Diving in Madagascar, Indian Ocean

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Madagascar is the fourth largest island country in the world. It is surrounded by the waters of Indian Ocean and bordered by Mozambique Channel from the coast of Southeast Africa. It also sports the longest coral reef in the world teeming with rich marine life from small varieties of fish species to the larger pelagic fishes. Diving in Madagascar is genuinely refreshing particularly for beginner divers who want to master their craft.

Most of the fabulous dive sites are centred on the Nosy Be on the island's north and west coast but all the dive sites in Madagascar offer unique diving activities for all levels of divers.

One of the popular dive sites is the Tanikely Marine Reserve in Nosy Be sporting over 20m of deep diving. This depth is perfect for novice divers who want to experience a little bit of drift diving as mild currents are present in the area. However, the deeper you go, the stronger the current gets so advanced divers would have plenty of fun too. The reward is an incredible marine biodiversity such as huge coral fans, several species of turtles, gigantic lobsters, leopard shark, frogfish, and angelfish.

There is also the Mitsio Wreck in the reserve at 28m which is suitable for novice to advanced divers. It is now home to a plenitude of marine life including the splendid scorpionfish and fabulous fan coral. Another popular wreck diving site is in the island of Île Sainte-Marie just off the east coast. For beginner divers, there is the shallow wreck of a fishing boat at 15m in La Cocoteraie, Anivorano Rocks sporting amazing underwater scenery from granitic rocks with lurking barracudas which is amazingly picture perfect.

Advanced divers would love the Paroi des Merous dive site which drops to 40m. There are a plenitude of marine life and exhilarating diving activities in the area.

Larger pelagic fishes could also be seen in Pointe Alebrand at 20m deep sporting huge granite boulders in a sandy floor teeming with manta rays, grey shark, barracuda and sometimes migrating humpback whales which could be seen in large numbers.

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The government of Madagascar is an active participant in marine conservation efforts. A testament to this cause is the establishment of the Tanikely Marine Reserve in an effort to save Madagascar's unique marine biodiversity.

Madagascar's climate is tropical along the coast, temperate in the inland, and arid in the south.

The water temperature hovers around 28°C/83F in January to March and around 25°C/77F in July to Sept.

The diving season is year round but the best time to visit is from June to September when whales migrate to the island.

Natural hazards include storm and cyclones brought by monsoons usually in December through March.

The main point of entry to Madagascar is the Ivato International Airport about 16 km from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. It also serves as the hub for the domestic flights which are offered by Air Madagascar.

There are also boat rides or yacht charters going to Madagascar.

Once in the mainland, the available transportation means are trains, taxi-brousse, taxi-be, and rental jeeps.

For your convenience, contact your travel agent. Group travellers would find rental jeeps to be more cost effective if you plan on going around the island by car.

The general transportation of Madagascar is good but could be better.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in Madagascar

- Foreign Travel Advice for Madagascar (UK Government)

- More about Madagascar (Wikipedia) 

  • Nosy BeMadagascar Nosy Be, Madagascar

    Nosy Be, “Big Island” is an island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madagascar]. Nosy Be is Madagascar's largest and busiest tourist[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism] resort. The island is known for having the world's smallest frog and chameleon. Nosy Be is also home to a specific colour of panther chameleon[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_chameleon] which can be found...

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