Mantasoa is a resort town in the midst of a pine forest by an artificial lake located northeast of Antananarivo along the RN2 national road.
The population of Mantasoa is just under 10,000, most of whom make their living from agriculture and forestry.
A growing number of people also work in tourism as Mantasoa has become popular weekend break destination for visitors from the nearby capital. There are three major hotels, Hermitage, Chalet and Riverside. There are 2 high schools, 3 colleges and 11 primary schools Mantasoa. The main attractions of the town are the artificial lake which was built in 1937, the industrial city built by Jean Laborde at the beginning of the French colonisation. Jean Laborde (1806 - 1878) who is buried here was a French adventurer, entrepreneur and early industrialist. He was appointed the first French Consul by Napoleon III in response to the British taking an interest in Madagascar. As such, he was the first involved in securing a French influence in Madagascar and had a considerable influence on social and the political life of the Merina Kingdom of the central highlands in the 19th century. Jean Laborde was the appointed architect and weapons manufacturer of Queen Ranavalona I.
To reach Mantasoa, turn right at the city of Manjakandriana (45km from Tana) and continue about 12km. Alternatively, to see more landscape, turn right at milestone 14, taking the Imerikasinina road, passing through villages such as Anjeva, Alarobia, Ambatomanga, Ankadimanga, before returnign to RN2 in Sambaina. There is an airfield in Mantasoa but which is probably not in active use.