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Diving & snorkeling

Madagascar reefs are world renowned for divers. You will see an infinity of multi coloured fish with exotic names continuously drawing arabesques in a fairyland of shellfish and corals of indefinable shapes. Clown-fishes, butterflies, lions, unicorns, napoleons or surgeons and the inoffensive whale-sharks are among the undersea fauna a diver might expect to encounter here. The infrastructure for divers is concentrated in three main points:

  • South West

Along this coastal area there is one of the biggest coral barrier in the world. Ifaty and Mangily, 26 km to the north of Tuléar are the top spots, then follow Nosy Ve, just opposite Anakao, a beautiful Vezo fishermen’s village, and Belo-sur-Mer to the south of Morondava.

ReefDoctor is a great non-profit marine conservation organization carrying out several educational and social projects together with the local fisher populations of the Bay of Ranobe north from Tulear. They offer voluntary services to collaborate in some of their projects. See further infos under: www.reefdoctor.org

A recommendable diving centre in Tulear is L'Ancre Bleue at the Mangrove Hotel, 20 km south from Monrondava. It organises departures for Nosy Ve. Reservations at the Hotel “Chez Alain”, BP 89, Quartier “Sans Fil” Tuléar 601 – Phone: 94 415 27 Fax 94 423 79.

In Anakao Le Safari Vezo offers accommodation facilities with 30 traditional bungalows bordering a lagoon. Contact at +(0)32 02 638 87.

The number of diving centres in Ifaty is quite large. Here we would like to mention some:

- Le Deap Sea Club - contact Hôtel Nautilus - BP 519  Tuléar 601 -
Phone.: +(00 261 20) 94 418 74 - Fax : (00 261 20) 94 413 80

- Le Lakana Vezo, BP 158 Tuléar 601 -
Phone: +(261) 20 94 426 20 ou +(261) 032 04 097 98 - Fax : +00 261 20 94 413 20

- Fifi Diving School (http://fifidiving.skyrock.com/) by the Bamboo Club: diving centre for beginners and experienced divers that also offers water sports for the most adventorous and departures on board of a catamaran to explore the lagoon of Ranobérent. Equipment for rent.

- The Dunes Hotel has its own PADI school. BP 285 Ifaty 601 Tulear - Phone +(261 20) 94 439 00

- Le Grand Bleu next to the Hotel Vovo Telo is run by Richard, an experienced diver, who offers diving, whale watching and ship excursions. Phone: +261 (0)32 07 822 12

In Morondava the Ecolodge du Menabe  offers pa PADI diving school with equipment for 12 divers and accommodation with non private facilities in six bungalows at the seashore.       Web: www.menabelo.com

diving in Madagascar
  © Lauretta Burke
  •    Nosy Be

The Nosy Be archipelago laying in the north west of Madagascar comprises over 15 dive sites reachable within 45 minutes by boat. The reefs are world renowned for having more than 400 coral species and fish species from all over the Indian ocean. Starting in late August until early December is the whale migration season where Hump-Back whales and whale sharks are seen on an amost daily basis.
In 2013, 11 of the 17 dive centers in the area came together to form the "Nosy Be Diving Association" with each member formulating and adhering to strict guidelines for safety, marine preservation and business practices. These are the 11 members with the contact details:

Blue Vision  bluevisiondivecenter@yahoo.com www.bluevisiondivecenter.com 00261 32 60 746 16
Coral Diving Club  info@coralgardendiving.com www.CoralGardenDiving.com 00261 32 52 160 67
Forever Dive
 info@foreverdive.com www.foreverdive.com 00261 32 07 125 65
Love Bubble Social Diving bibi@lovebubble.it www.lovebubble.it 00261 32 42 509 98
Madablue Dive madablu@gmail.com www.madablu.com 00261 32 40 542 92
Manta Diving  info@mantadiveclub.it www.mantadiveclub.it 00261 32 07 207 10
Oceane´s Dream resa@oceanesdream.com www.oceanesdream.com 00261 32 07 127 82
Plongee Toukoul plongeetoukoul@live.fr www.plongeetoukoul.com 00261 34 43 207 75
Sakalav Diving  sakalav.diving@yahoo.fr www.sakalav-diving.com 00261 32 07 437 21
Sakatia Lodge  sakatialodge@sakatia.co.za www.sakatia.co.za 00261 32 41 165 16
Tropical Diving tropical.diving@moov.mg www.tropical-diving.com 00261 32 49 462 51 

These are the main dive sites:

Tanikely Marine Reserve: became an official protected National Park in 2011. Ideal for snorkelers, try dives, beginner and experienced divers. Corals rich in color and an enormous variation of fish and macro species.
Zaida Wreck: old fishing trawler purposely sunk to create an artificial reef. Visibility can be average to good but with an impresive amount of fish species.
Manta Point: a small drop off leading to a sand plateau sprinkled with small and very colourfull reef pinnacles. Mantas are frequently seen on this site.
Coral Noir: recently discovered, offers divers the chance to dive amongst black corals that sprout to 1,5 m. tall.
Sakatia Grotto: offers 3 reef pinnacles ranging from 26-15 m. followed by a reef plateau ending at just 14 m.
Camel Reef: offers 2 reef plateaus ranging from 28-14m. Rich in hard and soft coral and a wide variety of fish species.
Pan de Sucre (Sugar Loaf): a large rocky pinnacle laden with shellfish onthe south side and laden with a fabulous coral garden on its west and north sides.
Nosy Iranja: ofeering 3 wall dives on the edge of the continental plateau.
Gregs Wall and Radamas: far to the south and reachable just on cruise excursions offers amazing wall dives ranging from 20 to 60 m.
Mitsio Islands: far to the north offers pinnacle dives with magnificent coral formations.

Here some diving centres offering its services in the region:

banner coral 

- Coral Diving Madagascar: located at "Aviavy Hotel" on Madirokely beach. Established in 2004 is the first and only Britsh owned dive club in Madagascar. A PADI and SCUBAPRO dive center offering daily dive excursions, try dives, courses and excursions with a fast speed boat. Owner speaks English, French, Spanisch and Dutch.
GSM: +261 (0) 32 52 160 67 Website: http://nosy-be-diving.com/ 

- Oceane's Dream at the village of Ambatoloaka, with a catamaran offering diving cruises to Mitsio and Radama Islands. This centre also operates a motor boat for day diving excursions at the bay of Nosy Be. It is a PADI accredited centre, which is also member of the international guideline association for responsible diving (www.longitude181.org)
BP 173 Nosy Be 207 Madagascar
Phone: +261 32 07 127 82
E-mail: oceaned@moov.mg
Web: www.oceanesdream.com

- Tropical Diving in the village of Ambatlouka: Managers Jean-Michelle and Malik are PADI & CMAS instructors and operates three motor vessels fully equipped for diving.
C/o Hôtel Coco Plage Ambatoloaka - BP 212 Hell-Ville Nosy Bé 207 - Phone : 86 616 28 -86 610 72 - GSM : +261(0)32 07 127 90

- Bleu Oceane on Madirokely beach, Nosy Iranja and Nosy Saba. This professional diving centre has very good English speaking instructors. They also offers PADI courses and cruises around the archipielago.
Phone:+261 20 86 928 10 / +261 32 07 05880
Web: www.diving-madagascar.com

 - Manta Dive Club with bilingual PADI instructors located at Ambondrona,
 BP 326 Nosy-Be – Phone/fax : 86 614 18 - GSM : +(0)32 07 207 10

- Mitsiky Plongée Madagascar, at the Southern part of the Amabaro beach. French speaking diving centre with PADI courses and two motor baots. 
BP 297 – Hellville Plage d'Ambaro - Dzamandzar - Route d'Andilana Nosy Be.                 E-mail: info@123plongee-madagascar.com, phone: (+261) 32 02 203 55

- Sakatia Lodge on the Sakatia island: It also offers accommodations.
Contacts : BP 186 - Hell-Ville - Nosy-Be - Phone (+261) 32 41 165 16

- Forever Dive also on Madirokely beach. It has a NAUI instructor and operates a motor diving boat. GSM : +(0)32 07 125 65, Website: www.foreverdive.com  
e-mail: info@foreverdive.com

  • Sainte Marie

This island on the Eastern coast of Madagascar offers some beautiful diving grounds like the Ile aux Nattes with two spots outside the lagoon and one under the wreck, the tiny islands Ilots aux Sables with two natural aquariums with an extraordinary clear visibility, the island of aux Baileines, formed on an outcrop of coral reef, Pointe a Larrée, a priviledged spot for pelagic fish and the Cocoteraire, an exceptional diving spot under a 30 m long wreck. diving in Madagascar
   © Lauretta Burke

Some recommended diving centres at Sainte Marie are:

- Il Balenottero, a PADI centre located at the port of Ambodifotatra. It operates three vessels and also offers whale watching tours and diving cruises to Masoala. 
Web: www.ilbalenottero.com

- Mahery Bé: between Vohilava and Mahavelo, phone: +261 (0)32 04 75 777, 
mail: maherybe@live.fr

- Le Lémurien Palmé at the hotel Betty Plage in the north part of Ambodifotatra;
Phone: + 261 (0)32 04 81 656, Web: www.lemurien-palme.com
mail: lemurienpalme@moov.mg

- Maningory (Ile aux Nattes)
Phone/fax 57 402 20 - GSM: +261(0) 32 07 73 641 - Inmarsat : 00 871 761 942 787