A World in One Country – Discover the Fourth Continent From Our New Base in Madagascar
Often referred to as ‘Treasure Island’, Madagascar is a destination of extreme landscape diversity. Located in the Indian ocean and once part of Africa, Madagascar boasts extensive wildlife, lush islands full of rich vegetation, powdery white sandy beaches and exciting scuba and snorkeling opportunities. Madagascar is where an ocean full of marine life meets baobab trees to create a thrilling yacht charter vacation.
Thanks to its dedicated approach to wildlife conservation, Madagascar is home to a number of endangered wildlife species. These include the ring-tailed lemur and the Madagascan fish eagle. You’ll see plenty of lemurs ashore as they roam freely around the many islands in the archipelagos. They are cheeky and relatively friendly, although we advise you respect their wild nature! The flavors of the island are second to none, with sweet smells of vanilla, ylang-ylang and rum all filling the air.
The many islands that surround the northern mainland make up the Radama and Mitsio archipelagos. Both areas offer a vast range of things to see and do, with an abundance of sights to visit and environments to enjoy. To help you plan the perfect itinerary, we’ve suggested our top five islands to consider when planning a yacht charter vacation to magical Madagascar.
1. Nosy Be
Nosy Be is a popular area in Madagascar and home to our new base, as its close to the airport. Before you set sail, take some time to explore the beautiful island and its wonderful wildlife. Head to the Lokobe Special Reserve and see the last remaining area of primeval lowland rainforest. The reserve is a popular tourist attraction and home to a number of endangered species, including the black lemur.
From here, visit the local village of Mahatsinj where you will find the sacred Banyan Tree, planted in 1836 by the Queen of the Sakalava. This mesmerizing tower of weaving branches is still visited by Madagascan royals every year on a sacred pilgrimage and is an impressive sight. Before you leave this beautiful island, be sure to take some time out on its renowned beach, Andilana, with its powdery white sand and clear azure waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
2. Nosy Iranja
Known affectionately as Turtle Island, Nosy Iranja is made up of two separate islets, Nosy Iranja Be and Nosy Iranja Kely, which are connected by a thin sandbar. It is home to the hawksbill turtle reserve which protects the fragile ecosystem that allows eggs to hatch safely. You can watch the turtles when you visit the reserve. If you love being in the water, the natural coral reefs are a fantastic place for snorkeling and diving, where you can see hundreds of species of vibrantly colored fish, whales and rays. It is also a great place for whale watching, with the rare Omura’s whale being spotted in the area. If time permits, take a local dhow cruise, a respectful way to support local tourism.
Head inland where you will be greeted by the characterful lemurs who live on the island. You can also take a hike into the jungle where you’ll see lush flora and fauna and hear the amazing range of sounds that only a rainforest can offer. Complete your visit to the island with some water sports activity, such as kayaking or windsurfing.
3. Nosy Mitsio
Situated around 55km northeast of Nosy Be, the verdant reefs of the Mitsio archipelago offer visitors a chance to see a whole host of wonderful marine life, including sea turtles, bottle-nosed dolphins, manta rays and colorful fish. Nosy Mitsio is the only inhabited island of the Mitsio archipelago and is surrounded by inviting waters and palm-lined, white sandy beaches. It can only be accessed via boat, making it a quiet and tranquil location, with the only sounds being that of the wildlife and the waves that lap the beaches.
The Instagram-ready beaches are the ideal place for a day of serenity with the tropical climate’s warm temperatures and a clear view of the night sky. Visit Tsarabanjina where you will find large sections of volcanic rock, spot whales and their calves or head to the local villages of Antakarana and Akalava where the locals will be pleased to meet you and will welcome you to their island.
4. Nosy Tanikely
A national marine park, Nosy Tanikely is a place of utter beauty and a true paradise for diving and snorkeling. The colorful corals that surround the island are home to a vast amount of fish and marine life, including large sea turtles.
Take a walk to the lighthouse where you will be rewarded with spectacular views as you make your way from the beach through the jungle. The island itself is home to a few black lemurs, which were introduced in an attempt to increase numbers, as well as the traditional ring-tailed species and makis. You can also find some panther chameleons, hermit crabs and a large colony of fruit bats. Because the island is a national reserve, fishing, camping and personally made picnics are forbidden. However, it is possible to arrange a picnic on the beach through local guides which will include tasty dishes of rice, locally caught fish and delicious lobster.
5. Baie des Russes
This beautiful little island takes its name from the Russian Navy squadron who stopped here for two months before heading to Port Arthur during the war between the Russians and the Japanese in 1905. It provides one of the best anchorages in Madagascar and is a popular destination for sailors. The island boasts exceptional hiking opportunities and there are a number of organized tours available should you wish to go with a guide. These tours will likely include visits to the local villages that are dotted around the island, where you can immerse yourself in local culture.
The wildlife won’t disappoint either with wild pigs, lemurs and Madagascan fish eagles, as well as manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins. It is also an area where humpback whales mate and give birth. Watch the turtles and swim the coral, or, enjoy a late night barbecue with fellow sailors, where fresh fish can be purchased from the locals.
How to get there
You can fly from the US via Paris – Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) – to Antananarivo Airport (TNR), Madagascar. From there you can take a connecting flight with Air Madagascar to Nosy Be Fascene Airport (NOS) and reach the marina after a 45-minute taxi transfer. Alternatively, you can also fly via European cities to Nosy Be Fascene Airport (NOS) with a stopover on the way. We can arrange airport transfers on request.
Find out more
Our new base at Nosy Be is home to a small fleet of bareboat yachts available for charter and our fully crewed Lagoon 620, Reve2Mer, for an all-inclusive experience. In addition to Madagascar, we have new bases in Belize, St Lucia and Turkey, as well as favorites in the British Virgin Islands, the Maldives and the Bahamas, giving you more destination choice than any other charter company. Learn more about our new base in Madagascar and our fleet, get a quick quote, or tell us your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to us at 855.650.8902.