Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (1600 km long and 500 km wide). Its nickname is the Continent Island; it remains completely untouched from mass tourism. It’s a land of diversity and contrast with glorious beaches, towering mountainous backdrops, lush tropical forests, and oceans teaming with a wealth of wondrous marine life. Madagascar is the only island of the Indian Ocean able to offer such a variety of landscapes, activities and tourist routes. Malagasy people were born with a smile, and are warm, friendly and welcoming to visitors to their beautiful country.

Local cultures, ceremonies, music and crafts are there to be discovered. Madagascar is a genuine Nature sanctuary and is the only country in the world that can boast an 85% endemic fauna.

Nosy Be and the Coral Islands

Nosy Be is located north of the Mozambique channel, North-West of Madagascar, one hour from the capital Antananarivo by plane; it is the meeting point between land and sea. Nosy Be is the ideal starting point for an unforgettable cruise. With beautiful creeks, white sandy beaches and coral islets such as Nosy Komba, Sakatia, Iranja, Mitsio, Tanikely.

These islands are the land jewels set in turquoise waters. Diversity is the best word to define this amazing location; exotic colours, lush greens, and crystal blue seas edged with great sandy beaches. Islands spangled with lakes, incredible flowers, plants, and forests that the friendly inhabitants will be very pleased to show you.

The sailing area is a group of islands from Mitsio Islands (North) to Antany Mora (South). Starting from Nosy Be you can sail all this area representing about 80-90 NM from North to South of the zone. Nosy Be is easily accessible with direct flights from Europe. This new and unspoiled destination is rich in culture and endemic fauna and flora. There is a huge territory to discover with short sailing passages between the islands. This is a fabulous and truly exotic charter destination.

Nosy Be - Sailing area limits

Sailing area is a group of islands from Mitsio Islands (North) to Antany Mora (South).

Charter groups starting from Nosy Be can sail all this area representing about 80-90 NM from North to South of the zone. Unfortunately one way trips are not possible.

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» New and unspoiled destination
» Cultural richness
» Short sailing passages
» Amazing endemic fauna and flora
» Huge territory to discover
» Very exotic destination

Images & Videos

A collection of images from Madagascar:

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Video from Madagascar:


Itinerary 11 days / 10 nights

Day 1: 2 ½ hours sailing

Arrival in Craty in the morning and boarding on the sailing boat. Set off for Tany Kely, a National park protected by a large reef. The perfect spot for snorkelling: the flora and fauna inside the lagoon are very rich and colourful. Visit of the island and its lighthouse. Depart to Nosy Komba in the afternoon. Night at Nosy Komba.

Day 2:

Also called Nosy Ambariovato, Nosy Komba, surrounded by breath taking rocks that host hundreds of lemurs that you can easily approach if you offer them a banana. Visit Ampagorina and its craft shops where you can purchase beautiful embroidered bed sheets and table clothes. Moor overnight at Nosy Komba.

Day 3: 5 hours sailing

Early morning departure towards the Mitsio islands, an archipelago made up of 6 islands and large rocks. Lunch in front of Nosy Tsarabanjina, “white Sand Island”. Perfect spot for swimming in crystal clear waters. In the afternoon sail to Grande Mitsio and moor overnight.

Day 4: 2 ½ hours sailing

Visit of Grande Mitsio, the only inhabited island of the archipelago and swimming. After lunch sail to Ankarea which is the highest point in the archipelago culminating at 283m. On the west coast of this massive island, sparse endemic plants sit up like an army of guards, which is a contrast to the eastern part of the island that is extremely green. Back to Grande Mitsio for the night passing by the Cannes d’Orgues, very strange geological formation protruding out of the sea.

Day 5: 6 hours sailing

Departure to Nosy Sakatia, a small Island of 6 km2 is a little paradise. Visiting this island you will discover wild vanilla, ylang ylang, pineapples and a primary forest that is still virgin. You may also spot the smallest chameleon in the world. Moor overnight at Nosy Sakatia.

Day 6: 3 hours sailing

Departure towards Russian Bay. This place will surprise you by the wealth of his wildlife and his flora. Unusual by his name that comes from the war between Russian and Japanese in 1907. The 2nd biggest bay in the world after Rio de Janeiro bay. Myriad of different songs originating animals of the mangrove will accompanies you during your night…

Day 7: 7 hours sailing

Departure early in the morning. Nosy Iranja is composed from 2 heavenly island linked by a sand white accessible bench on foot to low tide. According to “îles magazine” this is one of the 10th most beautiful islands in the world. Crystal clear waters, lighthouse to visit and a bar for have a drink. After lunch course on Nosy Antanimora for the night.

Day 8: 5 hours sailing

Nosy Antanimora that means in Malagasy « easy earth », again a dream destination for the dived or the lazing around on the sun baths. For the lunch course on Nosy Berafia is the biggest island of the archipelago. Its landscapes and its constructions have the perfume of the colonial years. An excursion to land will allow you to realize how was the life looking like during this period. Moor overnight at Nosy Antanimora.

Day 9: 4 hours sailing

After 2 sailing hours you will reach Nosy Kalakajoro, very interesting for the snorkelling and its village where you can see how they still built the typical vessel of Malagasy the “Boutre”. Middle afternoon departure towards Baramahamay River and moor overnight.

Day 10: 6 hours sailing

After the visit of the village and its school which counts 63 pupils, departure to Tanly Kely, a National Marine Park, the perfect spot to rest, sunbath, swim and snorkel during your last afternoon. Sail back to Crater in the afternoon and moor overnight.

Day 11: Disembarkation at 6:00 am

7 Days option:

Southward cruise – Nosy Be / RADAMA Islands Archipelago – Nosy Be

1 Nosy Be - Nosy Tanikely – Mamoko 23nm
2 Mamoko – Baie Des Russes 25nm
3 Baie Des Russes – Nosy Iranja 15nm
4 Nosy Iranja - Nosy Kalakajoro 20nm
5 Nosy Kalakajoro - Nosy Ovy - Nosy Antanimora 17nm
6 Nosy Antanimora – Baramahamay 27nm
7 Baramahamay - Nosy Be 34nm

Nosy Be is located north of Mozambic channel, North-West of Madagascar, one hour from capital Antananarivo by plane; it is the meeting point between Land and Sea.

Nosy Be is the ideal starting point for an unforgettable cruise. All this area gathers creeks, white sandy beaches and coral islets named Nosy Komba, Sakatia, Iranja, Mitsio, Tanikely. These islands are the land jewels set in turquoise waters. Desert beaches, “lost” islands, easy way of life, enchanting landscapes.

Diversity is the best word to define the place; exotic side with its bended coconut trees above a crystal blue sea edged with great sandy beaches, spangled with lakes, incredible flowers, plants, and forests that friendly inhabitants will show you.

Nosy Be “nickname” is “the island of Perfume”. About twenty islands offer an incomparable sailing area between Mitsio Archipelago at North and Radama Archipelago at South.

You can meet the biggest and most famous fish: the Whale Shark. From June to October, Malagasy waters are welcoming also humpbacked whales coming back from Antarctica to give birth to their young.


Attractions and activities:

- Nosy Komba Lemure Island discovery of Ampangorina fishers village (Malagasy handcraft)

- Nosy Sakatia, Island of Orchids and endemic vegetation.

- Nosy Iranja "Island of Turtles ", a real paradise. Its white sandy beaches are chosen by turtles to lay their eggs.

- Baie des Russes (map name is Baie Ambavatoby)» magnificent sandy beaches edged by filaos

- Tany Kely is a Sea park with numerous fishes.

General conditions and weather:


October to July: Varatraz : East the morning, Talo : West the afternoon

August to September: The Varatraz is dominant all day long; strongest during the afternoon.

It is forbidden to sail between the sunset and the sunrise. No light house working and the typical boat (boutre) sail without navigation light.

Beware to use on the chart the Greenwich scale concerning the longitude (and not the Paris scale).

If after difficulties you have to reach a mooring during the night be careful a lot of vessels don’t switch on their mooring light.

It’s forbidden to use navigation software (Maxsea…) on our boats. We have find 1km difference between the reality and the software.

During a cyclone alert follow the instructions of the base manager send by the satellite phone.

You have to keep the satellite phone switch on, loaded and close to you. In case of disturb communication you have to reach the “Baie d’Ambavatoby” and wait until the communication is ok or
until you’ve been visited by a manager.


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General Madagascar Climate and Weather Conditions

East coast: Dry period September and October. November to March reasonable rains. April to July abundant rains. Possible cyclones between December and April.

High lands: This is located in the middle of Madagascar. There is one rain season between October and April, usually sun is shining during the day and rains are falling late afternoon. Austral winter (June to August) can be chilly. Windy period.

West Coast: This area is the driest and the sunniest one. Climate is quite dry even though North West is under a warm micro climate. Rains are falling during the night and humidity is rather high.

About 330 sunny days per year.

South: Rare rains. Driest place of Madagascar

Nosy Be and surroundings: December to March it’s hot, humid with abundant rains and possible cyclones. April to November comparable to Europe summer (July)

General Information

· Sailing experience level: Sailing conditions needs sailors to be cautious because of high tides, reefs, GPS maps are too indefinite. Obviously, it’s also depending on weather conditions. Most of moorings are safe.

· Time difference: GMT + 3 hours

· Cruising Limits: Sailing area is including a group of islands from Mitsio Islands (North) to Antany Mora (South). Clients starting from Nosy Be can sail all this area representing about 80-90 NM from North to South of the zone. No one ways possible.

· Transfers and Airports: Main airport of Madagascar is Antananarivo but there’s an International Airport in Nosy Be. There are direct flights from Paris or Milano. All the others have at least 1 stop (Antananarivo, Réunion, Mayotte). Upon arrival customers can be transferred by Taxi or mini bus (45 mn between airport & base.) There are no departure taxes.

· Shore facilities: Located in Le Cratère, nearby Hellville. There are restaurants and nice hotels not too far from the base which can be combined for land staying. The following facilities are available at the base: Telephone, fax, water, fuel, showers and toilets.

· Electricity: Voltage is 220V - 50Hz (and the plug type are C,E)

· Telephone Area code:
- From Europe to Madagascar for a home telephone: 00 261 20 + correspondent N°
- From Europe to Madagascar for a Cellular phone: 00 261 + correspondent N°

· Provisioning: We recommend at least to provision with basic products because there are not too many places for supplies in this area; so it’s easier to do it before departure as most of meals will be taken on board even though crew can go ashore for dinners if required. A provision list is available.

· Currency: Local currency is Ariary (1 euro is roughly 2600 Ariary) - Credit cards are not accepted in the shops / Cash dispensers are not very reliable – Only Visa Card are accepted in some places. One recommends having cash and changing it once on spot. Euros are accepted (bargaining is usual).

· Passport and Visas: A tourist visa costs 62 Euros (to be paid in cash) and a valid passport is compulsory.

· Health: No vaccines compulsory for European travellers but a Malaria treatment is recommended (advised vaccines: Typhoid and it’s better to be update for Diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis,
hepatitis A & B)
- If you are under treatment, it will be hard to find a pharmacy after leaving the airport.
- Bring along with you the necessary pills or drugs quantity.
- Keep your vital pills or drugs with you in your hand luggage (in case of luggage losses).
- Plan a mosquito repellent and a first aid kit.

Even if you can easily stand the sun, it’s much harder on a boat than on the land because of reverberation. Smooth breeze, avoid feeling the heat and you get sun burnt before noticing it. One recommends having a “wind resistant” cap and sun glasses (tied) with cord, sweat shirt or long sleeves t-shirt and trouser. A good sun cream is necessary at least for first days.

· Advice:

Take only soft bags - No suite case (rigid suite cases are too cumbersome on a boat).
In the villages, it would be better for visitors to bring items like exercise books, pencils, and school stuffs instead of giving money.

· Diving: Diving can be arranged locally upon request.

· Charts and pilot books: INDIAN OCEAN CRUISING GUIDE - Rod Heikell

For Madagascar, there are big differences of climate depending on the location.

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