Nosy Be

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

Some activities

Activity proposed by Adventure Blue Vision
The first dive, the one from which you will go out with the eyes that sparkle following the meeting of the marine fauna and will make you a regular diver!


Starting at 75 €

Activity proposed by Tanguy
The whale shark comes to feed in the waters of Nosy Be between the months of October and December. Totally harmless, he's waiting for you ...


Starting at 15 €

Activity proposed by Tanguy
The day activities are good, but Iranja is a postcard, enjoy an evening on a paradise island in "private" mode 😉


Starting at 15 €

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.

Ylang-Ylang Distillery
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.

Djamandzar's rum
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.

Lokobe Reserve
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.

Mount Passot

Culminating at 329 meters, Mount Passot is home to a magnificent waterfall and a natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation.

Nosy Komba

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.

Nosy Tanikely
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.

Nosy Sakatia
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.

Nosy Iranja
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

Some hotels

Home The residence - Nosy Be - Madagascar

The most luxurious villas of Nosy Be
home The Residence, price side we go upmarket, but it is without comparison possible the most beautiful villas of the island!
Starting from 177 €

Ambondrona - Nosy Be - Madagascar

Beachfront & sea views
Ideal for anyone who wants to be close to everything, enjoy the services of a hotel ** while avoiding the crowds of certain areas of the island. With as a bonus the edge of the beach
Starting from 50 €

Hotel Ylang - Ambondrona - Nosy Be - Madagascar

A friendly atmosphere for a successful stay
A good plan guest house is the atmosphere that prevails in my opinion. So Ylang is one of the atmospheres that I enjoyed in Nosy Be.
Starting at 38 €

The restaurants in Nosy Be

Some restaurants

Run by a young team: Mat and Elina, the restaurant adjoins the Baleine Rand'eau center in a friendly atmosphere in "puff" sea view. You can find Tapas, Sandwich, Cheesburger, Cookies, Muffins and other gourmet assortments of the house.
Comme l’indique son nom, le restaurant Tropikaly Beach du complexe Home the Residence respire la convivialité dans une ambiance tropicale....
Les Zîliens, a place 2-in-1, if you go there, you may come back! Here you will find a bar-restaurant with ...

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

Work in Nosy Be
Resident side

Is it still worth investing in Nosy Be?

An article not really planned, however you are several to contact me about it so I give you my opinion on this subject, you take different sounds of bell and make yours ????

Top 9 activities nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

Top 9 Activities in Nosy Be

If you think there is only beach and coconut trees in Nosy Be, think again! It's amazing like a

Safari whale in Nosy Be
Useful tips before leaving

What to do in September in Nosy Be?

September is undoubtedly the most interesting month and yet can be visited, this makes it the best time to come and enjoy the island 😉

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Préparer votre voyage à Madagascar

Visa & e-visa tourism to Madagascar

A Madagascar comme n’importe quel pays, des règles sont incontournables pour prendre l’avion. Des points que nous pensons savoir et

View from mont passot to nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

What is the weather like Nosy Be?

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.

Air Madagascar
Préparer votre voyage à Madagascar

The unknown offers of Air Madagascar

enir à Nosy Be – Madagascar revient vite hors de prix, cependant il existes quelques astuces qui sont peut communiqué.

travel madagascar
Useful tips before leaving

Clichés have a hard time in Nosy Be!

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!

rum dzama nosy be
Good arts and crafts

Dzama rum from 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.

madagascar forum
Préparer votre voyage à Madagascar

Forums, a really useful source?

Vous avez des questions à pauser ? Ou tout simplement vous recherchez les avis de précédents voyageur ? Je vais

garden of sans nosy be
Good arts and crafts

The garden of the senses

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.

Inn Tamana nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

The cheapest hotels in Nosy Be!

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.

gift nosybe
Useful tips before leaving

Idea of gifts to bring back for Christmas!

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.

week end nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

Nosy Be cheap, it's possible!

Cheap airfare, expensive activities, expensive excursions, expensive accommodation, ... Everything is expensive in Nosy Be! some solutions here

Nosy Be Videos

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.

Family trip to nosy be madagascar
Useful tips before leaving

Some ideas for a family trip to Nosy Be

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!

Madagascar spice
Good arts and crafts

The spices of Madagascar

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.

Maki run 2017
Events and Trade Shows

Maki Run, a run in Nosy Komba

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

villas for rent in nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

A LUXURY stay in Nosy Be, who to choose?

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.

Somaroho, the Salegy Festival
Events and Trade Shows

Somaroho, the Salegy Festival

Sômarôho is today a must-see festival in Madagascar. The deep meaning of his name means "to live life in all

noel nosy be
Useful tips before leaving

Or eat at Christmas and / or New Year in Nosy Be?

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.

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