I’ve got to get myself to the beach! Of course, chances are higher that I’ll find myself on a beach in the United States in the next few months, but I can keep dreaming of those far off destinations, can’t I?
In an online search for fun and exotic beach destinations, I stumbled across “Imagine Africa,” part of a British travel group. This site lists many enticing beach destinations in Madagascar. I’ve only included those that do not directly pertain to a resort.
Let’s move it, move it!
Located 5 miles (8km) off the northwest coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be (“Big Island”) is a tropical paradise. With several activities to enjoy, such as snorkeling, hiking, cycling, and diving, you can experience what promises to be an amazing vacation on this volcanic island. There are several close-by islands in the archipelago to explore as well: Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia, and Nosy Tanikely.
Made (slightly) famous by 1994 BBC Reality TV show Girl Friday, Tsarabanjina is an inlet of the Mitsio Archipelago in the northwest of Madagascar. Although it appears that the island is managed by Constance Hotel Tsarabanjina (the only hotel on the island), the description deserves still mention: “Fringed by white sandy beaches with extraordinary birds, lush vegetation and encircled around by coral reefs, the region is bathed in sunshine all year round.” Activities include wind surfing, canoeing, water skiing, and excursions such as boat trips to the nearby great basalt columns and Les Quatre Frères islands. This is truly heaven for the birding beach-goer.
The only island in Madagascar to be visited by both the endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtle, Nosy Iranja “spans two stunning islands which are joined by a 1.2km sandbank, Iranja Be and Iranja Kely which is home to Iranja Lodge & 13 hectares of paradise.” You might be able to catch a glimpse of turtles frolicking in the water or eggs hatching (if you come at the right time of year). You can also enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, and excursions to Nosy Komba to spot some lemurs.
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Doesn’t Ile Sainte Marie just look like a pirate’s dream? Right off the eastern coast of northern Madagascar, this is no longer a den of thieves and vagabonds, but a tropical “treasure island for those seeking palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and relaxation.” A hot spot for whale watching from July to September, you may well be able to spot humpback whales migrating through the channel between Sainte-Marie and main island Madagascar. Rich with activity and nature, you can cycle the island or dive to explore wrecked pirate ships and coral reefs. Have fun spotting one of the many lemur varieties that lives on the island (including black-and-white ruffed lemur, brown lemur, mouse lemur, and grey gentle lemur) or even the Parson’s chameleon (one of the largest in the world). I don’t know about you, but this one definitely makes the top of my list!
They like to move it, move it!