Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar

Antsirabe and Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar


Antsirabe, Madagascar

Antsirabe (Land of Great Salt), located 170 km south of Tana on a hilly hill, is the famous industrial and agricultural center of Madagascar. It is notable for its mild healing climate during the spring period, colorful colorful markets, good hotels and interesting excursions. The inhabitants of Antsirabe are famous for their ability to process precious stones. Entering numerous workshops, you can not only watch how jewelers work on cutting stones, but also buy something as a keepsake. According to petwithsupplies, Antsirabe is one of the largest cities in Madagascar.

The local healing microclimate, which is characterized by fresh air and cool temperatures (and it can freeze at night), attracted the attention of missionaries from Norway back in the 1800s, who founded the first shelter here. Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, and today Antsirabe, updated by the French, has become a popular spa resort in Madagascar.

How to get to Antsirabe

There are three bus stations in the city – from the north, fixed-route taxis depart to Antananarivo (4 hours on the way, 7000 MGA) and to the north of the country, from the south – to Ambositra (2 hours, 5000 MGA), Fianarantsoa (Fianarantsoa, ​​5 hours on the way, cost 10,000 MGA), Miandrivazo (Miandrivazo, 5 hours, 10,000 MGA) and Morondava (15 hours on the road and 15,000 MGA). Buses run from the western station to nearby villages.

Shopping and shops

Antsirabe is one of the rare towns where you can find art objects traditional for Madagascar. There are many workshops with handmade souvenirs in the city. The best way to see them all is to take a tuk-tuk tour of the galleries and shops of Antsirabe, starting at 400 MGA.

Ile Sainte Marie

Ile Sainte Marie (Saint Mary, Île Sainte Marie and its Malagasy name – Nosy Boraha, Nosy Boraha) is a narrow island 60 km long, located 7 km from the east coast of Madagascar. Since the end of the 17th century, this island has been one of the main bases of pirates in the Indian Ocean. Today, Ile Sainte Marie is a popular beach resort, both among the natives and tourists from other countries. From July to September, humpback whales can be seen migrating from the Antarctic in the coastal waters of the island.

Previously, pirates hid from the gallows on the island of St. Mary. Treasures worth around £200 million are said to be buried here. Where exactly is unknown, but treasure hunters are looking, looking.

Previously, pirates hid from the gallows on the island of St. Mary. Treasures worth around £200 million are said to be buried here.

The best time to visit is from September to December, the rainy season lasts from June to August. The largest city is Ambodifotatra.

How to get to Ile Sainte Marie

The island can be reached by boats from the town of Soanierana-Ivongo, plying to Ambudifutatra Bay. The fastest boats from Cap Sainte Marie (tel: 57 404 06, 1 hour, 70,000 MGA) leave for the island every morning. There are also boats The Princess Saphira (tel: 032 04 681 86), Rozina IV and Magnifique, which depart later and take about 2 hours, fare 120,000 MGA.

In addition, you can fly to the island from Antananarivo.

The beaches of Ile Sainte Marie

St. Mary’s Island is distinguished by magnificent beaches and secluded caves surrounded by luxurious coconut palms. Diving or snorkeling enthusiasts will have great fun “mastering” the coral reefs along the coast of the island. There are many small villages on the island, separated from each other by forests. From the side of the Indian Ocean lies a chain of islets covered with dense greenery and plantations of coconut palms.

Most of the beaches and hotels are located along the west coast, there are also several secluded coves with good beaches, as well as a beautiful beach on the small island of Ile aux Nattes.

Diving on Ile Sainte Marie

Popular dive sites are: Pagoda, home to groupers, moray eels, lobsters, sea turtles and rays (dive depth – 12 m), Suanambo reef, consisting of black corals (dive depth – 28 m) and the Grouper Wall (depth diving reaches 40 m). As well as two wrecks: the sunken 55-meter Kokoterae ship, which lies at a depth of 15 m, and the 8-meter Leopard fishing boat (immersion depth – 34 m).

Entertainment and attractions

In addition, you can go sailing to the whales – small ships swim up to a distance of 100 m to humpback whales, which sometimes reach 15-18 meters in length.

In dive centers and some hotels you can rent a boat for fishing and excursions to nearby islands. Cost 225 EUR per day, capacity – up to 4 people. Inexpensive pirogues (local boats) can be rented on the coast from locals.

One of the nice things to do on St. Mary’s is humpback whale watching. From July to September they appear in the waters of the strait between Madagascar and Ile Sainte Marie.

Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar