Have you known that Madagascar is an island country and the fourth largest island in the world, which off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean? Coming to Madagascar in summer, it is such a pity if you do not spend time lying on the white sand and enjoy the sun under its shape. Here are the top suggested islands and beaches for your itinerary if you plan to travel to Madagascar in 2020.
1. Nosy Boraha (Ile Saint Marie)
Nosy Boraha is one of the most beautiful off-shore islands in Madagascar. It is situated just 8km off the western side of the mainland. Because of that location, the island used to be a paradise for notorious pirates like William Kidd. Until today, some local people still suppose that his treasure was still hidden in the deep ocean, where many shipwrecks are found. The shallow water and coral reefs around Nosy Boraha make it a must-not-miss destination for people who are fond of snorkeling. Furthermore, to escape from the hustle and bustle life of the city, Nosy Boraha surely pleases you because the island offers no car. Be aware that Nosy Boraha has some exceptional hotels and lodges and there are regular flights scheduled from Antananarivo and Taomasina.
The peaceful coast here stands a range of palm, coconut trees, and beach umbrellas. Moreover, there is a variety of restaurants, hotels and souvenir stores near the seaside which serve all tourists’ demands.
In summer (commonly the first two weeks of July), during the breeding season, humpback whales move closer to the water surface in Saint Marie and amuse visitors with their majestic beauty. This becomes an annual famous whale festival where lots of educating activities about sea mammal conversation take place. It is the best time to spot the giant sea animal so easily just by sitting along the seashore. Joining boat tours is also a good idea if you’d like to get a closer look.
2. Nosy Be archipelago
Nosy Be is a big archipelago, 8km off the northwest coast of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel, which comprises of several smaller islands nearby, including Nosey Iranja, Nosy Komba, Nosy Sakatia, and Nosy Tanikely.
Nosy Be, meaning “big island” in the Malagasy language, is also one of the most frequent visited archipelagoes in Madagascar. The archipelago has an assortment of great activities, from diving with tropical fish to visiting the bouncing lemurs at the Lokobe integral reserve, not to mention the sweet scent of ylang-ylang and vanilla that permeates the island air. If that’s the sort of thing that you are interested in, be sure to check out the Nosy Be Beach Package tours. It recently garnered international attention as one of the few places to spot one of the rarest animal species on the planet, the Omura whale, which was only officially classed as a species in 2003.
Ambondrona town probably has the island’s finest beach with a very shallow incline and sheltered conditions that ensure calm water and safe swimming all year round.
Nosey Iranja is a charming island of Nosy Be archipelago. It is located about 40 km to the southwest of Nosy Be island. Not anywhere but Nosey Iranja is a perfect place to discover the amazing marine life with its beautiful coral reef and to swim with sea turtles. This is due to the fact that in the breeding season, turtles will move closer to the white sand beaches in Nosey Iranja and lay their eggs. Therefore, Nosey Iranja is sometimes referred to as “Turtles’ Island”. Depending on where you are from, there are several ways to get to the islands, by ferry or internal flight if you are in the mainland of Madagascar or direct flight from Europe.
It is actually made up of two islands, connected by a 1.2 km dreamy white sandbank, which can be crossed at low tide.
The island is not only the second-largest volcanic island but also the “Lemurs Island”. It has 12 local villages and a large number of black lemurs. Do not worry since the native lemurs are so habituated to humans and always pleased to be fed with bananas and fruits by visitors. If you are an adventurous person, go trekking will lead you to the largest village in the island named Ampangorina, where you can explore the culture via local life. The villagers here grow fruits, vanilla and coffee to trade with bakers and fishermen.
Just like the other islands, Nosy Tanikely also boasts a charming coral reef system. The beach is still nice and relaxing but not spectacular as compared to the surrounding beaches like the one in Nosy Iranja.
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