Exploring Tourism in Madagascar
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Sakatia Island

Antsiranana, Madagascar

Nosy Sakatia
The so called Orchid Island is still unspoilt piece of paradise only 1km west of Nosy Be, offering excellent snorkelling, diving and moderate hiking. Sakatia is only six kms long and two wide. The population (300 people) is spread over three villages and lives of both the fisheries and crops. The inland is pretty hilly and it offers beautiful hikes, especially at higher elevations. The southern tip of the island is still a virgin forest inhabited by the smallest chameleon of the World (1 cm) and many other species such as fanihy (giant bats).
It’s relatively untouched by tourism, so is the perfect place to hole up and enjoy the real Madagascar, away from the crowds. A small boat ferries you from Ampasimoronjia, just north of Nosy Bé’s bustling beach resort of Ambatoloaka, to Sakatia, where there are no roads, only footpaths.
You can wander among the giant ferns, check out the birds and beasties, laze on the beach or don mask and snorkel and explore the underwater world for which the island is rightly famous. And if you’re a qualified or aspirant diver you’ve come to the right place; Sakatia has its own NAUI approved dive centre and offers the full gamut of dive courses. The diving is easy — all dives are boat dives, but most are just a short distance from the launch site. The island is fringed by coral reefs and there’s plenty of fun to be had in the channel between there and Nosy Be. In addition to colourful coral you are likely to see giant cucumbers, turtles, sponge crabs and, at night, exquisite Spanish dancers, so the sites are great for novices to learn the trade or for night dives. There’s also plenty of challenging diving for the adventurous. Huge extensive reefs surround Sakatia and Nosy Be and at their edges are exciting walls and drop-offs, some exciting drift dives and a wreck off Ambatoloaka.

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