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With its white sand and a forest populated by lemurs, the small island of Tanikely is one of the jewels of Madagascar. Turned into a National Park ten years ago, the island is bordered by one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the country, where sea turtles, snappers, anemonefish, barracuda and even starfish live right below the surface of the water. A trip not to be missed by snorkeling enthusiasts who stay at Nosy Be or Nosy Komba!
Nosy Tanikely is generally visited by day (or half-day) boat tour starting from Nosy Be or Nosy Komba. The boat trip between these two islands and Tanikely takes about 30 minutes. There is an entrance fee to the National Park (MGA 20,000pp.).
You can enter the water from the north or south side of the main beach, according to the area you want to explore (see map).
There are two areas recommend for snorkeling in Tanikely, extending at both sides of the tip of the main beach. The most frequented part (and most appropriate for beginners) is located in the south, in a very calm area between the beach and a rock wall.
In the two areas, the coral reef starts close to the beach and stretches for 100 to 200 m. Some areas are covered by long-spined sea urchin, with frightening spines. The reef is rather well preserved, dominated by digitate and branching corals, porous coral pinnacles and mushroom corals.
There are many clams living to the reef. There are also sea anemones in this area, frequented by two species of anemonefish, Madagascar clownfish and skunk clownfish.
Nosy Tanikely became a National Park in 2010 and fishing is strictly prohibited. The seabed is very rich in fish, frequented especially by huge parrotfish, blackspotted rubberlips, and even schools of barracuda.
Among the hundreds of species of colorful fish that can be seen while snorkeling in Tanikely, we can also mention the Moorish idol, the blackeye thicklip wrasse and the yellow boxfish.
In Nosy Tanikely there is also some shallow seagrass beds, which is the best environment for observing green turtles, found pretty frequently around the island. Among the seagrass, look for beautiful red-knobbed starfish, which can reach almost 30 cm.
Tanikely Island is a natural site where no accommodation or restaurants can be found. The day tours from Nosy Be and Nosy Komba generally include lunch. Ask about what is included when you book your trip.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Resort island edged by coral reefs
Level: Resort nearby
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Level: Free shore access
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Level: Free shore access Resort nearby
Small islets fringed by a vibrant coral reef