Swim with Massive Whale Sharks—the Earth's Largest Fish

Whale Sharks of Madagascar Extension

Madagascar

5 Days

From $2,590

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Whale sharks, the biggest fish in the ocean and among the docile, regularly visit Nosy Be Island in northwestern Madagascar between the end of September and December. Growing as long as 65 feet, these fish are plankton feeders, scooping up tiny plants and small fish while gliding close to the surface. Swimming among these creatures is a wonderful thrill—don your fins, mask, and snorkel and get ready for one of the great wildlife experiences of the world! A seaside hotel with an infinity pool keeps you comfortable as you enjoy this great adventure.

    Arrive: Antananarivo, Madagascar

    Depart: Antananarivo, Madagascar

    Highlights

    • Swim with gentle whale sharks in northwestern Madagascar
    • Enjoy a seaside hotel on the Indian Ocean

    Itinerary

    Download Itinerary Expand All Days
    Fly to Nosy Be, an island off northwestern Madagascar. You'll be met on arrival by our representative and transferred to the seaside Residence Villas...BLD
    After breakfast, a 20-minute drive brings you to the harbor for a half-day excursion with whale sharks. The boat is simple and hosts 10-12 passengers. Snorkel, fins, and masks are provided (or you can bring your own). The waters in this area are very calm and offer crystal-clear visibility. During the excursion, the boat follows the route of the whale sharks as they swim along at about three miles an hour. You will be getting in and out of the water six or seven times by descending a small step with a railing (staff is available to help, but you must be mobile enough to get yourself in and out of the boat). Etiquette for swimming with whale sharks includes not approaching them closer than nine feet, not using flash photography, and remaining still in the water if they swim towards you. The boat crew will have further instructions.

    Return to the hotel for lunch and optional afternoon activities. Later in the day, you'll be met for a drive to a vista point on Mont Passot where you can enjoy a beautiful Indian Ocean sunset. Dinner is on your own this evening at the hotel restaurant. Overnight at Residence Villas...BL
    Enjoy your choice of another morning with the whale sharks, or choose to travel by private boat to two of the surrounding islands.

    On the island excursion, you'll visit cone-shaped Nosy Komba, where a 20-minute walk brings you to a nature park where black macaco lemurs are found. Boating further to the island of Nosy Tanikely, a small protected marine reserve, you'll be gliding over pristine coral formations brimming with life. There is great snorkeling here in clear waters and a chance to see hawksbill and green turtles, dolphins, and multi-colored coral Return to Nosy Be for an afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Residence Villas...BLD
    Fly back to the capital for an overnight at Relais des Plateaux. Note: There are a few flights departing direct from Nosy Be to Paris (or other European cities)...BL
    Transfer to the airport for your departing flight...BLD
    A visa is not required for U.S. citizens visiting Madagascar.

    Pricing

    Trip Extensions can be added on to Small Group Adventures or Private Journeys, to lengthen and customize your trip. Prices are per person and not guaranteed until services are confirmed. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

    Included
    • Service of local English-speaking guides
    • Accommodations in hotel
    • Meals as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    • All ground transportation and baggage handling from arrival until departure
    • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    Not Included
    • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
    • Additional hotel nights outside the extension's scheduled dates
    • Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, or staff
    • Optional travel insurance
    • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
    • Visa fees
    • Any activities and services described as an upgrade or optional

    Accommodations

    Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

    Residence Villas

    Nosy Be, Madagascar

    Days 1-3 (3 nights)

    Accommodations at the Residence Villas are in air-conditioned 2- or 3-bedroom villas. The property's open-air seaside restaurant offers a wine bar and an infinity pool for a relaxing float. Hotel guests can enjoy optional paddle boarding, kayaking, and massage services at the on-site Banyan Nosy Be Spa.

    Le Relais des Plateaux

    Antananarivo, Madagascar

    Day 4 (1 night)

    Located near the international airport, this modern hotel offers light and airy rooms, excellent food, a good gift shop, and a swimming pool for a relaxing dip.

    Best Matched Trips

    Book your trip today

    Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

    Itinerary

    Submit the form below to download itinerary

    Hidden

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    Trip Levels

    With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

    Level 1 – Easiest

    Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

    Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

    Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

     

    Level 3 – Moderate

    Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

    Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

     

    Level 5 – Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

    Level 6 – Very Strenuous

    Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p>At time of reservation: $900<br>\r\n90 days prior to departure: Balance<br>\r<br><em>\r\n*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p><\/body>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}