Cimetière des Pirates

Cemetery in Île Sainte Marie

This is a fascinating spot from which to contemplate the history of the island. The cemetery overlooks the Baie de Forbans just south of Ambodifotatra, the perfect pirate hang-out, and smells of a very different era. Ironically, most of the gravestones are actually those of missionaries, but you can clearly see the skull and crossbones on the grave of one English pirate. The crumbling piers used for ship repairs are visible from here, as is the small island of Île aux Forbans, where many pirates lived.

Access is via an isolated foot track, which crosses several tidal creeks and slippery logs about 10 minutes south of the causeway. Guides hang around at the entrance to collect a small community fee, to which they add their own fee if you hire them (Ar5000 is more than ample). However, as their actual knowledge and English may be limited, we strongly recommend that you come here with someone who knows the history of the area. Sainte Marie Consulting can arrange this. It’s completely unique and worth the effort.