The Canal des Pangalanes is an artificial waterway that connects meandering rivers and lagoons along the sandy plain of the east coast of Madagascar between Tamatave in the north and Farafangana in the south. In places it runs just a few hundred metres from the surf-dashed ocean beach. Built by the French at the turn of the last century as a sheltered cargo and passenger route along a dangerous coastline, the canal stretched at one time more than 600km from Foulpointe to Vangaindrano. Today, much of the canal is silted up, but the 100km section between Tamatave and Ambila-Lemaitso, where there is a railway station, is navigable and runs through Lac Ampitabe, which has several lakefront hotels.

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