Nosy Be, a misunderstood island
You are planning your trip to Nosy Be and of course you want to know more. You have just visited some local guides, Tripadvisor, little smart, backpacker and I guess you are a little lost on "what to expect?" This is the primary reason for this site because during my first stay in Nosy Be in 2010, I was totally wrong about what I was going to discover.
Nosy Be, a tourist island or a misunderstood island?
Nosy Be may be communicated as the tourist flag of Madagascar, attendance figures remain ridiculous. With an arrival of barely 60 000 tourists / year (to compare, 81,000,000 / year in France), Nosy Be ("the big island" in Malagasy) is still far from mass tourism,
Nosy Be is a small island where life is good, the beaches are for you, you are certain to be able to take pictures during your vacation in Nosy Be the beach completely deserted without any trance of pats in the morning! A condition of course not to stay on Ambatoloaka - Madarokely 😊
Nosy Be, more than an island, an archipelago
The most famous side of Nosy Be is undoubtedly its archipelago! With more than 10 islands, you will fall in love. Note that some islands are not accessible in one day, to enjoy it is to consider either a bivouac or a cruise, whether it is a catamaran or more traditionally Malagasy dhow.
What is the climate like in Nosy Be?
340 days of sunshine a year, and when it rains often at night, so an ideal climate. The rainy season in January & February, plus the hurricane season, is the period when operators take their holidays. For more information on the climate and the best seasons to come, I invite you to read the related article: What is the weather like for Nosy Be?
- High season: July to December, better book your hotel
- Low season: March to June
- Humpback whale season: July & August
- September: The whales are still there, the whale sharks are coming and the summer holidays are over 🙂
Nosy Be population
The inhabitants of Nosy Be are from the sakalava people (Madagascar is populated by 18 ethnic groups), so they have their own history & culture, music, dance and makeup specific to their island Nosy Be.
In the culture of the Sakalava and Antakarana people, taboos and taboos (fady) are important in everyday life. The cult of the ancestors, the belief of the power of the deceased ancestors, is omnipresent.
Formerly, simplicity is seen on the dress worn by men and women. The wearing of the kitamby, a loincloth wrapped around the hip, the traditional dress of the time is over, the time has brought a radical change in the ways of dressing for men. However, on the women's side, the kisaly was able to keep its place.
Since the time of colonization, Christianity and Islam have arrived which has generated a cultural and religious mixing visible through the habits and life of every day. These new religions cohabit peacefully with local tradition.
Activities in Nosy Be
Do not think that Nosy Be has only beaches to offer, the interior of the island offers magnificent panoramas to who takes the time to discover them. Whether hiking in Mont Passot, bicycles in the vicinity of Hell-city, Quad at the waterfall Nosy Be, tour the island in 4 × 4, visit the islands by boat without forgetting diving , fishing, whale safari and many more
Off the northwestern coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be is bathed by the Mozambique Channel. Here is a selection of excursions to make imperatively during a stay on the Ile aux Parfums.
Start your guided tour of Nosy Be with a visit to Hell-Ville, the capital. You will discover here a charming port city studded with colonial houses. Strolling along the promenade along the harbor, you will appreciate the softness of the sea breeze.
The Ylang-Ylang Ampasimenabe Distillery is an interesting stop in Nosy Be. This is where the essential oils of Ylang-Ylang were extracted in huge copper vats.
A stop at the old sugar cane factory of Djamandzar will reveal you a piece of the history of Nosy Be and will take you back several decades.
The Lokobe reserve is an unmissable stop for all nature lovers. Spread over 740 hectares, this setting is home to endemic specimens such as Macao makis and crested Martin. Four varieties of lemurs have taken up residence in this sanctuary.
Culminating at 329 meters, Mount Passot is home to a magnificent waterfall and a natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation.
Twenty minutes from Nosy Be by canoe, Nosy Komba has a diameter of 8 kilometers. The traditional village of Ampagorina is one of the tourist attractions of the island. This is where you will discover the most beautiful embroidery of Nosy Be.
The sacred tree
Nestled in the heart of a small forest in the village of Mahatsinjo, the sacred tree is a huge banyan tree that spreads over an area of 5000 m². Twice centennial, this tree is a high place of worship for the sakalava tribes.
Home to a lighthouse built in 1908, Nosy Tanikely is known for its marine sanctuary and beautiful coral screens. A place of scuba diving off Nosy Be, it also seduces with its beautiful immaculate sand ribbons.
Five minutes by boat or canoe, Sakatia Island seduces nature lovers with its biodiversity. Many varieties of orchids and chameleons are found on the island.
Home to a large steel lighthouse erected by Gusta Eiffel, Nosy Ranja amazes you with its pristine sand tongues set with turquoise water.
The Mitsio Islands
About an hour and a half by boat from Nosy Be, the archipelago of the Mitsio Islands is the Mecca of divers and nature lovers staying on the Island of Perfumes.
Hotels in Nosy Be
The advantage of the destination of Nosy Be is precisely that it favors tourism. You will find all types of accommodation
Home The residence - Nosy Be - Madagascar
Ambondrona - Nosy Be - Madagascar
Hotel Ylang - Ambondrona - Nosy Be - Madagascar
The restaurants in Nosy Be
Cruises in Nosy Be
Story of Nosy Be
It was around the 9th century that Arab sailors visiting the island periodically called Nosy be "Assada" or "Sada", the Malagasy then called "Vario Be".
It was banned "fady" at the death of Queen Ambary 2 and became "Nosse-Be" or "Nos-Be". Various sovereigns will succeed each other on the island.
Around 900 Arabs who approach the northwest coast of Madagascar refuel Nosy Be and create a counter in Mahilaka. They then fortify the city with a wall of 4 meters high and 2 km by 1 km side. In 1100 the Arabs create a counter in Ambanaro.
In 1200 Mahilaka becomes the largest city of Madagascar.
In 1400 the Indians settled in Ambanoro following the decline of Mahilaka.
Occupied by the French from 1841 interested in its beautiful harbor - 55 years before the rest of Madagascar - and quickly colonized, Nosy Be became, in the nineteenth century, an important trading post on the west coast of Madagascar.
It was in 1842 that the French baptized it by decree "Nossi-Bé" the big island or "the pearl of the Indian Ocean".
From the 1850s, food crops and cash crops developed there, with settlers from Reunion, Mauritius and France. The island is part of the island of St. Mary of Madagascar Mayotte government and has 15,000 inhabitants around 1865.
It is attached to Madagascar at the end of the century. Thus, the small island becomes an agricultural colony, covered with fields of cane, indigo, coffee, but also sesame, rice, corn, potatoes and cassava.
She harvests the flowers of ylang-ylang from the 1920s. It is from this activity that comes to him the nickname of perfume island.
Some articles about Nosy Be
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Nosy Be or the island of perfumes, a destination that makes foreigners dream as much as national tourists. Discovery
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enir à Nosy Be – Madagascar revient vite hors de prix, cependant il existes quelques astuces qui sont peut communiqué.
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You already know that rum is produced with sugar cane, a plant native to the Caribbean.
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A moment in the pool is always nice, and if a cocktail is not far I'm sure you will not say no 😉
Vous avez des questions à pauser ? Ou tout simplement vous recherchez les avis de précédents voyageur ? Je vais
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The MAKI RUN, a race - hiking organized every year in Nosy Komba, for this year 2018 it will take place this month this 23 June
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