Embark on a Whale Safari in Sainte Marie

whale safari in Sainte Marie

Between July and September, humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) come to the waters of the Canal of Sainte Marie to breed or to give birth. During a sea trip, you will have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures.

The humpback whales or 'Trozona' are venerated by the population of Sainte Marie. On the occasion of the arrival of these cetaceans, considered on this small island as 'Zagnaharibe', translated literally 'great deity', locals organize a feast as a sign of respect and, also, to ask for the favour of 'gods'.

For three months, humpback whales are the biggest stars off the shores of Sainte Marie. Despite their imposing size (15 to 20 metres in length for a mass of at least 40 tons), these creatures will offer you a magical spectacle that you will not forget. Acrobatics, flippers, aquatic ballet, bridal dance, you will get everything including calves playing with their mothers.

whale safari in Sainte Marie

For your safari, inquire at your hotel. Some organize daily outings at sea. Note that the 'Cetamada Association', which works to preserve humpback whales in the waters of Sainte Marie, makes visitors aware of the codes of good behaviour for the observation of this species.

This article was featured in Prime Magazine August 2017

Useful Information


When to go

On Sainte Marie Island, the temperature remains pleasant throughout the year, varying between 22°C and 28°C. Precipitation is high during the rainy season. For your holidays, choose the period from July to October. The whales frolic in the waters of the Canal de Sainte Marie during this period.


How to get there

Sainte Marie is connected with Antananarivo or Tamatave by regular Air Madagascar flights. You can also take the Tanà-Mahambo or Tanà-Soanierana Ivongo trip by car before taking the boat to Sainte Marie.


Where to stay

On Sainte Marie Island, you will have no worries about your accommodation. Stay at Hotel Soanambo or EcoLodge Le Ravoraha Bed and Breakfast. The Riotel Resort & Villa, Boraha Village, Adonys Eden Lodge, Idyll Beach, Masoandro Lodge, Princess Bora Lodge are also recommended. Spend your nights at Hotel La Crique in Lokintsy if you prefer complete peace and quiet..


Where to eat

To satisfy most gourmet desires, order your meals at your hotel. Especially recommended is the Restaurant La Cambusa.


What to see

After your whale safari, continue sailing to Sands Island. The site houses the best snorkeling spots in the area. Rent a quad and visit the neighbourhood of the city to meet locals. You can even continue to the forest of Ikalalao if you love exploring and nature.

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