The Offerings Of Île Sainte-Marie (Nosy Boraha)

Apart from the whole world, a tropical fairy land to connect with nature and revive yourself 

27, Dec 2019 |

Apart from the whole world, a tropical fairy land to connect with nature and revive yourself 

Just 52km in length and less than 10km in width Nosy Boraha seems nothing more than thin strip of sand covered by the rich flora and fauna in the vast Indian Ocean. This tiny tropical island is a true treasure trove for nature-lovers and travel enthusiast. One can get to this island in just an hour via air from Antananarivo Airport. If you’re into long walks then you can traverse through the island in just two and a half hours where you can walk through tranquil tropical rain forest or the never ending dreamy beach. 

Origin of civilization in tiny tropical land 

Île Sainte-Marie is called Nosy Boraha in Malagasy language. This tropical island was home to pirates of Indian Ocean during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the shallows of Baie Des Forbans we can still see the remaining of the wrecked pirate ships. Presented as a wedding gift to the Frenchman La Bigorne who married daughter of Betsimisaraka King Ratsimilaho. After the death of King Ratsimilaho, La Bigorne and his wife princess Betia had to take refuge in Mauritius because the locals started a revolution and took back the control of the island from the French. According to the independence treaty of 1960, the people of  Île Sainte-Marie got the chance to choose either French or Malagasy nationality but the majority chose Malagasy nationality.

Dance of the giants (Whale watching)

One of the majestic creatures of the planet the giants of the marine world the almighty, Humpback Whales (Megaptera) and Southern Right Whales are visible between the channel of Nosy Boraha and Madagascar during the time period of July and September. The marine environment of this place is very favourable for breeding and growth of young calf. This place is also resting spot for whales before their annual migration to rough and cold waters.

Diving into the deep marine world

Every adventure-seeker and wanderer would love to venture and enjoy the vast blue ocean. The marine flora in the bays of Nosy Boraha is conserved as a natural heritage. Due to the massive coralline growth the lagoon of the island is free from shark. Not only the lagoon is safe but it is beautifully carved by the wreckage of pirate ships home to marine turtles. So, the bays of Nosy Boraha is one of the most famous diving sites in the Indian ocean. If you wish to dive into isolated bays you can reach by canoeing.

Distinctive wildlife and greenery

This tiny piece of land is covered by rich tropical forest and has a high annual rainfall. Waterfront cave and the forest are neighbours of the Ankarena beach. Ikalalao forest is the blooming land for various varieties of orchids, resembling garden from a fairytale. The Microcebus lemur, the Mouse lemur and the dwarf lemur reside in this forest. Chameleon of all kinds are endemic to this place.                                                                                      

Another forest the Ankarena secondary forest is home to various birds, chameleons, geckos and tree frogs. It also has mouse lemur, brown lemurs with a bald head and soft grey lemurs.

The Ampanihy forest is highly populated by mangroves which can explored by canoe. If you are at the beach at the right time, you can observe the turtles laying eggs.

Culture and Cuisine

The cultural diversity of this island is like a rainbow. The people of this island use languages such as Saint-Marien, French, Bantu, English, a little Indonesian and other local dialects. Mix culture of this island brought varieties of cuisines. With change in time the varieties of cuisines have blended and created unique delicacies. This island mostly offers seafood in different ways of cooking and almost offers the taste of the world. 

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