Sainte Marie Island, the garden-island, will awaken all your senses ....
A homeland of wandering souls a long long time ago, Sainte Marie Island is open for nature and whale lovers today !
Sainte Marie Island (Nosy Boraha) is located in the region of Analanjirofo (literally « clove plantation forests ») and is more than 30 miles long and 3 miles wide ; it forms a north-eastern archipelago of Madagascar with Ile aux Nattes (Nosy Nato) which is in the south ; a distance of about 3 up to 8 miles separates it from the Big mother island (Madagascar). It is a tropical climate island with abondant rainfalls during rainy season and hot temperatures in dry season. Its temperatures vary from 68 to 86°F on the whole island.
It is accessible via the national air company Air Madagascar from Toamasina and Antananarivo. The aiport is based in the south of the island. The main village is Ambodifotatra meaning literally at the bottom of Fotatra; and Fotatra (Barringtonia racemosa) are trees that used to grow abondantly on the island.
It may be safely accessible with boat from Madagascar (the big island) when the sea is calm.
Nowadays Sainte Marie Island is famously known as the spot for watching humpback whales that reach Indian Ocean hot waters from Antarctic Ocean to breed. Whale courtship rituals take place every year, during the austral winter (from May to September). A group of 2 up to 20 male humpback whales compete to seduce a female one. It is an event of several hours to watch that we recommend to include in your activities during your stay at Antafondro Lodge.
This whale nest, we also love to call it so, was used as a resort for more than a thousand pirates or sea robbers in the 17th century. The remains of their shipwrecks (on the seashore of Ambodifotatra) as well as their tombs decorated with skulls and crossbones still exist in the island, despite the successive violent tropical cyclones. The cave of Ankarena was used as treasure hideout by those pirates but now is used as hideout by the bats.
Called the Garden-Island, Sainte Marie Island forest is peopled with endemic orchids such as the Eulophiella roempleriana and peopled with endemic lemurs (like ruffed lemurs or varijatsy, Eulemur Albifrons, microcebus ou mouse lemur and Cheirogaleus medius), cameleons, tortoises and geckos such as the very famous satanic leaf-tail gecko (uroplatus phantasticus). Its aquatic fauna is all the more impressive with its coral gardens and its myriads of fish and shellfish.
The natives of Sainte Marie Island were famous for being polite and friendly. Presently, the Island has sufficient infrastructure for accommodating tourists that are passionate lovers of cetaceans and pirates' stories, from all over the world. Taste the special dishes prepared at Antafondro Lodge and and by now plan your stay with our team !
Those who want to learn more can also visit :
Will Go To : Travel guide and directory
Vazaha miteny gasy: Malagasy language is not difficult to learn. If you love to interact with the Malagasy natives you will find it so easy.