the coast and as a fishing area. Though overgrown with aquatic plants the canal still dominated daily life in this region. Cruising by boat on the calm waters, followed by a visit to a local village will provide for a fascinating day!

Departing from the quayside begin with a drive through the harbour area towards the fluvial port. Here you will embark on a local boat and head towards Antetezampasika and Tapakala village travelling along canals where you may see vessels carrying products of all kinds including wood and fruit and vegetables. As you sail along make sure you keep a look out for the locals who may be along the bank catching their dinner!

Once at the village of Tapakala you will be able to enjoy lunch accompanied by folklore music typical for this area.

The return boat journey will take you back to Toamasina for your short transfer to your awaiting ship.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one hour of walking over sandy flat terrain; therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Pirogue boats that hold between 10 and 20 passengers will be used and will be boarded from a jetty but guests must be agile enough to board this vessel unaided. Light, comfortable clothing is recommended along with sun protection. Mosquitos will be present throughout the duration of this tour and so repellent will be an essential addition to your bag. One soft drink per person will be included at lunch. Toilets will only be available to use at the lunch location.


  • Appreciate the tropical vegetation of Madagascar
  • Relax on golden sands or explore Fort Manda
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApproximately 7 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included
Swimming time includedSwimming time included

Mahavelona, or Foulpointe as it is also known, is a popular tourist destination in Madagascar. The beauty of its beach, protected by a coral reef actually make it a great beach destination. This tour will take you to see the main sights before giving you that all important opportunity to relax on the sandy white beaches.

Leaving the harbour behind, you will begin by driving in a northerly direction through the tropical vegetation and a typical village. Stops will be made to take pictures and take part in a botanical tour to view cinnamon trees, Ravinala trees and Raffia trees. A stop at a handicraft stand will allow you to pick up a little souvenir of your day.

On arrival at the native village you will be entertained by folklore music as you enjoy lunch on the beach before having the option to relax and enjoy the warm sun on your skin or taking the optional visit to Fort Manda.

Fort Manda was built by King Radama I. Its walls, which are eight metres (26 foot) high and six metres (19 foot) thick in places, are made from coral, sand and eggs. Within the Fort are three buildings: a military barracks, a kitchen and a prison. An underground secret passage way can be seen as well. History confirms that when the French invaded the Fort, there was no one in the chamber. 

After relaxing or exploring the Fort you will board your transport for the return journey to Boudicca.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one hour of walking over mostly sandy terrain; therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Road conditions can be very bumpy and uneven; therefore it is not recommended for guests with back or neck problems. Approximately two and a half hours of free time will be spend on the beach, which will include time to have lunch. One soft drink/fruit juice or beer will be available during lunch, any further drinks will be payable locally. Toilets will only be available at the lunch venue. If you wish to go swimming during your free time, please come wearing your swimwear under your clothes and don’t forget a towel!


  • Admire the endemic flora and fauna of Madagascar
  • Witness many different species of lemur that call this park home
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

Located north of Toamasina, Ivoloina is just waiting to be explored. With plenty of Malgasy flora and fauna to discover, this non-profit organisation directly supports the conservation and education efforts in eastern Madagascar. A visit to Parc Ivoloina is an experience to remember!

Beginning with a short orientation tour through the city of Toamasina, along Independence Avenue and past the market you will head northwards to the Ivoloina Botanical & Zoological Park. Situated by the Ivoloina River, the former botanical garden is now a conservation centre and zoo.

On arrival your guide will take you on a botanical walk to visit the lemurs and reptile area. Home to twelve different species of lemurs including the critically endangered black and white ruffed lemur, the greater bamboo lemur and the blue-eyed black lemur, it really is a place to discover, but make sure you keep a look out for the free roaming lemurs that may pay you a visit while exploring the park! You will also find tortoises, turtles, boas, frogs and chameleons. For the bird enthusiasts, malachite kingfishers, white-faced whistling ducks and many other bird species can be spotted around Lake Fulgence. As you are led around the half kilometre trail which will allow you to see different endemic plants that all have an importance in the Malgasy economy.

After time exploring the park, refreshments will be served before the return journey back to the pier.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately 90 minutes of walking with dirt pathways to negotiate; therefor this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. In order to view all enclosures a certain level of fitness will need to be shown. The total time spent in the park will be approximately 120 minutes, this will allow you approximately 20 minutes free time after the guided tour, the park can take hours to explore independently but this tour will mainly allow you view the native lemurs.


  • Enjoy the scenic drive to Ambodiatafana
  • Observe the tropical flora from the comfort of your vehicle
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 2.5 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Shopping time includedShopping time included

The town of Toamasina is a region inhabited by the Betsimisaraka tribe. It is second to Antananarivo, a sea port and harbour of the great island. It has lots of lovely looking avenues adorned by coco trees and flowering plants and old buildings of the colonial style still remain. It is this that we will discover today.

Departing the quay, you will begin with a drive through the city, along Independence Avenue and to the handicraft market. Here you can take a short time to view the wares of the locals and make that all important purchase if you wish.

Continuing on you will take the road towards Ambodiatafana for a scenic tour. The drive northwards will allow you time to enjoy the tropical vegetation including raffia, cinnamon, litchi trees and Ravinala palm – the national symbol of Madagascar. A stop will be made to view the ocean from an advantage point before the return journey is made.


Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour has minimal walking with the option to stop at the market and photo stop; therefore this tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as you are able to board the transport unaided. 

0800 0355 130

You can call us 7 days a week,
we'd love to hear from you.

Calls are charged at local rate

Our opening hours

Mon-Fri: 08:00 - 20:00 Sat: 09:00 - 17:00 Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

0800 0355 130
Telephone Icon
Call us 7 days a week, we'd love to hear from you

Your recently viewed cruises

X Close
River Cruises