Boutique Travel Experts

Madagascar Diving Safari

This 12-day scuba diving program is organized on the beautiful archipelago of Nosy Be in Madagascar, amidst the rich waters of the Indian Ocean. If you love diving, this trip is for you! The program includes two daily diving sessions (20 in total). Admire the underwater world with its unique creatures, swim with giant green turtles and dolphins and marvel at the magnificent whale-sharks and humpback whales when they are around. The warm waters of Nosy Be offer great ocean diversity. This is an unpolluted environment, where marine life develops quietly and is well preserved. The area shelters healthy coral species, and a full range of tropical reef fauna, from microscopic life to cetaceans. Diving in the bay of Nosy Be is simple and easily accessible. The calm reef environment is perfect for observing the underwater world. You will be guided by experienced instructors who know very well the sites and the environment. This tour can be adapted based on your diving experience. Stay in charming boutique hotels and discover the wonders of the blue ocean. Every day you will have a return transfer to the dive center for the morning dives. The spots will be chosen depending on your level, tide, wind and currents. We can tailor this itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities.

13 Days – From £3,050 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Nosy Be Archipelago

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation with full board
  • 2 guided dives in the morning on a private boat
  • Diving equipment: tank, weights, BCD, regulator, wet suit, mask and fins
  • 1 fluorescent night dive on a private basis with guide and equipment (tank, weights, Fluo torch, BCD, regulator, wetsuit, mask, fins)
  • Snacks and drinking water during dives
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary on a private basis
  • All the transfers on a private basis
  • Entrance fees to all the mentioned national parks
  • All the diving & snorkeling equipment
  • All mandatory local taxes and tourist fees
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International Flights (See Flights to Madagascar)
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance (covering both travel and diving)
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the description
  • PADI and DAN recommend a minimum pre-flight surface interval of at least 12 hours for single dives and 18 hours for repetitive dives or multiple days of diving
  • Bring your diving certificate and log book, if you have them
  • Ensure diving is included in the insurance coverage
  • Bring a dive computer and SMB
  • All dives are done with no decompression
  • Maximum dive time is 60 min depending on deco and tide, minimum interval surface time is 1 hour
  • Do not enter the water without the supervision of a professional instructor
  • Do not touch whales shark, turtles, and other animals – the acidity of our hands removes the protective mucus from their skin. Parasites can then attach them causing wounds, followed by necrosis and death
  • The place of corals and shells is underwater, they must be left there
  • Have a correct buoyancy and avoids touching the corals with the fins as this causes damage
  • No dangling gear (manometer, lamp, camera, GoPro) – everything has to be properly stored. A hanging manometer bounces from coral to coral, breaking branches throughout the dive
  • Avoid sun creams or anti-fog products for masks which are not reef-friendly
  • Follow the safety instructions of the instructors during the dives and when on board
  • Do not go on different paths other than the pre-established ones
  • Do not practice fishing

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Madagascar start from £1000 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year. Fly to Antananarivo (TNR) and take a domestic flight to Nosy Be (NOS). A few airlines have direct flights into Nosy Be from abroad. We can book domestic flights in Madagascar.

Send us a message on WhatsApp or email us at madagascar@boutiquetravelexperts.com to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This program is an example of possible dive sites in the Nosy Be area. The choice of dive sites is made each morning according to the tides, currents, weather and sea conditions. Therefore, this program is highly influenced by the natural conditions at the time of diving.

Prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor the program to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. You can also combine this trip with other sights in Madagascar. For more travel inspiration check these itineraries.

Visibility is between 10-30+, but this is depending on the weather. The rainy season in Nosy Be is between January and March when the visibility will decrease and most of dive centers are closed. July and August is the coldest month with water temperature around 25°C. The hottest time is November to April with water temperature around 30-32°C. You won’t need a wet-suit which is more than a 3 mm thick. 

During the windy season – July to September – it can be pretty windy and the sea is rough. During the Equinox the tide currents can be strong.

Best for:  

  • Dolphins: year round
  • Giant Green turtles: year round
  • Whale sharks (snorkelling and swimming offshore): from September to December (best in October and November)
  • Humpback whales: July to October (best in August to September). Only observation from the boat is authorized. It is prohibited entering the water with cetaceans.
  • Mobulas and manta rays: October, sometimes seen in may or September
  • Omura’s whales: October to December
  • Hammerhead shark: December to February

Day 1 - Arrival in Nosy Be

Today you will arrive in Nosy Be. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Balance off the fatigue from the long flight with a good meal and fresh tropical drinks. The bay of Nosy Be is always calm, being protected from the winds. Thanks to a current from Indonesia which bringing eggs from the Pacific Ocean, the reefs are extremely rich in macro life. There is an exciting universe waiting for you under the surface of the water. Today you will meet your diving instructors at the dive center to plan your activities for the next days. Enjoy a calm evening with a good local meal. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

Sailing boat in Nosy Be, Madagascar

Day 2 - Nosy Tanikely

Today you dive in Nosy Tanikely Marine Park, a protected natural aquarium (3 – 23 m deep). Discover the stunning colourful underwater ecosystems with huge gorgonian sea fans (3 m wide), sheltering a great range of coral and reef fish, hawksbill turtles, big groupers, Spanish mackerel and jacks, as well as big shoals of snappers, fusiliers, damsel fish and more. You can also see schools of barracudas, crocodile fish and the leopard sharks. In the right season one can see blue spotted rays. Lots of macro can also be seen, nudibranches lie everywhere. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

diver and a whale shark in Madagascar

Day 3 - Camel Bank & Ankora

Today explore the underwater world around Sakatia island, diving at the Banc du Chameau and Ankora. Here, the reefs are reputed for their variety of marine life. You will find gorgeous corals and prolific fish: jacks, mackerels, angel fish, crocodile fish, blue spotted sting rays, nudibranches, leaf fish, scorpion fish, friendly titan trigger fish and more. Ankora is a shallow dive where shoals of fusiliers and unicorn fish are numerous. Also, this is an excellent spot for spotting macro and a multitude of scorpion fish, leave fish, lion fish, crocodile fish and more. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

girl diving with a giant turtle near Nosy Sakatia in Madagascar

Day 4 - L’entrée & Cousteau

Today you will explore two diving sites off Nosy Be island, name Banc de l’Entrée and Banc Cousteau. The first one is a drop off inside the continental shelf. You will find a coral strip at the edge of the drop-off, dotted with gorgonians, sponges and alcyonaria. In addition to reef fish, on set season, you can see manta rays passing by, mobulas and the mythical whale shark. The second dive will be on a reef covered with table corals and anemones. Among the rich life there are lots of nudibranchs and marine worms, parrot fish, angel fish, groupers and blue spotted rays. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

Lionfish, Madagascar

Day 5 - Olaf & Swimming pool

In the calm waters of the Channel the reefs can be seen from the surface and deeper dropping (6-23 m), being a perfect spot for macro. One can easily observe the leaf scorpion fish, ghost fish, seahorse, pegasus, rhinopias scorpion fish and more. Some predators such as the king mackerel and trevally are often passing through. Between the dives snorkel in the sheltered sites with shallow water, very rich in corals and fish. The large seagrass bed attracts many giant hawksbill green turtles (300 kg) that come to feed at high tide and scratch their shells on the reef at low tide. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

Gorgonians in Nosy Be, Madagascar

Day 6 - Mitsio Wreck & Night Dive

Today discover one of the nicest dive sites near Nosy Be, the Mitsio Wreck (26-28 m deep), watching large shoals of fish, like mackerels and fusiliers, walls of yellow snappers, lion fish, scorpion fish, stone fish, moray eels, groupers, crocodile fish, shoals of jacks and barracudas and more. Later, dive at the spectacular Enchanted Forest, which has big sea fans, barrel sponges and corals sheltering schools of snappers and huge resident green turtles. Shortly after sunset, experience a fluorescent light night dive  in Madirokely Bay or Chanty Beach Bay, observing crustaceans, shellfish and squid that are usually only active at night. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

aerial view of the azure waters of Nosy Tsarabanjina island in Mitsio Archipelago in Madagascar

Day 7 - Atnam Canyon & Rosario

Today dive at the most beautiful dive spot in Nosy Be – along Atnam Canyon, the drop-off facing the Mozambique channel (20-45 m). The landscape filled with enormous gorgonians is superb. The second dive will be at Rosario Plateau (14-19 m), a large pretty plateau with impressive fields of big sea fans and thousands of colourful coral pinnacles, hiding amazing reef life, like scorpion leaf fish, stone fish, crocodile fish and more. The steep slopes are pierced with caves covered with Alcyonaria and corals. One can meet predators such as king mackerel, trevally and tuna. Rosario is well known for its whale shark encounters in October and November. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

Diving at the Atnam Canyon in Madagascar

Day 8 - Mahavelona & Fusiliers

Today dive at Mahavelona wreck, the second fishing boat which was sank in 2007. Located off Nosy Sakatia and laying at approx. 24 meters deep, the site hosts Napoleons and big green turtles. One can see king fish and shoals of blue trigger fish around the wreck. Later on, continue to Fusiliers Bank, a very nice plateau covered with corals and anemones. Marine life is very rich here and one can often see schools of Spanish mackerels, trevallies and barracudas passing by. In particular, the leave fish, blue spotted rays, stone fish, critters and much more will enchant you. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

diver and a school of fish in Madagascar

Day 9 - Fesundrakua & Banc Privé

After breakfast, depart to a small drop-off to the west of Nosy Be, called Fesundrakua. The site is very rich in pelagic fish such as barracudas, trevallies, tunas and sometimes eagle rays and manta rays. From August to October one can frequently encounter  humpback whales in this area! Later on continue to Banc Privé, an astonishing formation of hills, caves and white sand at the bottom. Shoals of fusiliers, unicorn fish, surgeon fish and snappers mix up with gropers, kind fish, Spanish mackerels. At the very bottom, one can often spot the leopard sharks and big sting rays on the sand. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

diving with the whale-sharks off the coast of Kenya

Day 10 - Nosy Iranja

After breakfast, take a speedboat for about 1,5 hours to Nosy Iranja – the home of giant green turtles. The place offers several beautiful diving sites teeming with leopard sharks, grey sharks, white tip sharks, tunas, Spanish Mackerels, barracudas, napoleons as well as with other smaller forms of marine life, such as nudibranchs, anemone fish and more. For experience divers we recommend discovering the South Canyon drop-off today (40-60m). After diving, have a delicious tropical lunch on the island, prepared by the local fishermen.  Enjoy the evening on the island, watching beautiful sundowners. Overnight at Le Zahir Iranja.

Nosy Iranja in the north-west of Madagascar

Day 11 - Nosy Iranja

Today dive at the Gaby Rock drop off, then spend the time outside of the water, discovering the beauty of Nosy Iranja. This is probably one of the most beautiful places in Madagascar. Nosy Iranja is a great place to immerse yourself in nature. Enjoy the views over the exceptional setting of two green islands connected by a white sandbank. Walk on the island and see the turtles laying eggs. Visit the lighthouse, swim in the crystal-clear waters with shoals of fish and green turtles. Take a fresh seafood lunch on the beach. In the early afternoon it is time to leave back to Nosy Be. Overnight at Le Zahir Lodge.

Nosy Iranja in Madagascar

Day 12 - Departure

Today is the farewell day. According to your flight schedule, you will be transferred to the Fascene Airport (NOS) for your onward flight. As you cannot usually flight straight away after diving, consider spending a few non-diving days before departure. There is a lot to do in Nosy Be, apart from diving and snorkeling. Discover this melting pot of different culture, visit the mosques and churches, the distillery and the giant banyan tree. Don’t miss out Mount Passot overlooking several sacred lakes.  Hike through virgin tropical forest and meet the curios lemurs. You can also choose to do these activities between your dives. This itinerary can be further adjusted according to your preferences.

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