Madagascar Scuba Diving Travel Guide - Bluewater Dive Travel



Scuba diving in Madagascar

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Madagascar offers spectacular diving for all levels of divers The seas are also full of life not found anywhere else, just like the land. And it doesn't just consist of endemic species. At least 34 types of whales and dolphins, 5 types of turtles, 56 types of sharks, 300 hard corals and 1300 species of bony fish have been found around the Madagascar coast. 



Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, which is the fourth-largest island in the world, and smaller peripheral islands. Madagascar has a one of a kind mix of plants and animals. Many of them are found nowhere else. Madagascar is even referred to as the "eighth continent" by some ecologists. Ninety percent of the 10,000 plants native to Madagascar can't be found anywhere else in the world.

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Diving Information 

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Madagascar Marine Life 

The seas around Madagascar host a high diversity of wildlife, including invertebrates. There are extensive coral reefs around the island. Thousands of fish species can be found, including the rare coelacanth. You can see an extraordinary array of colorful reef fish, rays, sea urchins, anemones and octopus. Four species of sea turtle breed on the beaches. For whales, humpback whales breed off the south-western coasts such as at Île Sainte-Marie, Omura's whales notably around Nosy Be, pygmy blue whales on the Madagascar Plateau, and southern right whales slowly increasing along Malagasy coasts.  


Diving Conditions

  • Water Temperature: 28C/83F (Jan-March) & 25C/77F (July-Sept)
  • Visibility: 10 - 50m (33 - 164 ft)
  • Depth Range: 5 - 40m (16 - 131 ft)


Dive Sites

Here are some of the best diving spots in Madagascar:

  • 1. Nosy Be - It has the best diving in Madagascar. The depth is perfect for beginner divers who want to experience a little bit of drift diving. The abundance of micro-life makes this site a photographer's dream. It has an amazing marine biodiversity such as huge coral fans, several species of turtles, gigantic lobsters, leopard shark, frogfish, and angelfish. In the summer months, manta rays and whale sharks can even be found.
  • 2. Mitsio Wreck - This area is suitable for beginner to advanced divers. It is now home to an abundance of marine life including scorpionfish and fan coral.
  • 3. Île Sainte-Marie - It is another popular wreck diving site located just off the east coast. Saint Marie is on migratory routes for humpback whales between July and September.
  • 4. Paroi des Merou - Advanced divers would love this site which drops to 40m. You can expect an abundance of marine life and exciting diving activities here.
  • 5. Pointe Alebrand - Larger pelagic fishes can be spotted here. See grey sharks, manta rays, barracuda and sometimes migrating humpback whales, which could be seen in large numbers.


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Travel Information 

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How to Get There

If you fly from the USA or Canada, the number of possibilities is more limited than flying from Europe, but you will still find a few airlines that will fly you to Madagascar. The main point of entry to Madagascar is the Ivato International Airport, located about 16 km from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.  


How to Dive Madagascar

Both liveaboard and land-based diving will give you spectacular diving. Most dive centers are closed during the cyclone season (January to March).  


Best Time to Dive 

The diving season in Madagascar is year round, but the best time to visit is probably from June to September. Whales migrate to the island during that period.


Topside & Non-Diving Activities

  • Kite and Windsurfing
  • Guided Kayaking
  • Deep Sea Fishing
  • Wildlife Tours


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Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Malagasy Ariary (MGA)
  • Language: French, Malagasy, English
  • Main Airport Code: TNR
  • Time Zone: UTC+3
  • Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz

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Reviews (1)


Nosy Be, Madagascar, is the best surprise I had during a diving trip. It started with a warm welcome by the very friendly Malagasy people and the nice warm temperatures. From my first dive, I discovered very healthy corals and a huge diversity of life underwater.

I spent 3 weeks there teaching Open Water classes and leading scientific dives.
I was first very impressed by the beauty of the underwater sceneries. Colorful agencement of hard corals and soft corals that are home to a huge number of marine species, including mammals and green turtles. I discovered many nudibranchs during my explorations, mind blowing. A bit outside the bay of Ambrondona, we can find deeper dive sites with the classic reef sharks, leopard rays, barracudas ... The lucky ones may meet humpback whales during the summer months from July to September. Whale Sharks and Hammerhead Sharks can be seen as well from September (or earlier).

Above water, Madagascar deserves to spend some time. Next to Nosy Be or in the national parcs in the main island, the beautiful nature is home to the endemic lemurs. Fly in Antanarivo, visit the land and national parcs driving your way up to Nosy Be where you will have an incredible experience diving uncrowded and beautiful healthy reefs. Nosy Be has an international airport.

Visited on 07/2018 - Submitted on 08/25/2019


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