The Eastern region ticks every box at the top of most tourists' must see and must do list for Madagascar.
It has rainforests, traditional culture, beaches, lemurs, vanilla and even whales which, from July to Setember, swim past Taolagnaro and Ile Sainte Marie en route to the warmer waters of Baie d'Antongil.
The region, with its humid tropical climate, boasts an abundance of plantations growing coffee, cloves, vanilla and all tropical fruits, making it generally the most affluent region of Madagascar. Along the banks of the Canal Des Pangalanes built by the French during colonial times to connect the lakes and rivers along the eastern shore, you can spot the vanilla plants as well as cinnamon and coconut trees.
With its sun and secluded white sandy beaches the 50km coral island of the Ile Sainte Marie (also called Nosy Boraha), formerly a haven for 18th century pirates (hence the pirates' cemetery), is now plundered by beach lovers.
The rainforests were also plundered by local farmers clearing land for cultivation but thanks to current protection schemes the rainforest of the Masoala National Park, now a World Heritage Site and the largest of the island's protected areas, is, today, a safe and flourishing habitat for the many exceptional species of fauna and flora.
Three marine parks are included in the Masoala National Park and, for kayaking and snorkelling, provide fascinating marine environments to explore.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, about 15km northern from Andasibe, is also a protected rainforest area in Eastern Madagascar. The park includes the Analamazaotra Reserve, home to the largest lemur, the Indri, which is known for its distinctively loud call. The park is home to native species including the big Parson's chameleon, plus rare orchids and ferns. Trail circuits weave through dense forest, past lakes and the stunning Sacred Waterfall.
Thanks to the rich biodiversity of the Eastern region and traditional medicine practise, many of the plants are used for treating ailments by the Betsimisaraka and Tanala. Sixty eight have been identified with preparations and administrations as varied as the plants themselves.
The tribes of the Betsimisaraka north and the Betsimisaraka south in the area of Tamatave also practise ancient rituals combining traditional music and superstition via colourful tromba ceremonies communicating with living and ancestral spirits.
MAJOR CITIES/TOWNS: Tamatave, Ile Saint Marie (Nosy Boraha), Mananara, Maroantsetra, Vatomandry, Mananjary, Manakara
NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES: Masoala Peninsula, Nosy Mangabe, Parc Ivoloina (Duke Primate project), Andasibe-Mantadia.
Prime Magazine Featured destinations in the Eastern Region
Sainte Marie Island is known for its beauty, its people’s joie de vivre and for its history linked with the Golden Age of Piracy. Among many other gifts of nature, the forest of Ikalalao, which in many aspects reflects the island’s natural glories, is the best place to go to recharge one’s batteries.....Read more
Let yourself be surprised by the magic of a cruise in the Pangalanes Canal! With varied itineraries in this area, travelling by yacht will surely bring a touch of originality to your stay. These short cruises from Ambila-Lemaitso are an opportunity to see the eastern part of Madagascar from a new angle. So, enjoy your trip!....Read more
The eastern part of Madagascar is a very attractive area for tourism, and tourist sites continue to attract national and international tourists. Exploring it is a privilege thanks to its magnificent fauna and sublime flora. For a unique experience, opt for the river and discover the wonders of nature during a very rewarding course.....Read more
The Anjanaharibe-Sud Reserve is a wildlife reserve located about thirty kilometres southwest of the city of Andapa, in the northern part of Madagascar, in the SAVA region. It is managed by Madagascar National Parks, which has registered there 365 species of ferns, more than 30 species of palm trees and 18,500 takhtajania perrieri, an ancient tree species dating back to prehistoric times.....Read more
Antsampanana ("crossroads") is an essential stop-by in Eastern Madagascar. The village is the point of intersection on the national road between Toamasina and Mahanoro, Vatomandry. After the fatigue caused by the kilometres traveled by car, the village atmosphere, rich in all the Malagasy products presented, will provide a very relaxed time.....Read more
Sainte Marie Island is a Malagasy jewel located off the Eastern coast of Madagascar, 35 km from Soanierana-Ivongo. The island is famous for its idyllic scenery and breathtaking activities. It requires a stay long enough to fully enjoy all the splendor it offers. One of the highlights is the guided tour of Ambodiforaha's Endemika Park located 2 km off the airport.....Read more
Located at the East coast of Madagascar, about 45 km North-west of Toamasina in the district of Toamasina II, the Betampona Integrated Nature Reserve was created, as the first reservation of the country on December 30, 1927. Covering an area of 2,228 hectares, it lies between the rural towns of Ambodiriana and Sahambala, containing the last remnant of natural forests in the Atsinanana region. This Low Elevation Moist Dense Forest, 270 to 590 meters high, is the habitat of a rich and exceptional flora and fauna.....Read more
According to numerous ship-logs and tales, around a thousand buccaneers must have used the island of Sainte-Marie as their hideout during the 17th and 18th centuries. The presence of shipwrecks in Ambodifotatra Bay is consistent with these stories. According to numerous ship-logs and tales, around a thousand buccaneers must have used the island of Sainte-Marie as their hideout during the 17th and 18th centuries. The presence of shipwrecks in Ambodifotatra Bay is consistent with these stories. Attracted by the beauty and serenity of the island, famous pirates such as Christophe Condent, John Avery, Thomas Tew, the Hawk and Thomas White settled in Sainte-Marie.....Read more
Brickaville is one of the districts of the Atsinanana region, east of Madagascar. It is named after Charles Bricka, a French engineer, director of Public Works of Madagascar during colonization. Charles Bricka contributed to the construction of the Tananarive-Côte-Est or TCE railway line before becoming Inspector General of Public Works of the colonies.....Read more
While the Malagasy west coast has a reputation for its warmth and sunsets, the east coast is known for its beautiful seaside resorts and lush vegetation. For those who are spending their holiday in the city of Manambato, take a boat trip to discover the fishing village of Vavaony.....Read more
The National Park of Zahamena, listed as a World Heritage site, is named after a tree called ‘Zahagna’, coloured red or ‘mena’ in Malagasy. Situated in the province of Toamasina, the park is a cradle of biodiversity with a few notable treasures of nature buried in its dense rain forest.....Read more
West of Antalaha two branches of a large river meet before emptying into the Indian Ocean, with Ankavanana being the right fork and Ankavia the left one. Their estuary is called Ambinany or Mananarabe. The place can be visited on a tour that follows the Ankavia River to the Eastern Cape forest area and offers several attractions.....Read more
It’s a small village that has managed to preserve its original character, with lofty bamboos around a waterfall where overlapping rocks form a natural staircase. And what better than cool water in a tropical region? The name of the village comes from the Onibe River that runs down the easternslopes of Madagascar, flowing into the Indian Ocean.....Read more
Vohipeno in the south eastern region, with more than 10,000 inhabitants, is the ancient cultural capital of the Antemoro ethnic group, one of the 18 tribes of Madagascar. One of the most visited sites, in this part of Madagascar, is the Royal Palace, located in the rural town of Ivato.Read more