With so many dive centres located on the northern coast,
if you want total solitude head to the southwest coast
where dive operators are few, but the fish and coral are plentiful.
Here, more sharks can be seen and the coral is more
vibrant. Grey reef sharks can be aggressive, and care
needs to be taken when diving here; the Mozambique Channel
is the most shark infested in the world! Other shark species
like the black tip are harmless and are commonly seen
in the afternoon, when they hit the reef to hunt.
Resorts: Isle Saint Marie
The island of Saint Marie is a picture perfect tropical island
of coconut palms and bays protected from sharks by coral reefs.
The beaches are the pictoresque workplaces for Magascens
who harvest the sea for their living. 200 years ago, the islands
was the only buccaneer kingdom in the world, a hideaway for
more than a thousand pirates who would hide in the tiny bays
ready to pounce on unsuspecting cargo ships. Today the island
still houses an important pirates cemetery and a community
of descendents of the pirates and natives, the Malates.
The island consists of a series of tiny villages with homes
made of ravinala, which is found on the seashore. The
island is famous for clove trees and a mating ground
for humpback whales to meet, breed and give birth during
the summer months. Visitors can sea the whales leaping spectacularly
in the sea during their mating period (August).
Transport around the island is reassuringly old fashioned:
lazily hike by foot or bicycle from village to village, on
sandy roads or through the inner land's lush vegetation.
The island possesses numerous treasures to be discovered:
walks, bathing, deep-sea diving and coconut punch tasting
can all be enjoyed in front of the sea, illuminated by a breathtaking