Madagascar facts can spice up a trip to Toamasina

Individuals who are planning a trip to Africa may want to review some to ensure that they are getting the most out of their vacations. One of the largest cities in this nation is Toamasina, which was formerly called Tamatave. Under the rule of both the French and the British, this thriving seaport has become a commercial hub. Today, Toamasina is a great alternative for travelers who want to skip a visit to the popular city of Antananarivo.

Travelers who try to study the ancient history of the city will find that there are conflicting theories. Some experts say the origin of its name comes from King Radama I, who ruled the country in the early 19th century. According to legend, the king knelt down to try the city’s water and immediately exclaimed, “Toa masina,” which translates to “It is salty.” However, other professionals say that the name derived from São Tomás, a Portuguese name.

Regardless of how the region got its name, it became a prime target for European powers, as it was the ideal location for a commercial port. Originally, it belonged to the British, but was then given to France under the Treaty of Paris. The French, however, were not satisfied with how the British built up the area, so they promptly burned everything to the ground and allowed the future city to be controlled by the Merina people of Madagascar. Throughout the region’s history, there were frequent power struggles between the French and the Merina, but the land remained under French rule until the nation’s independence.

Today, the seaside city is perfect for an afternoon stroll, especially for travelers who want to browse its outdoor markets. The two main markets in the city are Bazar-Bé and Bazar kely, or Big Market and Tiny Market. At both of these outdoor shops, guests can expect to find vendors selling products such as seashells, vanilla and artwork as well as tropical fruits like mangoes, litchis and jackfruit. As they continue their city stroll, travelers will encounter many banks, restaurants, souvenir shops and administrative buildings, all built upon the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. While the sea may seem inviting, explorers should know that swimming is not allowed in Toamasina, as there are many sharks lurking about.