Surfing in Madagascar: what you need to know

09 February 2021 | Africa

Off the eastern coast of Africa, Madagascar is an island famous for its endemic fauna worthily represented by lemurs, but a little less for its surfing sports. In the south and on the east coast however, the island offers internationally renowned sites. But when to program such a stay to make the most of an escapade on the Big Island and what to do in case of flat? The answers.

Madagascar

Malagasy surf spots

In the Southeast :

The south of Madagascar is full of spots for surfers of all levels. On the side of Fort-Dauphin, the seasoned surfers tame the waves of the Ambinanibe bay. Off its 7 km long beach, the peaks are legion. At low tide, the sandbanks allow to surf on excellent waves. With its small right-hand side, the neighbouring spot of Monseigneur Bay is a delight for intermediate surfers. To learn to surf, go to the camps in Libanona. At the southern tip of the country, Lavanono offers its arms to the most daring. Rather difficult to access, the spot offers a nice left and reef-break.

In the Southwest :

By going up the west coast, four other spots come into view, including one of the most popular of the island, Anakao. Although this site is not to be presented anymore to the international surfers, it is still little frequented. For experienced surfers, Anakao offers a powerful left hander on a rocky bottom. Those who are new to surfing can opt for Jelly Baby, located opposite Anakao. Not far away, Flameballs unveils a roll of fast waves.

On the East Coast :

The Indian Ocean is unleashed at the level of the village of Ambodiatafana and at the point of Ampanihy. Further north, Mahambo is by far the most famous spot in the region and also the most accessible. The waves are present all year round. Going back up the coast to the north-east of the island, the experienced surfers tame the tubes at the mouth of the river off the town of Sambava.

Those who are looking for powerful lefts or rights and dizzying hits will discover surf spots ideas on foriri.com.

When to surf in Madagascar?

Surfing is available all year round on the east coast. For a stay in the south, September and October are the best months. The still pleasant mercury warms up the sea adequately. During this period, the water temperature varies between 23 and 27°C on the Fort-Dauphin side. At the spots of Lavanono and Anakao, you can enjoy an exceptional temperature of 29 °C in the heart of the hot season, in February.

What to do if the waves are not there?

Madagascar is a destination with a high tourist potential. In case of flat, be sure to always find something to do, parks to visit or islets to discover. If you plan to surf in Anakao, the island of Nosy Ve can be discovered off the coast of the resort. This sandy piece of land of barely 5 km long is ideal to enjoy the sun and the sea. If you have time, plan a short trip inland to the Isalo National Park. Between its rocky formations worthy of the American West and its luxuriant forests, the site promises a successful green escapade.

This is also the case at the Nahampoana reserve, easily accessible from Fort-Dauphin. This unique natural sanctuary reveals in all its splendour the richness of the Malagasy ecosystem. Along the paths, follow the tracks of lemurs, chameleons, turtles and birds, some of them endemic to the island.

If your surfing trip takes you to the east coast of Madagascar, to Mahambo, make the crossing to the island of Sainte-Marie, located just opposite the surf spot. The former pirate's hideout is known for its gentle lifestyle and quiet beaches. Between June and September, its waters are also the scene of an astonishing spectacle, that of the whales that come to mate and give birth.

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