Antsiranana Bay © Jean-Louis Vandevivère
Formerly known as Diégo Suarez Bay, and boasting one of the finest natural harbours in the world, Antsiranana Bay is a vibrant and cosmopolitan seaport located at the northernmost tip of Madagascar, overlooking a beautiful gulf. Named after the two Portuguese explorers who discovered the island, there are wonderful lakes, rainforests and waterfalls to explore while in Antsiranana, and wildlife such as lemurs, crocodiles and an array of indigenous birds can be viewed. The beach at Ramena is a great place to spend a lazy day, while others can take a boat to nearby Nosy Be to explore the sandy beaches and lush inland. The bay has been the setting for some interesting historical events, like the invasion of Madagascar by the Allied forces in 1942 (to protect the territory from the Japanese after the surrender of France), and a submarine attack on the British fleet by Japanese submarines, but there is not now much evidence of its wartime strategic importance. It is a scenically splendid area to explore but not as accessible as one might expect due to its remote location on the northern tip of the island. The road south used to be in terrible condition but has been improved in recent years.