Discovering Nosy Be
A volcanic island with an area of 321 km2, it is located in the bay of Ampasindava 8 kilometres off Madagascar. It stretches about 26 kilometres from north to south and 20 kilometres from east to west. It is the main island of an archipelago which includes the small islands of Nosy Komba, Nosy Fanihy, Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Iranja, and Nosy Tanikely. Altogether, these islands comprise an area attached to the Diana region. The island culminates at Mount Lokobe, an extinct volcano at an altitude of 455 meters; Mont Passot is 329 meters high. Its capital is Hell-Ville (this is its usual name but the Malagasy name is “Andoany”) which has 30,000 inhabitants and is located on the south coast and is home to the main port on the island.
Populated by only 200 inhabitants in 1830, Nosy Be now has just over 60,000 inhabitants.
There is a road around it; if it takes around two hours in normal times, taking the day to traverse lets you discover the hidden market of Hellville, its effervescence and its colours, to stop at the “sacred tree”, and then take a long break on one of the superb beaches in the north of the island to enjoy a grilled lobster, with bare feet sunk in the sand.
The reserves of Lokobe, Lemurialand, and the Nosy Be waterfall plunge their visitors into the lush nature of the island, as close as possible to its flora and fauna.
If Madagascar is in Forbes magazine’s top 10 countries to visit in 2019, Nosy Be has a lot to do with it, and fully relies on its neighbouring islands. The superb and very small Tanikely for example, less than 30mn, a scrupulously protected marine reserve, is a must. Fans of free-diving or scuba diving, from snorkelling to deep diving, will have an exceptional choice of sites and themes that depart from Manga Be.
Ambitious hotel projects were launched in the 1990s, the arrival of large Italian operators and the historical presence of the French brought a European dimension to Malagasy culinary traditions.
Nosy be is full of places to eat, on foot, on the beach along Manga be, or by taxi – the choice is vast!
Night owls will find, in the nearby village of Ambatoloaka, enough to keep them awake until dawn… Restaurants, bars, bands, and nightclubs line the street where a festive atmosphere reigns.