Madagascar’s islands provide a paradisiacal beach retreat after a wildlife adventure on the mainland, often with excellent scuba diving and snorkelling on offer. Ile Sainte Marie off Madagascar’s east coast is prime whale-watching territory from July to September, whilst Nosy Komba and Tsarabanjina are perfect for those looking for an idyllic escape.
Spending time on Madagascar’s stunning islands is the perfect way to relax after exploring the main island and its treasure trove of wildlife. Encircled by crystal clear waters that harbour unspoilt coral reefs, Madagascar’s islands allow you to find a deserted beach, with pristine white sands as standard. Whilst the islands lend themselves to doing absolutely nothing, there is the chance to go out in a traditional pirogue with fishermen, explore the island on bicycles or if you prefer just laze in a hammock and enjoy your own slice of paradise.
Ile Sainte Marie is one of Madagascar’s most sought-after tropical islands. Once the playground of pirates, it is now the perfect place to unwind on palm-fringed beaches as well as offering excellent diving both on coral reefs as well as pirate shipwrecks. Although Ile Sainte Marie can be visited anytime between April and December, it is at its most appealing between July and September when humpback whales come to breed and calve in the warm Indian Ocean waters between the island and the mainland.
The Mitsio archipelago to the northeast of Nosy Be offers world-class diving and pristine beaches. It is only possible to stay on Nosy Tsarabanjina which offers a private island experience in picturesque surroundings with volcanic rocks, lush vegetation and of course white sands which turtles choose to nest on and crystal clear water which lends itself to snorkelling and diving.
Lying to the south of Nosy Be is Nosy Komba which is best known for its habituated black lemur colony which the Malagasy see as sacred. The island does attract a number of visitors in search of lemurs but it is possible to escape the crowds and find your own piece of paradise on the southern beaches.