Nosy Be, located in the beautiful Mozambique Channel, north west of Madagascar is separated from the main island by two miles of sea and scattered island within the Malagasy cluster. Covering an area of 3002 kilometres with at a length of approx. 25 kilometres; Nosy Be offers the best of the sun and rich nature even during rainy season. The Island holds many wonders to discover, from hills, 11 lakes, and the central peak of Mont Passot reaching 450 meters. The coast lines offers various terra firma alternating between soft sandy beaches to rocky areas. 70,000 people of varied ethnic makeup form this tranquil population of Nosy Be. Across the Island you’ll find French is the most understood and spoken language between both native and visitor.
Nosy Be has two direct paved roads running through it. The first, historical, connecting the north and south ends of the island, crossing it in full.
The second most recent road starts from Helville, crosses Facene and reaches the north side of the island, going from east to west. In addition to these main roads, there are many other unpaved streets, small paths and trails that take you into the forest and allow you to reach some of Nosy Be’s remote and beautiful locations.
Hellville is the capital located in the southern hemisphere, from which the hills gently expand toward the harbour bay. This city is host to the government of the island. It presents ancient colonial areas juxtaposed large areas of shanty residents.
Here you can find everything you need day to day from fruit, vegetables, meat markets, fish harbours and supermarkets offering both Italian and French produce. A great selection of restaurants, bars, French bakeries and patisseries.
Ambatoloka: Known as the island’s social centre, holds numerous hotels, restaurants and small cafes that double into evening event spaces with live music running late at night. There are also shops and a couple of supermarkets.
Dzamanzar: A small village of huts and shanty towns, with a fish, meat, fruits and vegetables market.
Andilana is the most beautiful beach of the island; located in the North of the island, reachable from Casa Faly by car (5 minutes) or a delightful walk of half an hour crossing the fields in-between nearby villages and huts of the local population. You’ll find this beach is never crowded, due to it’s size and width it’s always tranquil.
Madirokely / Ambatoloka are half an hour drive from Casa Faly. These beaches are located in the centre of the island, and are in proximity of the busiest part of the island, both during the day and at night. It allows you to observe the local lifestyle, to access the fish market and it is the meeting point of most of the excursions to other islands.
Northern Beaches: Unlike the other islands, this series of beaches are wild and not as equipped, accessible from the new scenic road that connects the airport of Facene to the north side of the island.
Sites to Visit:
Mont Passot, which offers a 360 degree view of Nosy Be is best to visit it at sunset.
The waterfalls form a lake where you can immerse yourself surrounded by a steep rock wall and rich flourishing vegetation.
Arbre Sacrè, is a tangle of Ficus Benjamin of enormous dimensions that create a magical site, recognised as a sacred place by the Hindu religion.
The Lokobe River forest is accessible only by dugout with a half-hour journey in a sheltered bay. You can walk on the hills overlooking the sea where you will find plants, flowers and animals of all kinds.
There is also a fishing village located at the end of this beautiful red road that reaches the sea of breath-taking views and crocodile spotting.
The island has a history of domination, both French and Portuguese, which have influenced the populations who had settled down here, coming from India, Arabic countries and nearby African regions.
A melange of cuisines is offered, to which the French and Italian offering emerge triumphant for quality cuisine present across the island.
The emblematic food here is the French baguette, which you can buy in any corner of the island.
With a small budget, you can taste Italian and French dishes in excellent restaurants that are in par with European standards. You can also taste local specialties of Malagasy creole cuisine in simple huts which are present on any side street of the island.