Sailing on azure seas, visiting coves, secret beaches and remote fishing villages makes for a relaxing and highly rewarding holiday and one of the best places to do this is Madagascar!
Sailing around the Mitsio Archipelago, down to Russia Bay and the north western isles of Madagascar is just incredible – you are real explorers, sailing in comfort, too!
Most of the catamarans used for these sailing trips are based in Nosy Be which is a small, tropical island renowned for its ylang ylang (used in the perfume industry). The main small town of the island is called Hellville and is a lively centre with an airport about half an hour away.
Visitors to the island often spend their first night on this balmy island and the following morning meet their qualified skipper and crew near one of the harbours before embarking on a three to five day cruise around the small granite island and down the coast.
These islands are small and navigating around them searching for hidden white beaches surrounded by palms and tropical foliage is incredibly relaxing, and the weather is good for 10 months of the year. The north western isles can be used as a base for viewing humpback whales, hawksbill turtles, lemurs and chameleons and sometimes whale sharks.
If you want to include some diving, then a dive master can be arranged to accompany the catamaran or spend a few days in one of the small, private lodges on the western side of Nosy Be and also on Nosy Komba or Tsarabanjina Island.
When you are sailing around this tropical exotic island you will spend your days relaxing on deck being tended to by the crew and served delicious seafood. Often the skipper will buy fish straight from the fishermen as they return to the villages in their canoes. This is certainly fresh food! The cook will serve you with excellent cuisine – salads and fresh fruit in great supply too. They cater to your palate.
Perhaps visit a village and meet the local people, learn about their lives, your skipper may organize a barbeque on the gleaming sandy beaches as your children play a game of football with cheerful local children. You can also fish or have a professional guide to teach you how to fish – fly fish or deep sea fish – which is another bonus.
The size of the catamarans differ – there could be two to four cabins, some with their own bathroom facilities, a spacious galley, navigation station and lounging area with awning. There are a few 53ft Royal Cape Catamarans. Outside, the large almost flat deck has an area for lazing in the sun and topping up that tan. Most catamarans keep some local music on board and board games and some have C-Kayaks and all have a tender boat to go onshore. Of course there is also snorkelling equipment.
Slip into the cool waters and snorkel over a mosaic of corals with neon fishes asking for bread. Nosy Tanikely, a marine reserve is super for snorkelling (and diving too) and there are some resident turtles found here as well as a profusion of boxfish, lion fish, anchovies, trevallies, barracuda, lobsters, wahoo, groupers and schools of fusiliers.
If you are interested in fishing and catching your own dinner – fishing equipment can be supplied. At sunset, watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand, enjoying the peace and serenity in paradise.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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