Biodiversity in the Nosy Be Archipelago, Madagascar

Madagascar is a country brimming with diverse wildlife. From the forested mountains of the north to the rainforests of the east coast, the rugged steppe in the centre, and the dry desert in the south, you are sure to find something completely out of the ordinary. From exploring plantations to kayaking through calm waters and heading far below the surface in a submersible, Madagascar offers biodiversity on land and underwater that is sure to surpass your every expectation.

When to go

April - December

Experience Highlights

  • Explore the ‘Perfumed Island’ of Nosy Be & hike volcanic Mont Passo
  • Race tuk-tuks through a chocolate plantation & hike the Tsingy
  • Take a submersible into the Mozambique Channel and near Nosy Be
  • Climb a waterfall in Amber National Park & see the endemic wildlife with naturalists

Nosy Be

Land in Nosy Be where you will be met by your Pelorus guide who will take care of your luggage before leading you to a fleet of waiting quadbikes one which you can explore the Perfumed Island. This large, volcanic island is known for its vanilla, pepper, and ylang-ylang. Visit sacred lakes and weave down paths of the ylang-ylang plantation before hiking up Mont Passo. Reach the peak of this 329m-high extinct volcano and take in spectacular, panoramic views of the island and crater lakes full of fish and Nile crocodile. Walk through heavily scented fields of orchids and discover the fascinating history of the Sakalava people. After a day of exploration on the island, you will be escorted to your waiting yacht for the evening.


Spend the morning with an expert naturalist who will show you the wonders of the Lokobe Reserve. This reserve covers around 740 hectares and includes the last remaining lowland rainforest on the Nosy Be Island. This particular reserve is known for its high concentration of black lemurs and hawks sportive lemur as well as the elusive Panther Chameleon. Hike through the rainforest looking for snakes, geckoes, frogs, and of course lemurs and collect mangoes that fall from the trees swaying above you. Make your way to the Ambatozvavy fishing village where you can learn about the local way of life and join in cooking a communal meal. Paddle down the coast in pirogues (traditional canoes from Madagascar) to an isolated beach for a remote, candlelit picnic.

Nosy Mitsio

Wake in the Mitsio Archipelago and listen to the calls of the nesting frigates, tropics, and brown boobies. SUP and kayak across the waters resplendent with turtles, rays, and dolphins. Head north in a tender and spearfish along the legendary Castor Bank. Here you will meet with local fishermen who will arm you with spearguns suitable for hunting large dogfish. Once your yacht has reached the drop-offs of the Mozambique Channel board the submersible for an unforgettable underwater adventure. You will likely encounter pods of humpback whales and a huge drop off teeming with underwater life including grey shark, barracuda, and manta rays that all swim among the colourful coral.

Banc de L'Entree

You’ll awake in the Mitsio Archipelago, the breeze carrying the mews of the nesting frigates, tropics, and brown boobies. Take a SUP or kayak out to see the dolphins, turtles, and rays swimming through the clear seas. Travel north by tender to the legendary Castor Bank for a dogfish spearfishing excursion with local fishermen.

Your yacht will reach the Mozambique Channel’s drop-offs, at which point you’ll board the submersible. In this vast drop-off teeming with marine life, you’ll see pods of humpbacks, grey sharks, and manta rays gliding over the bright coral.

In the morning, dive up to 164ft in the submersible for a shark-spotting adventure, seeing whale sharks as well as some humpbacks typically found here. Nosy Hara is a group of 12 small islands, and you’ll have lunch in this pristine protected area before embarking on a guide-led hike to the Tsingy rock formations.

Reaching the island’s highest point, you’ll have views over the archipelago and your yacht by the sea cliffs. Scale a baobab tree with advice from expert guides for a chance to see sea eagles hunting and find the chameleons that live in the canopy. Come evening, snorkel in the golden light of the sunset looking for manta rays and tuna swimming in the reef.

Amber Mountain

Hop on a helicopter and make your way to Amber National Park. This park takes its name from the resin found in the trees that populate this park. This amber resin is used for its medicinal qualities by the local Magasay people and the mountainous park rises out of the dry surrounding landscape and offers stunning scenery from waterfalls and rainforests to huge volcanic lakes. Embark on a hike through the wilderness where you will likely encounter an array of endemic flora and fauna including seven types of lemur and a variety of geckoes and chameleons. After a replenishing lunch, discover one of the glistening crater lakes for an invigorating swim in one of these secluded pools. Strap on a harness and climb under the cascade of a powerful waterfall, at the top, take in sweeping views of the park and abseil back down before being helicoptered back to your yacht.


Climb aboard a helicopter and soar over the limestone forest of Ankarana, a largely bare limestone Tsingy peppered with succulents. Hiking through this rugged reserve can be challenging but boasts some beautiful views over the varied terrain of the park. Explore the labyrinthine cave system of the Massif, the longest cave system in Madagascar. Here you will find colonies of bats and twisted limestone formations that glint in the torchlight. Enjoy a night dive off your yacht at Ambara Bay or head below the surface in a submersible and get the chance to have close encounters with a humpback whale.

Millot Plantation

Spend the morning swimming the whale sharks before hopping on a helicopter to fly to the famous Millot Plantation. Established in 1904, this stunning plantation is a leading producer of cocoa and species and you can taste some of the most delicious chocolate in the world. Have a rustic lunch in the stunning plantation farmhouse overlooking the rolling landscape of the plantation. Take the chance to taste the unique chocolate flavoured rum before racing across the plantation in tuk-tuks. Head back to your yacht with a couple of bottles of local rum and delicious chocolate.

Nosy Be

Arrive in stunning Nosy Be complete with turquoise waters and pristine white sand. Head underwater and discover the tropical and endemic marine wildlife that this area boasts. Utilise a submersible to venture further below the surface and explore deep drop-offs frequented by sharks. Take in 360-degree views as you head deeper than you ever could scuba diving. Take to the water free of equipment and free dive over fan coral fields complete with large shoals of fish and shallow shipwrecks that eerily sit at the bottom of the turquoise water.

Nosy Iranja

Hop on board a helicopter and head to Nosy Iranja and Nosy Iranja Kely, two islands connected by a thin stretch of sand that can be crossed at low tide. Head into the island forest and explore the tropical jungle with an expert naturalist who can show you the hidden secrets of the verdant forest. Return after a morning of discovery to a remote and opulent picnic that is set up on a spit of sand. Snorkel through the shallows before returning to the island for the chance to watch turtle eggs hatching as the sun sets. After a night you are sure to remember, bid farewell to your crew and make your way to Nosy Be to return home.

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