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Ambodifotatra, Madagascar

Ambodifotatra is the main port town on the small island of Ile Saint Marie, also known as Nosy Boraha, located off the coast of Madagascar. This beautiful paradise is surrounded in mystery and legend, as it is known to have been a popular location for pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries. The island is close to an old shipping route for vessels returning from the East Indies with expensive cargo, so pirates would wait on the island to hijack these passing ships and steals the wealth of goods aboard. Ile Saint Marie is sometimes referred to as the Garden Island, due to its lush and verdant vegetation, flora and fauna as well its unique variety of wildlife including lemurs and orchids that can only be found in Madagascar.

Sightseeing in Ambodifotatra

An amazing excursion opportunity on Ile Saint Marie is humpback whale-watching. These majestic creatures often frequent the channel of water between Ile Saint Marie and the main Madagascan Island. Humpback whales always return to this small channel, as the conditions are perfect for mating and raising their young. The whales can also be observed performing amazing acrobatic routines at the surface before they return to the deep ocean waters out to sea. The waters around the coast of Ile Saint Marie boast several fantastic dive sites, with an abundance of coral and aquatic life. Many historical sites can also be found across this stunning and tranquil island.

The pirates' cemetery at Saint Pierre

The graves of infamous pirates, smugglers and slave traders are located on the peninsula at Saint-Pierre. This sombre yet intriguing attraction is one the islands most popular tourist hotspots, allowing people to view the memorials to some of the 18th and 19th century's most dangerous men. Observant travellers will notice that one of the tombstones in the cemetery bears the classic skull and crossbones markings, often associated with pirates in popular culture.

The Old Fort

This imposing fort overlooks the island from its strategic position on top of a high hill. The fort was built during the 18th and 19th centuries, once used as a prison for convicts from across Madagascar. The emblem of Louis XV is inscribed on the main gate, although nowadays the structure is occupied by the army of Madagascar.

Isle aux Forbans

The tiny and mysterious island was once a meeting place at which pirates would divide their stolen riches. Rumours and legends suggest that the island may still contain buried treasure from centuries ago, but as yet the theory is still unconfirmed.

Shopping in Ambodifotatra

A numbers of shops and stalls are located within the main town of Ambodifotatra, where visitors can pick up imported and locally produced goods, from groceries and sports equipment to fashion and souvenirs.

Eating out in Ambodifotatra

The island is famous for its delicious seafood and crab-based dishes, which can be found in many restaurants along the coast and in the main town. Other international cuisine and tasty snacks can also be purchased at eateries distributed across Ile Saint Marie.

Cruise Lines

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