Snorkelling the Great Reef
The Great Reef is a prime snorkelling ground. However, human proximity has taken its toll, meaning that some sections of the reef are in better shape than others. Using information on coral health and fish populations supplied by local marine conservation NGO Blue Ventures, we’ve graded the quality of the reef from one (low) to 10 (high).
Andavadoaka (grade 7) Some nice small bommies (shallow, isolated patches of reef) can be reached from the shore. Slightly deeper reefs are a short pirogue (dugout canoe) trip from the village. Longer pirogue trips reach shallow sites off the island of Nosy Hao.
Salary (grade 6) Good sites are really too deep to snorkel, but there are some small bommies inshore.
Ifaty/Mangily (grade 6) Snorkelling can be done by pirogue in the Rose Garden Marine Reserve (for a fee).
Tuléar (grade 4) Reef can be shallow, but requires a short pirogue/boat trip.
Anakao/Nosy Ve (grade 5) Snorkelling in the marine reserve off the northern tip of the island (for a fee).
Beheloka (grade 6) Good sites are further offshore and need to be reached by a pirogue trip from the village.
Ambola (grade 6) Most sites can be reached by a pirogue trip from the village.
Itampolo (grade 8) One great site for snorkelling straight off the beach in the north, great coral cover, diverse fish and shallow depth.