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Nosy Be is the largest island in an extensive archipelago, which lies off the northwest coast of Madagascar and is developing a reputation as one of the world’s top island paradise locations.

The volcanic island of Nosy Be lies off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Blessed with a tropical climate, palm fringed beaches and colourful reefs it’s an ideal holiday location for most. The ‘big island’ is the largest in an extensive archipelago in the Mozambique Channel and a great base for divers and snorkellers looking for a unique experience. Local sites offer an incredible profusion of marine life and colourful corals. There are wrecks to explore and seasonal visitors, most notably humpback whales (Aug-Sep) and whale sharks (Oct-No). Expect to see plenty of macro life in addition to encounters with turtles and several species of shark and rays.

To the south, Nosy Tanikely is a small marine reserve island with fabulous snorkelling and Nosy Komba, a sanctuary for the black lemur. To the west, Nosy Iranja is a breeding reserve for hawksbill turtles. As well as the beautiful beaches, the island is characterised by its two mountains, lush jungle and volcanic lakes. Blessed with rich flora and fauna Lokoboe Nature Reserve is home to lemur, frogs, lizards and most notably the panther chameleon.

There is an airport on the island and regular ferry transfers operate to/from Ankify on the mainland. The islands can be visited all year except during February and March, when the rains are at their peak. Those who prefer to explore by liveaboard diving will include a visit to the Radames (to the south) or Mitsio islands (to the north) depending on the time of year. Visibility ranges from 5 to 30 metres and the average water temperature is 26C. 

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: hawksbill turtle, humpback whale, whale shark, grey reef shark, manta ray

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itinerary:

Dive & Discover Madagascar

Enjoy two weeks discovering the fascinating wildlife and natural wonders of northern Madagascar including a liveaboard dive adventure exploring untouched reefs and islands where seasonal visitors include whale sharks and humpback whales.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Vanila Hotel

The Vanila Hotel offers comfort in the heart of the tropics. Each bedroom opens onto a terrace, and a refreshing swimming pool overlooks the sea, as do the restaurant and the bar. Right next door is the dive centre.

Our suggested liveaboard is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Oceane’s Dream

Departing from Nosy Be, this well equipped catamaran sails the remote northern islands of Madagascar. Dive untouched reefs, visit local villages and encounter exceptional wildlife both underwater and topside as a small group.