Visit our newly revised itineraries for the Indian Ocean on the new website AGYachtCharter.com
We firmly believe that a yacht charter agency must create added value by providing local knowledge. This can be achieved only through familiarity with the destinations, experience in sailing, knowledge of the yachts and their crews, and passion for the sea and its culture. Every journey we organize is tailored upon our guests' requirements, so please contact us to request your private itinerary. All our voyages leave a very low carbon footprint. Check the pages of our magazine for more information.
Always to follow the LLLL rule: lead, log, longitude and lookout. Keep an eye around and always be sure of where you are and what you are supposed to have below your craft
We sail from Nosy Be, one of the many islands North-West of Madagascar. Nosy Be is a lush green island surrounded by a marine paradise. Surrounded by a number of smalll islands, Nosy Be covers an area of 321 square km. As island paradise, Nosy Be is also called "the Island of perfumes" because of its abundance of extraordinary plants, including Mango trees, Ylang-Ylang and jackfruit trees. This area is the domain of the bays, white-sanded beaches and some coral islets with musical names such as Nosy Komba, where some of the attractions are the Lemurs and quaint shops with local artisanats. Sakatia has the attraction of the flight of thousands of fruit bats at sunset, a mesmerizing sight. Tanikely is a marine reserve where diving and snorkeling is simply just stunning. You will get to places you normally would not get to. Enjoy the excitement of fishing from the rear of our yacht. A combination of a sailing trip and a relaxed stay in one of the many hotels the Island has to offer could make your holiday of a life time. Travel Tips Getting there: Air Madagascar usually operates two flights per week between Antananarivo/ Madagascar and Johannesburg/South Africa. Flight duration is three hours. Inter Air flies there once a week. Getting around: Air Madagascar serves 60 domestic airports. There are wonderful overland routes. Unusual Destinations can arrange all excursions and transfers. Visas: All visitors need visas. Malagasy consulates in South Africa issue one month visas for any passport holder. A valid passport is required. Visas can be arranged in 2 or 3 days. The visas can also be obtained on arrival for last minute bookings. Currency: As soon as you have cleared through customs, change some money into Ariary/Malagasy Francs (FMG) at the airport bank. Since the 01 August 2003 the government changed the local currency from Malagasy Franc to Ariary. Please be warned that the new Ariary is worth five times the FMG amount. Both currencies are shown on the notes. Ariary/FMG can be converted back into hard currency prior to leaving Madagascar. Do not take South African Rands to Madagascar. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Time zone: GMT + 3 hours Power supply: 220 V; European two-prong plugs. Health: No immunisations are necessary. Madagascar is a Malaria area. When sailing and having anchorage off shore, mosquito's are seldom seen. The World Health Organisation do advise prophylactics. When diving Doxycycline is to be advised over Mefliam/Lariam. Drink only bottled water or take water purification tablets. Travel insurance is essential. What to pack: Comfortable, casual and light clothing. If you go hiking, wellworn walking shoes or sneakers are essential. Pack warm clothing for winter nights. Take insect repellent and protective wear for the tropical sun and rain. Customs allowance: 500 cigarettes and 1 litre of alcohol. Luggage allowance: 20 kg & 1 item of hand luggage. Language: Malagasy is the first language; French the business language and English is spoken in the tourism industry. Read on: Guide to Madagascar: Hilary Bradt; Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide.
Weather Patterns Madagascar
The weather patterns in the Indian Ocean and particularly the Mozambique Channel where we operate are dominated by the alternation of the North Monsoon and the South Monsoon. During the South Monsoon, from April to December, South Eastern winds dominate. Apart from some brief night time showers, this period sees little rain and is cooler than the North Monsoon.
Typically, winds do not exceed 30 knots except in some “funnel areas” like Madagascar north of the Mitsio Islands. In some areas, like Western Madagascar, the South Eastern is interrupted and coastal winds dominate, blowing on-shore during the day and off-shore during the night. The North Monsoon, from December to March/April, brings hot, humid air and rain from the equator, while winds are lighter than during the South Monsoon. Rain typically falls in short heavy showers and gray days with continuing rains are seldom seen. The North Monsoon is also the period during which Cyclones can develop in the South Western Indian Ocean. On average per year, the whole region sees 4 cyclones (classified as a system that sees winds of 65 knots), and 10 tropical storms (35-65 knots). Nosy Be saw early 2004 its first Cyclone since 1986, indicating that most cyclones miss Northern Madagascar.
Cyclone developments are closely monitored through local sources and through the website http://severe.worldweather.org, which gives excellent up-to-date information on tropical storms and cyclones. Should we perceive the slightest chance of a cyclone coming our way, we prepare to move to the many “hurricane holes” in the area.
Weather Nosy Be
Nosy Be, being on the North-West side of Madagascar, is largely sheltered from the South-East Monsoon, which means that througout most of the year, we have thermal winds; during the day moderately from the sea, during the night lightly from the land. This keeps the waves to a minimum and makes the area a relaxed sailing experience.
Itineraries Nosy Be, Madagascar
Itineraries will be put together depending on preferences of the charter party in the following areas of interest:
Inshore sailing: Diving, snorkeling, beach, island hopping, fishing.
Nosy Be area (2-3 days): Relaxed flat water sailing with quiet anchorages and great spots for snorkeling and island exploration.
Mitsio Islands (3-7days): About 30 miles North East of Nosy Be, about 15 different islands form part of this group. Excellent beaches and diving, secluded anchorages. This trip can be extended to Cap St. Sebastien or further for another 3-4 days. Recommended period for this area is November-January, when the this normally windy area becomes mild.
Radama Islands (4-14 days): Situated about 45 miles South West of Nosy Be, this group consist of 6 islands, with plenty more small drying sandbanks and secluded bays on the way. One also passes Nosy Iranja (Turtle Island) and rivers that can be explored by kayak or dinghy.
Mitsio and Radama combined: (7 days minimum)
Off shore fishing:
For die-hard fishermen we enlist the services of some of the local fishing experts, who will use his own deep-sea boat to visit the outer bank on a daily basis, while our cats function as a moving hotel, allowing our clients to fish along the whole coast line, rather than in a limited area (check for availability and rates).
Huge granit rocks polished by the waves of the Indian Ocean, giant palm trees with embarrassingly shaped nuts, turquoise inlets fringed by lush green takamakas shading the fine white sand beaches.
This is the paradise image we all have about Seychelles islands. And deservedly so, for most of these islands lying a thousand kilometres off the East coast of Africa, just south of the Equator, are stunningly beautiful.
To find such a richness of colours and harmony of forms you have think about some of the Polynesian atolls to find a comparable vision of earthly paradise.
Add to that the generally smooth sailing conditions between the islands and the easy going lifestyle of the local population, you have all what you need within a 60 miles radius of the main island Mahé, in other words a sea greater than France to provide several weeks of idyllic crusing.
Climate and winds
Perfect sea and weather conditions for the charterer.
The archipelago, which is under the influence of really strong winds, is dominated by a distinctive system consisting of two monsoons separated by a month of variable weather : the inter-season.
- From May to October, almost constant winds blow south easterly with clear skies.
- The winds drop in November and give way to north-westerly.
- The south-easterly wind pattern returns in April. In between these two periods of south-easterly and north-westerly winds there are two short periods of calm or light winds.
- April and May are the sunniest months with a daily average of 7h50' to 8h20' of sun. These slight climate changes barely affect the temperature, which remains at an average of 28° to 32°C, both air and sea.
- No hurricane season in the Seychelles, winds rarely exceed speeds of 30 knots.
- January to march : north-westerly winds are dominant with short spells of wind from the north or north east. Speeds between 10 to 15 knots, small swell. In march winds begin to weaken.
- April and may : The winds blow from north/east with speeds between 5 to 15 knots. Very calm sea, air temperature 32°C, sea temperature 30°C.
- June : south-easterly winds predominate slightly with speeds between 10 and 20 knots.
- July to September : dry season, air and water temperature at 28°C, very few rainfalls. South-easterly winds predominate at a steady 20 to 25 knots. Sea can be choppy and some anchorages not accessible.
- October and November : Winds and swell decrease progressively. As November goes by north-west winds come back.
- December : the winds blow from north-west with speeds between 5 and 10 knots. Temperature rises.
|Day 1 : Praslin
Visit of the Vallée de mai, a valley protected by UNESCO. A walk in the Vallée de mai is enchanting. The path wanders in the near obscurity created by enormous palm leaves of the cocos de mer. The trunks are 40 m high and sway gently in the breeze, making a strange rustling sound as they rub against each other.Wherever you look, the foliage seems to go on and on as the path winds up through dark, damp clefts before coming out onto the ridge where are magnificent views over a dense sea of green. Night anchorage in Bay Ste Anne.
Day 2 : Baie Sainte Anne - La Digue. 6 miles
The south east coast of La Digue provides excellent moorings in deep coves, behind a coral reef near the shore. Petite Anse or Grande Anse are perfect for anchorage : lovely white sand beaches separated from each other by rocky spurs, backed by steep rocks. Rent a bike in la Passe to visit this beautiful island never overrun with tourists , thanks to the lack of accommodation.
Day 3 : La Digue
You won't like to leave this quiet place so early.Visit Union Estate, where they grow vanilla, do coprah. Visit "La Veuve reserve", endemic bird of La Digue.
Day 4 : La Digue to Grande Soeur and Cocos Island to Curieuse - 13 miles
Sail around Marianne and Félicité. Anchorage on the west coast of Grande Soeur for lunch.
Unforgettable snorkelling at Cocos Islands. Made of large rocks with strange regular stripes carved by the sea, Cocos Island forms a beautiful sight with a great harmony of shapes and colours . The ochre colour of the rocks is in contrast with the bright green palms of the coconut trees and the white sand of beaches lined with deep turquoise water. Under the sea , the vision is equally attractive with large arbores cent corals where thousands of many coloured fish swim in front of narrow breaks and dark caverns. Go to Curieuse, Baie Laraie on the east coast for the night.
Day 5 : Curieuse to Saint Pierre to Curieuse - 6 miles
Curieuse, part of the Marine National Park is the home of hundred or so giant turtles, you cannot miss them. 45mn walk, into mangrove and "coco fesse" trees, leads you to the other side of the island, where is a nice beach and small but interesting museum.Sail to St Pierre islet, a mass of rounded rocks crowned with a clump of tall palms swaying gently in the wind : typical and superb scenery of the Seychelles photographed on countless occasions and printed a million times in tourism magazines ! Excellent spot for snorkelling with magnificent underwater scenery.Go back to Baie Laraie for the night .
Day 6 : Curieuse to Aride to Baie Sainte Anne - 18 miles
Aride Island, placed under the supervision of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, is a conservation area. Narrow paths through the dense vegetation leads to the rocky barrier in the north from where the whole island can be observed.Free of cats and rats, which have ravaged so many tropical islands in the worlds, Aride is a haven for a wide variety of seabirds, unique vegetation and rare land birds. The ten species of breeding seabirds include the rare roseate tern and the red tailed tropicbird. The world's largest colony of lesser noddy, more than 200,000 couples nest there. Open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays .More than 300 species of fish have been identified in Aride coral reef where some hawksbill turtles may come to the surface. Go back to Baie Sainte Anne to fill up water.
Day 7 : Baie Sainte Anne to Victoria - 28 miles
Anchor for the night in Victoria harbour, and visit this nice little town.
Day 8 : Victoria to Baie Lazare - 20 miles
Visit the picturesque market place in the morning. Good opportunity for fresh provisioning. Sail down Mahé, by the south. You'll pass by Anse Takamaka and Anse Intendance.Anchor in Baie Lazare for the night.
Day 9 : Baie Lazare to Port Launay - 8 miles
Sail along the coast to Thérèse island, and Port Launay marine park, limited to the south east by the Pointe de l'Escalier, a strange geological phenomenon that has built up a giant stairway leading to the sea with steps consisting of regular flat layers of rock.
|Day 10 : Port Launay to Silhouette to Ile Sainte Anne - 35 miles
Go to Silhouette (don't forget the permit).Anchor in front of La Passe.Go back for the night in Sainte Anne Marine Park, in Anse Cimetière, south of the island.
|Day 11 : Ile Sainte Anne to Curieuse - 30 miles Snorkelling northeast of Ile Moyenne, then sail to Curieuse in the morning. Anchor in Baie Laraie.
|Day 12 : Curieuse to Cousin to Baie Sainte Anne - 15 miles
Cousin Island is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary with rare species and some giant turtles. Less than 800 meters in diameter, the island can be visited from Tuesday to Friday.A small path leads to the turtles' enclosure from where it leads to the summit through dense vegetation. Great panorama and good spot from which to observe the gracious flights of tropicbirds. During the season of southeasterly winds, there may be up to 100,000 couples of black boodies nesting in the trees. Go back to Baie sainte Anne for the night.
The republic of the Maldives is an impressive chain of small islands stretching over nearly 900 kilometers across de Indian Ocean, South-East of the tip of India. As a result of wind, waves and coral growth, islands come and go. Officially there are around 1200 islands, but the number depends on the classification. The islands are set in 26 ring shaped atolls, which enclose a lagoon of 35-70 meters deep, from which reefs and islands rise steeply. Of the islands, only 200 are classified as locally inhabited islands, an addition to another 80-odd resort islands. The weather in the Maldives is split in the dry season (November - May) and the wet season (May - November) Although the hours of sunshine do not differ very much between the seasons (about 8 hours per day), in the wet season there are virtually daily showers that last for about an hour. Only occasionally there are days of solid rain. The wind in the dry season is light to moderate from the North-East, in the wet season it is typically moderate from the South-West. Squalls rarely bring more than 25 knots of wind. This makes the Maldives a year-round destination with a low season from June to August. The islands of The Maldives form one of the greatest diving centres in the world, with its crystal clear waters and magnificent turquoise lagoons being home to a variety and abundance of colourful marine life and stunning coral reefs. The weather is great, year round with water temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius and great visibility. On top of this The Maldives is a fishermen's paradise, with game fishing on the open sea between the atolls. The main species of game fish are King Mackerel, Kingfish, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, jackfish, and dorado. Cruising on a yacht in The Maldives with us is new and becoming very popular. Our crew has local knowledge and will bring you to the best dive and snorkel spots. Kingfish has 4 sets of dive equipment is on board that can be used by experienced divers. The chef will prepare delicious food and will bring sundowners at the end of the day when you watch the beautiful sunsets. Free from tourists, experience the luxury and beauty of this part of the world in the total privacy of your catamaran. The Maldives is easily accessible by air from Europe, Middle East and Asia, serviced by both scheduled and charter carriers (for more info, go to www.visitmaldives.com). Visas are issued at the airport and customs formalities are quick and trouble free. Alcohol (although we are licensed to serve alcoholic drinks on board) cannot be brought into the counrty
The weather in the Maldives is split in the dry season (November to May) and the wet season (May to October). Although the hours of sunshine do not differ very much between the seasons (8 hours average per day), in the wet season there are virtually daily showers that last for about an hour. Only occasionally there are days of solid rain.
The wind in the dry season is light to moderate from the Nort-East, in the wet season it is typically moderate from the South-West. Squalls rarely bring more than 25 knots of wind. This makes the Maldives a year-round destination with a low season from June to August.
Itineraries depend on the preferences of the guests, time available and the weather. Furthermore, in an area with 1200 islands and thousands of protective reefs, we are very flexible when it comes to finding safe anchorages and are not necessarily bound to preset itineraries. When agreeable to our clients, we sometimes travel between atolls at night(they can be between 5 and 50 miles apart), to maximize the day activities. Any itinerary starts when we pick you up at the airport island. As we have a permit to dock at the airport, it only takes about 100 meters to get from customs to the yacht!
3-5 day charter: We will usually stay in the North and South Male Atoll
5-8 day charter: Combination of North and South Male Atoll and Ari Atoll, which requires a crossing of 30 miles.
8+ day charters : You decide: 1200 islands, with thousands of reefs and anchorages to choose from!