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
Nosy Be - Madagascar
Ambondrona - Nosy Be - Madagascar
Belle-Vue, Coconut palms, 207 - 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
You already know that rum is produced with sugar cane, a plant native to the Caribbean.
Originally craft product, over time the manufacture has improved and rum has become today the third most consumed spirits in the world.
You have planned to spend the end of year holidays in Nosy Be, the question of "that bring back" this break naturally! Below are some gift ideas to offer.
A moment in the pool is always nice, and if a cocktail is not far I'm sure you will not say no 😉
Beautiful establishments, you have them. What I call LUXE is the mixed quality of product with the quality of service, which is rare in Madagascar in general! I invite you to discover the best of each area for an unforgettable stay.
Go on a family vacation, simple for some places, less for others. If Nosy Be was limited family side a few years ago, this is no longer the case!
The star sapphire is renowned since antiquity for its very powerful power promoting the spiritual life, it corresponds to the 6th chakra
Whether on the backpacker or simply in Facebook comments, I read punctually negative feedback on Nosy Be for points that make me bristle hair. Stop missing your vacation for details!
From 3 € to 280 € / night, with more than 200 providers of accommodation on Nosy Be, there is automatically what you are looking for, remains to define your needs, and find! I propose some tracks / tips
Lost in an alley in Antananarivo, you wonder a little or you will land! But once you're inside it's ... Magic!
Unless you are an experienced diver who has made the 10 most beautiful spots in the world accessible only in specific cruises, the spots of Nosy Be will seduce you ????
For about 3 months, a rare opportunity presents itself to the visitors of Madagascar. Certified divers or simple lovers of the sea and nature,
A nice little store located on the main road of Hell City near the BFV-SG in front of the Oasis, which I discovered lately.
If you plan to go on a trip to Nosy Be in the days / months to come, the weather forecast on site you no doubt interested.
Madagascar is known for its biodiversity as well as its endemic endemic fauna, but another point is less known: Madagascar offers an ideal environment for the development of spices, a point that sambavaepices has sublimated.
For those who are passing by, I propose a fast circuit to discover a maximum of the island. For each part, I propose two similar places.
With more than 200 hotels on Nosy Be, it's not easy to find the right hotel for you. Discover the ones I usually advise
Nosy Be, Madagascar's first tourist destination has a reputation for being expensive. I agree that Nosy Be is not the most financially accessible island, but looking for one can find accessible accommodations.
If you think there is only beach and coconut trees in Nosy Be, think again! It's amazing how a small island can in it
Since the beginning of 2011, the Interprofessional Group of Hotels and Tourism of Nosy Be or GIHTNB has worked to set up
September is undoubtedly the most interesting month and yet can be visited, this makes it the best time to come and enjoy the island 😉
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
Sômarôho is today a must-see festival in Madagascar. The deep meaning of its name means "to live life freely without disturbing that of
If you have the chance to spend Christmas in Nosy Be, where to spend Christmas Eve is a question you probably have to ask yourself! An important choice, below are some good restaurants where to celebrate Christmas and / or New Year's Day.
With 358,000 videos published on Nosy Be, it's hard to see everything! I propose you here a selection of the most beautiful videos that I could find.
Cheap airfare, expensive activities, expensive excursions, expensive accommodation, ... Everything is expensive in Nosy Be! some solutions here
Nosy Be or the island of perfumes, a destination that makes foreigners dream as much as national tourists. The discovery of this destination often extends