Top 5 diving sites at Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

If you’re looking for a tropical island escape, served up with some of the best diving in the world, up-the-ante and head to Constance Tsarabanjina off the North West coast of Madagascar.

Swimming with turtles, off Madagascar

Swimming with turtles at Tsarabanjina

Tsarabanjina is a by-word for laid-back luxury – it’s a place to hunker down and immerse yourself in the surrounding natural beauty.

The area offers superb diving sites for all levels. Currents can be strong at times but dive masters will always assess conditions.

Here’s a taste of what you can expect.

1. The 4 Frères

Four small volcanic islets are situated a 15 minute boat ride away from Tsarabanjina.

  • First Frère - offers a succession of slabs paving a gradual slope stretching between 5-18 metres deep. For divers of all levels, but the current could make things difficult for inexperienced divers at times. Here you’ll find great varieties of soft corals and sponges with dotted-blue rays, crayfish, groupers of all sizes, turtles and moray eels.
  • Second Frère - offers an impressive dip, descending some 27 metres and lined with big oysters and soft corals. Sea creatures include turtles, jack fish, king mackerel, yellow snappers and grunt fishes around slabs lying deep down at the bottom. Reserved for level 2 divers.
  • Fourth Frère – more slabs of all sizes lying on a 45° slope, going as deep as 25 metres. A refuge for huge shoals of yellow snappers, groupers, crocodile fishes, scorpion fishes and colourful corals. A great experience for divers of all levels.

2. The Tétons

Beautiful coral

Beautiful coral

Two small rocky peaks which peer out of the surface, close to the 4 Frères. Below the surface, you move through a labyrinth of slabs, corridors, and grottoes between 5-22 metres deep.

You’re likely to see huge groupers, crocodile and scorpion fish, and friendly platax fish. There’s also a very beautiful sponge garden. Accessible for divers of all levels.

3. Vatobe

A few minutes off Tsarabanjina, 2 underwater reefs on a sandy plateau at about 14 metres deep. It’s a descent in deep blue waters on a very colourful reef.

You’ll see an impressive shoal of yellow snappers, fusiliers, angel fishes, groupers, balloon fish, jack fish and crocodile fish. Accessible for divers of all levels.

4. Kassimo

Some 15 minutes north of Tsarabanjina, this is a long underwater barrier lying between 5-15 metres deep, covered with corals of extraordinary colours.

Diving in Madagascar

Diving in Madagascar

There’s rich and abundant fauna of snappers, diagramme voiliers, grunt fish, groupers, fusiliers, and enormous sting rays. Occasionally you’ll see a grey or white-dotted shark and a giant loach. Accessible for divers of all levels.

5. The 2 Soeurs

Two tiny islets facing Tsarabanjina, on a sandy plateau lying 10 metres deep. Here there are some beautiful potato-shaped corals inhabited by variegated fauna made up of grunt fish, snappers, fusiliers, groupers and angel fishes. An easy dive for all levels.

Top 3 festivals in the Indian Ocean this October

 

Performer at Madajazzcar

Performer at Madajazzcar

Check out our pick of the best festivals taking place in the Indian Ocean right now.

Creole Festival, Seychelles

When: 23-30 Ocotber 2011
Where: Mahe, Praslin and La Digue Islands
What: The biggest cultural event of the Seychelles calendar, this 6-day long festival celebrates the traditions and culture of Creole life on the islands. It’s a riot of colour and music with floats, art fairs, dancing, food stalls and more.   
Stay: Constance Ephelia and Constance Lemuria

 

Madajazzcar, Madagascar

When: 3-15 October 2011
Where: Venues around the capital Antananarivo, and other towns on the island.
What: Renowned jazz festival that attracts local and international artists celebrating Malagasy music – Madajazzcar Facebook page and official Madajazzcar website.
Stay: Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

 

Hay Festival, Maldives

When: October/November 2012 (biennial)
Where: Male and Aarah, offering privileged public access to the Presidential Retreat Island.
What: Part of the stable of Hay Festivals, this biennial event launched in 2010 attracts big names to debate cultural, political and social issues of our time against a stunning tropical bacdrop.
Stay: Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi (book early to avoid disappointment).

 

 

Weekly round up: 3-9 October 2011

Bar at Lodge Tsarabanjina

Bar at Lodge Tsarabanjina

This weekly feature offers a round-up of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything.

Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

Competition

Special offers

Inspiration

Culinary

Behind the scenes