Scuba Diving Madagascar: Best Dives | SCUBA Travel
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Diving in Madagascar

21 January 2014
Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, hosts one of the world's largest continuous coral reefs1. The country is famous for her unique land animals, but her seas are also full of life not found anywhere else. And she doesn't just have endemic species: around the Madagascar coast are found at least 34 types of whale and dolphin, 5 types of turtle, 56 types of shark, 300 hard corals and 1300 species of bony fish 2.

Madagascar is in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique. The cyclone season normally runs from January to March. The best time to go is between May and December, when the visibility can be 30 m or more. High season is in July and August, which are also the coolest months. Sea temperature ranges from 27 oC in January to March, to 23 oC from July to October.

Frog Fish - Antennairius
Frog Fish, Antennarius sp, in Madagascar, photo credit: Madaplouf

Visas are required for entry to Madagascar. 30-day tourist visas may be obtained at the airport on arrival. If obtaining a visa at the airport, you should ensure that an entry stamp is recorded in your passport.

There has been political unrest in Madagascar since 2009, when there was a coup. Elections to return the country to democratic Government took place on 20 December 2013. The new president will be inaugurated on 25 January. There were riots on the island of Nosy Be in October 2013 but the situation is now calm. You should be particularly vigilant in the following areas of Nosy Be: Ambatoloaka, Hell-Ville, all beaches and the road to the airport. Rather than travel independently at the moment, use an established travel firm. Having said that, in 2013 there were around 8,000 British visitors alone to Madagascar and most visits are trouble free. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel advice. It's recommended to take out comprehensive travel and diving insurance before going to Madagascar.

Some good diving in Madagascar is around Noisy Be, but for the best dives take a liveaboard to the Mitsio (north of Noisy Be) or Radames (west of Noisy Be) archipelagoes. The east coast of Madagascar - eg Saint Marie - is on migratory routes for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) between July and September. Indeed, they are said to breed there during this time. Whale sharks are frequent between November and January at Nosy Be.

Manta Ray, Madagascar
Manta Ray photographed in Madagascar, photo credit: Madaplouf

Madagascar Dive Sites Madagascar Diving Centres Books to Take Your Comments SCUBA News

by Jill Studholme


Madagascar Dive Sites

Around Nosy Be the diving generally takes place in the morning as the wind becomes stronger in the afternoon. Tanikely is a marine park with exceptional marine life.

Recommend a dive site.

"Second only to Mozambique. We dived at end of rainy season (end April) so it'll be even better from May onward"
Lee Donoher, 2012

Diving Madagascar
Diving in Madagascar with blackspotted sweetlips (Plectorhinchus gaterinus) photo credit: Madaplouf

20 m
Nosy Tanikeli - South Reef

Rating: 4 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Great under 20 m site. "
, 8 May 2012
Nosy Tanikeli - North East Reef

Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Coral in amazing condition, especially the HUGE fans, turtle, massive lobsters, too many species of fish to list. "
, 8 May 2012

Turtle

Nosy Tanikeli - Mitsio Wreck

Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Awesome wreck dive. Second dive at gorgones has amazing fan coral and bio diversity "
, 8 May 2012

Madagascar Diving Centres

Recommend a dive operator or list your diving company on this page.

Nosy Be
Coral Diving Club - Madagascar

The First British Owned Dive Centre In Nosy Be, Madagascar with the first and only British instructor on the island. Offering 'Try Dives', PADI Dive Courses, Snorkel Trips, Dive Trips and Catamaran Dive Safaris.

Rating: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (3)

Coral Diving Club - Madagascar
Hotel Avi-Avy
Madirokely Beach
Nosy Be
Madagascar
Tel: +261 (0) 32 521 60 67
[email protected]
http://www.CoralGardenDiving.com/

"We found Coral Diving to be an excellent dive centre with good facilities and a high standard of dive equipment. I dived two days and found Richard to be fun, friendly and very knowledgeable. He was also very accommodating as my wife does not dive - she joined us on the boat and was dropped at Nosy Tanikely to do some snorkeling. The prices are competitive in comparison to other dive centres. Overall we had a great experience and would definitely recommend this dive club for both experienced and novice/beginner divers. Excellent value for money. "
, UK, 19 November 2012
"Richard is the only English instructor on the island, he also speaks a variety of different languages!!! He was so helpful and gave us a lot of tips about the island itself. 100% would dive with him again!!! Perfect for my budget. Can sometimes be very secluded which is perfect for a unique experience. "
, Wales, 28 September 2012
"Coral diving Club is an excellent diving outift! My partner and I had a series of fantatic dives with them in Apr 2012. You'll not meet a more friendly instructor than Richie. Equipment is top notch, safety and professionalism second to none as is knowledge of the dive sites. Damn good on prices to boot! Would definitely dive with them again. Value for money: 10/10."
, 8 May 2012
Nosy Be
Madaplouf
Madaplouf logo, Madagascar dive centre

Speak and teach in French, English, Italian, French, Spanish and German. Run by Michele and Jennifer. Organise day trips, introductory dives, and training courses PADI from Open Water Diver to Divemaster and CMAS from 1* to 3*. Also organize cruises to the Mitsio and Radama Archipelagoes on catamarans. Open througout the year.

Madaplouf
Bemoko Beach
Nosy Be
Madagascar
Tel: +261 (0)33 14 248 33 or +261 (0)33 02 096 13
E-mail: [email protected]

Whale shark in Madagascar
Diving with whale sharks in Madagascar, photo credit: Madaplouf

Nosy Be
Tropical Diving
Nosy Be
Blue Dive - Bleu Oceane
Nosy Be
Manta Dive Club
Nosy Be
Forever Dive
Nosy Be
Oceane's Dream
Nosy Be
Sakatia Lodge
Nosy Be
Akio Plongée

Akio Plongée
Ambatoloaka
Nosy Be
Madagascar
Tel : (00261) 32 02 814 55

Ampasilava-Andavadoaka
Laguna Blu / Manta Diving Center
Diego Suarez
Aquaroc Madagascar
Morondava
Menabe Plongee
St Marie
Il Balenotterde

Il Balenotterde
Port de Barachois Ambodifotatra
St Marie
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 57 400 48

St Marie
Diving Mahery Be

Diving Mahery Be
Andapanangoy
St Marie
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 57 401 48

St Marie
Maningory

Maningory
Andapanangoy
Ile aux Nattes
St Marie
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 57 402 20

Tulear
Alizee Dive in

Alizee Dive in
C/o Hotel Safari
Vezo Anakao Tulear
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 94 413 81

Tulear
Nautilus Deep Sea Club
Tulear
Fifi Diving
Tulear
Club Nautique

Club Nautique
C/o Hotel les Dunes
Les Dunes
Ifaty Tulear
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 94 339 00

Club Nautique
C/o Hotel Lakana Vezo
Lakana Vezo
Ifaty Tulear
Madagascar
Tel: 00 261 20 94 339 00

Mangily Ifaty
ATIMOO plongée
Mangily Ifaty
Mangily Scuba

Recommend a dive operator...

Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus) in Madagascar
Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus) in Madagascar, photo credit: Madaplouf


Further Information

Madagascar
by Hilary Bradt; Bradt Travel Guides, Paperback, 448 pages, 2014.
From the Nosy Be archipelago to the coastal town of Fort Dauphin via the capital Antananarivo, Bradt's Madagascar covers all the national parks and protected areas.
A Diver's Guide to Reef Life
by Andrea Ferrari and Antonella Ferrari; Nautilus, Paperback, 128 pages.
Includes 1200 concise descriptions accompanied by detailed photographs. Covers Indo-Pacific, Red Sea and the Caribbean.
Madagascar Sheet Map
Good quality map of Madagascar.

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1. WWF
2. Wildlife Conservation Society
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