Best Diving in Madagascar

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Madagascar, the big, mysterious island in the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia, conjures up visions of discovery and adventure. White unspoiled beaches and crystal clear waters and it’s rich and unique flora and fauna makes it a paradise for nature lovers. The lovely and charming Malagasy people have many unique and fascinating customs that still influence their daily lives to a large extent.

The diving is centralized off the north western coast of Nosy Be. In these waters are several smaller islands; Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Mitsio and Nosy Iranja. The sea life around Nosy Be is quite varied and a bit of underwater exploration is likely to reveal an array of species: boxfish, surgeonfish, triggerfish, damselfish, clownfish, yellowfin tuna, barracuda, sharks, eagle rays and manta rays, whale sharks and the humpback whales; as well as sea urchins, starfish, eels, anemones and others.

The area offers great diving opportunities particularly around Ambatoloaka on the western shore of Nosy Be and Nosy Sakatia where most dive centers are located.

Best Diving Destinations in Madagascar

Some dive sites in Nosy Be are Tanikely, the Four Brothers, the Mummy and the Organ. Turtles, mantas, sting rays, schools of baracudas or king fishes and giant sea fans belong to the underwater world of Nosy Be and the surounding islands.

Nosy Tanikely
This is the best site to discover scuba diving or to get back in the water after several months of urban life as its average depth is only 12m., maximum 18m. This is a small bay with a beach and coral. It is sandy bottomed and gently sloping with various types of coral (elks horn, brain, stag horn). Turtles are commonly seen as well as octopus, blue spotted stingray, parrot fish, pipe fish, puffer fish, clown fish, angel fish, butterfly fish, bat fish and groupers.

The Four Brothers
Depth: 4m – 20m
These are a group of four large rocks, with underwater cliffs which are not especially deep therefore good for beginners ranging in depth from about 4-20 metres to the bottom. You can see turtles, cowries, blue spotted ray, lobsters, unicorn fish, scorpion fish and crocodile fish.

The Mummy
A shallow cliff so called as it resembles an Egyptian Mummy.

The Organ
So called as it has many ridges in the rock which resemble the pipes of an organ. Again there is a cliff face and the bottom is shallow. There is usually a current which makes it into a drift dive.

When to Visit Madagascar

The low season is April through August. The high season is from June to July.

Visibility is 10 to 30m all year long, it can be reduced by plancton tides but this also attracts some biger fishes. Temperature of the water ranges from 25°C from July through August and 30°C from November to May. November to December is whale sharks season.

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