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Yacht Experiences

Sail West Madagascar on a Family Adventure

West Madagascar is a remarkable destination offering Eden-esque landscapes, charming endemic wildlife, and stunning dive sites. On a truly epic adventure for the whole family, travel by helicopter, kayak, and submarine to see beneath the surface of this fascinating island.

When to go:
November – April

TOLIARA & SUBMARINE

You’ll arrive amid the sandy beaches and shallow reefs of attractive Toliara in Southern Madagascar. Met by an expert local guide, discover the city and the southern landscape of the country on quads or buggies.

Lunch with Vezo fishermen trying some of their freshest ingredients with traditional flavors before boarding your yacht. You’ll cruise to Nosy Ve islet where you can spend your first evening relaxing or descending into the depths on a submarine night diving adventure. Look out for critically endangered Coelacanths as the nocturnal ocean comes to thrilling life. 

CAVE DIVING & LEMURS

Wake early for a helicopter transfer to hidden caves. Alongside knowledgeable guides, dive the caves and see rare fossils in the depths. Following this remarkable experience, you’ll be transferred by helicopter once more until you arrive at Isalo National Park.

This otherworldly landscape is the result of erosion of the sandstone for centuries, and you’ll enjoy an authentic Malagasy lunch in the heart of the sandstone domes and plunging canyons. Delve deeper into the scenic beauty with an afternoon hike, taking swim breaks in the natural pools and winding through forest trails spotting lemurs to the distant thunder of waterfalls.

You’ll rejoin your yacht afterward with a helicopter transfer to its new location at the Bay of Assassins. Or you can visit Lake Tsimanampetsotsa for lunch and some bird watching of its vast populations of spoonbills and flamingos. In the evening at the Bay of Assassins, climb aboard Vezo canoes with fishermen for a sunset procession.

MIKEA TRIBE & PIRATE DIVE

After breakfast on your yacht, you’ll take a helicopter to the thorny forest for an encounter with the Mikea people—the island’s last nomadic ethnic group. Described as the ‘guardians of the forest’, you’ll discover how the Mikea persist in their traditional way of life in modern Madagascar.

Afterward, return to the coast for a wild lunch on a pristine, deserted beach. You’ll meet a true pirate next—a former member of a French Navy commando unit who scours Madagascar for treasure and wrecks. You’ll take the submarine or dive down with him to explore one of the region’s secret wrecks. In the evening, retire to the luxury of your vessel for a delicious dinner on deck.

MAKAY MASSIF & MUSIC

The next morning you’ll transfer by helicopter to ‘Eden on Earth’ of the Makay Massif and the Mangoky River. Rarely seen, you and your family can be one of the privileged few to explore this largely unknown maze of canyons with its idiosyncratic biodiversity. Walk its red sandstone paths and swim in its translucent azure pools.

After a day of thrilling exploration and a wild lunch in the massif, take the helicopter back to your yacht. Your return flight will travel through the alley of baobabs at sunset for a memorable diversion. For a deeper immersion in this exceptional location, you can spend the night camping amid these iconic trees. Come evening, you’ll take in authentic Malagasy songs and dances for some cultural enrichment while fireside.

TSINGYS & BALY BAY

The next morning, you’ll be transferred by helicopter to one of Madagascar’s most famous sights: the Tsingy de Bemaraha limestone forest. You’ll wind your way through these needles of rock with an expert guide, spotting the incredible array of flora and fauna found here. Lunch in the shadow of these astonishing limestone peaks before transferring to your waiting yacht, now stationed at the biodiversity sanctuary known as the Barren Islands.

Plunge into this teeming marine world in your submarine, with an expert marine biologist on hand to open up its secrets to you and your children. Return to your yacht to discuss your incredible encounters over dinner on deck.

You’ll awake in Baly Bay with its remarkable ecosystems inland of its white sand beaches and below the waves. Kayak through mangroves over turquoise waters with vibrantly colored reefs below. After your natural immersion, join a local conservation NGO and, in a superbly educational experience, you and your children will get hands-on in efforts to protect the Angonoka tortoise—one of the world’s rarest.

BETSIBOKA & CONSERVATION

Following lunch on your vessel, the helicopter will give you a bird’s eye view of the striking Betsiboka river. Images of this braided river from space led to Madagascar’s name as ‘the bleeding island’ with its clay-rich minerals washing rusty orange and blood-like through its course and tributaries.

You’ll arrive at the isolated deciduous dry forest of Anjajavy next, where the unusual wildlife is often easy to approach. Team up with researchers at the Anjajavy International Research Center and help in their struggle to conserve Madagascar’s unique wildlife.

Reward yourself with a world-class lunch next at a Relais et Chateaux restaurant. Glide over the waters of the beautiful Bay of Moramba afterward, exploring its mushroom islands in your sea kayak while looking out for nesting sea eagles. Attempt spearfishing alongside the chief of the village of Marovasa before canoeing into the depths of a mangrove forest to mountain bikes for further, land-based exploration.

DIVE GREG WALL & SAHAMALAZA

Discover the renowned diving spot, Greg Wall. With diving specialists and a submarine, you’ll see the gorgonian-covered drop-off as well as a variety of sharks and other larger pelagic fish.

If you’d prefer to stay above the waves, hop into a local boat and spot humpbacks, whale sharks, and manta rays before having the chance for an unforgettable swim beside these gentle giants.

In the afternoon, you’ll transfer by helicopter to the Sahamalaza Peninsula. Accompanied by one of the country’s leading biologists and primatologists, you’ll embark on a jungle walk learning about the lemurs leaping amid the boughs overhead. With a little luck, you might see the rare blue-eyed lemur endemic to the peninsula.

MAROMOKOTRO & JUNGLE

With the sun still below the horizon, chopper to base camp at Maromokotro—Madagascar’s highest mountain. Have a delicious high-altitude breakfast before tackling the final stretch to the mountaintop for fabulous 360-degree views over the country’s north. Considered sacred by many Malagasy, only a privileged few have been able to venture to Maromokotro, and Pelorus can acquire the necessary access.

Alternatively, travel to the remote and biodiverse region of Bemanvika. Discover its lush jungle and lakes, home to several shy, endemic species.

In the afternoon, you’ll arrive at a plantation growing cocoa, vanilla, and ylang-ylang. Enjoy some regional cuisine for lunch before discovering more about the plantation. Once you’ve learned about the production process, have a tasting of some of the island’s most iconic flavors. Your final night will be spent aboard your vessel before you leave Madagascar the next day with unforgettable memories for you and your family.