Sambava is a town and district on the east coast of Madagascar and the capital of the Sambava and Sava region. The population in 2001 was approximately 40,000. A domestic airport operated by Air Madagascar is located approximately 2km from town, with flights connecting Antananarivo, Toamasina (Tamatave), Maroantsetra and Diego Suarez.
45% of the population in the Sambava region live from farming and raising livestock. The most common acricultures are vanilla, coconut and rice farming. Sambava, along with Antalaha, is the centre of vanilla production and the source of much of the world's vanilla as Madagascar is the world's leading vanilla exporter.
Recommended activities include a visit to the Lopat vanilla factory to learn about traditional vanilla production procedures, the Center for Learning and Understanding English (CLUE) and the large bazary kely marketplace, especially on Tuesdays.
The town has a stunning beach but sometimes with huge and dangerous waves. North of town there is a very beautiful beach which is usually safer for swimming. Watch for the Nephila spiders in the trees! Possible nearby excursions include a taxi-brousse drive to Nosiarina and from thereon a 5-hour boat ride by pirogue up-river to Amboahangibe. Alternatively, catch a lift with one of the cargo boats used to transport vanilla pickers during the harvest season. Marojejy National Park can also be reached by road from Sambava.
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