The Indian Ocean never disappoints travelers when it comes to a beach vacation. There are so many destinations coming to mind, but Madagascar is not one of them possibly because of popular destinations such as Zanzibar. Madagascar is one of the countries that struggled with poverty and endemic diseases, which hindered the growth of tourism until recent years. Despite this fact, it has the longest shoreline than any of the other African countries.
Nosy Be is the most popular tourist resort in Madagascar. Just off the northern coast of the main island, this island lies among hundreds of coral reefs. What makes the beaches of Nosy Be iconic are these coral reefs surrounding the area that keep the water calm and extremely clean. It helped in the development of diving-related sports, especially scuba-diving.
Scuba diving is a sport that requires absolute control over your breath, meaning you will probably need some training before you embark on your journey into the blue. In this article, we will mention the go-to scuba-diving companies in Madagascar.
Forever Dive in Nosy Be is one of the longest-running scuba diving centers with 17 years of experience. The owner Sylvia Trelanche is considered the pioneer of scuba diving tourism in the country. In her leadership, the instructors have gone through extensive training of scuba diving, gears, first aid, oxygen therapy, and resuscitation. Their principle is to offer a personalized experience to the guests, which is why they always train a limited number of people at a time to ensure that everyone gets enough care and attention. Another advantage of this center is that the instructors undergo extra training to help children as little as eight years old. Finally, being a multilingual center, you can get scuba diving lessons in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Malagasy. At the end of the training, you end up getting an NAUI, which is a worldwide known certificate.
Scuba Nosy Be
Another experienced scuba diving center in Nosy Be, this place has been in the competition for 12 years. Their priority is to comply with the European standards of safety, but they also make sure the visitors have a comfortable stay during their time. They provide one free night of accommodation as well as meals after the diving courses. Their training takes place not only in Nosy Be but also in other diving spots such as Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Komba, and Nosy Iranja.
The most important feature that makes them stand out is that they have instructor training centers. So, this is the place to consider if you dream of becoming a certified diving instructor. Another remarkable opportunity you get here is the possibility of swimming with whales during the whale watching season between August and December. They offer various certificates from NAUI to PADI at the end of the lessons.
It is the place to consider if you want training in French, and even their website is primarily in French. The center is in the picturesque village of Ambatoloaka, close to restaurants and attractions. The center has a PADI qualification, and the courses delve into all the aspects of scuba diving in great detail. The scope of the courses includes open water diving, cage diving, rescue, EFR, Nitrox, and even night diving. They have two diving sites around Nosy Be that they sail twice a day each. During these diving sessions, you will literally witness a live stream documentary of marine life.
The diving sites of Oceane’s Dream are abundant in green turtles, leopard sharks, swordfish, and many tropical fishes. Their extensive care of safety will make you feel protected at all times, while you are being accompanied by parachute divers on air, being tracked by computers on board. Oxygen therapy equipment and first aid kits are also available on site.
Situated on the west coast of Nosy Be, Sakalav Diving is another reputable diving center giving offering scuba diving courses in French and English. The center owns two diving sites, one right in front of the center, the other at Ampasidanava Bay abundant in small marine species such as paper fishes, seahorse, and rhinopias. Their diving courses usually take place in the first spot, while the second spot is used commonly for night dive and fluorescence dive. The fluorescence dive is particularly interesting because it enables you to see the fluorescence emitted by some animals that will make you feel surrounded by aliens underwater. During the diving sessions, your pictures are taken by underwater photographers so you can fetch them later on. That’s not all; you can even take photography courses to become experienced in taking pictures underwater.
In addition to scuba diving, they have detailed lessons and demonstrations of snorkeling and free diving. During these sessions, you will have the chance to swim among green turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks.
Located at the southwestern tip of Nosy Be, Tropical Diving is a boutique diving center that has been working with experienced divers from around the world since the early 1990s. They are renowned for their access to 20 different diving sites from marine parks, outer reefs, and even shipwrecks. Working with tour operators from Europe, especially from France, they have strong relations with divers and tour companies from Europe. Their quality and safety principles earned them a 5* Scubapro Certificate.
Unlike most of the other companies in the area, they have been lucky in the sense that they never had to hire temporary guides and instructors, and their staff remained the same ever since they first began operating. Their instructors have a reputation as the PADI dive-masters. Besides the high-quality training, they also put a strong emphasis on the comfort of the visitors. The speedboats that they use to reach the diving spots are fully-equipped with GPS, oxygen kit, first-aid kit, and even cover for the sun. The boats have the maximum capacity of 6-8, that’s why your experience will be much more personalized. The biggest advantage you would get diving with Tropical Diving is the special packages combining Diving+ Hotel+ Transfer in which you will receive discounts in the latter two services.