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Yacht Experiences

Yacht adventure in Madagascar’s Nosy Be islands

Madagascar makes for a thrilling yacht adventure. Discover its shark-patrolled drop-offs in a submersible, watch turtles hatch on an island beach, and race tuk-tuks through a chocolate plantation. The island’s astonishingly varied landscape and endemic creatures make for incredible hikes with your luxury yacht the perfect haven after another wonderful day of discovery.  

When to go:
April – December

PERFUMED ISLAND & LOKOBE

Upon arrival in Nosy Be have your luggage taken care of by your Pelorus guide while you climb onto a quad bike. Explore this volcanic ‘Perfumed Island’ famous for its spices, and see sacred lakes before weaving through ylang-ylang plantations.

Hike up to the over 1000ft summit of volcanic Mont Passo. Take in the views of the island and its crater lakes, home to Nile crocodiles and fish. While walking through orchid-perfumed fields, learn the intriguing story of the Sakalava people. After your day of discovery, retire to your yacht for the evening.

The next morning, discover the Lokobe Reserve’s treasures alongside an expert naturalist. Amid this lowland rainforest, you’ll spot lemurs, snakes, geckoes, and the elusive panther chameleon. Gather windfall mangos before arriving at the Ambatozvavy fishing village to discover their way of life and contribute to cooking a communal meal. Climb into a traditional Madagascar pirogue canoe and paddle along the coast until you reach an isolated beach for a picnic by candlelight. 

MITSIO ISLANDS & SUBMERSIBLE

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 & CAVES

A helicopter will take you to Amber National Park, where you’ll hike through this forested wilderness inhabited by seven varieties of lemur as well as geckoes and chameleons. After a restorative lunch, harness up and climb beneath a powerful waterfall. At the top, take in the panoramas before rappelling down to the helicopter waiting to return you to your vessel.

Take a scenic helicopter pass over Ankarana—a limestone forest of Tsingy covered in succulents. Embark on a challenging hike through this rugged reserve and be rewarded with stunning views over the varied terrain.

Enter the Massif—the longest cave system in Madagascar. Amid this maze of tunnels and openings, you’ll see gleaming limestone formations and bat colonies.

Back at your yacht in Ambara Bay, have a night dive or descend in the submersible looking for a close encounter with a humpback whale.

WHALE SHARKS & NOSY BE

In the morning, swim with whale sharks before a helicopter takes you to the Millot Plantation. Established in 1904, this plantation has become a renowned chocolate producer. Taste the unbelievably good chocolate and have lunch overlooking the rolling landscape while sitting in the plantation’s farmhouse. Try some chocolate-flavored rum and race tuk-tuks across the plantation. Return to your yacht with some bottles of rum and chocolate mementos.

Arrive amid the turquoise shallows and sugary sand of Nosy Be. With a submersible, discover the area’s endemic marine wildlife and probe the drop-offs popular with sharks. Later, free dive over the fan coral fields and shallow shipwrecks patrolled by schools of colorful fish. 

Be taken by helicopter to the islands of Nosy Iranja and Nosy Iranja Kely next. These twin islands, connected by an isthmus that can cross at low tide, have a hinterland of verdant forest that you’ll explore with an expert naturalist.

After a morning of exploration, arrive at an indulgent picnic waiting for you on a spit of sand. Snorkel the vibrant shallows before watching turtle eggs hatch in the evening. Following this final memorable night, say farewell to the crew and return to Nosy Be to begin your journey home.