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Nosy Be to Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)

map Nosy Be to Antsiranana

      © University of Texas

Ankify   |  Ambanja   |  Ambilobe   |  Ankarana national park   |  Lac Antanano   |  Tsingy rouge |  Montagne d'Ambre national park   |   Joffreville  |  Antsiranana  


Ankify a small harbour from where you can reach Nosy Be on an half an hour crossing with local speed boat (about  10 euros). But there are also very pleasant accommodation facilities, superb cuisine, authentic fishing villages, hospitable inhabitants and huge cacao and coffee plantations. The coast is beautiful and yet very little known. Ankify is not a village itself, but a jetty and there is therefore no structure, just a few chop-bars and hotels in the vicinity. Ankify
   © Ankify Lodge (Dauphin Bleu)

There is currently a new site being developed (so far only in French) with further infos and many links about Ankify: www.ankify.com

Accommodation (hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Ankify Lodge (Dauphin Bleu)
Tel: +261 (0)32 45 334 61 / +261 20 86 926 11
Mail:  info@ledauphinbleu.eu
Web: www.ledauphinbleu.eu
This charming hotel is situated opposite to Nosy Be, in the village of Doany. The 8 nice bungalows  overlook the crystal clear sea with its coral reef and are settled amid a lush and well-kept forest.

Price for a bungalow 44 € for one person, 48 € for two and 54 € for three guests (ask for a discount from the second night).

Hôtel le Panoramique
Tel: +261 (0)
32 57 712 01 or
Mail: lepanoramique@hotmail.fr
Web: http://www.normada.com/panoramique/

The hotel has been recently renovated (it was formerly known as Hotel la Mer) and consists of the main building, two bungalows and a family bungalow. In the main building, you can find the bar, the restaurant and three guest rooms. Peaceful atmosphere and frinedly staff.
Price for a room or bungalow 45 € (from 2 days 37 €); family bungalow 87 €

Le Baobab

Tel: +261 20 86 500 81/ 82 or +261 033 07 208 87 
Mail: baobabankify@yahoo.fr  
Comfortable bungalows settled in tropical environment with a womderful private beach. From the dining room guests can enjoy a view on the island of Nosy Komba.
Bungalow for two people 50 €, with sea views 63 €

Le bungalows D’Antoremba
Tel: + 261 (0)32 56 62 772 - 261 032 44 97801
Mail: mailto:isabellehallot@free.fr
Web: www.madantoremba.com
The bungalows of Antoremba, built with local materials, are located right on the beach and are surrounded by a tropical garden. Bathrooms are equipped with hot water heated by solar energy. They all have a private terrace from where guests can enjoy the dim sun hanging over Nosy Tanikely while enjoying a refreshing rum arrange. Two nights minimum.

Single bungalow 94 €, double bungalow 115 € (breakfast included), full board 33 €


To Nosy Be

Speedboats to Hell-Ville normally cost around Ar 10,000, but price varies according to the oil tariffs. Malagasy locals should know the current prices. Departure is around 13 pm, when the captain has joined an enough number of passengers. The boat ride takes about 40 minutes and can be dangerous during July and August when the sea is especially rough.

Larger boats are also an option, though much slower, cost as little as Ar 3,000 and they do not stick into any reliable schedule, though they usually leave Ankify’s harbour around 12.30 pm. They take about 2 hours to cross the strait.

To Ambanja

To mover further to Ambanja a four-wheeled vehicle with driver is indispensable. Often full 4x4 normally pass through town. Expect to pay Ar 3,000 per person. From Ambanja you can easily catch a taxi-brousse to Ambilobe and Diego Suarez.


Accommodations  |  Transportation  |  Communications

Ambanja chameleon
Ambanja panther chameleon   © Ankify Lodge (Dauphin Bleu)

The town of Ambanja is located about 100 km south of Ambilobe on the banks of the Sambirano River, in a very fertile valley all planted with crops. It is one of the most humid parts of the west coast. The place has even its own cathedral with a surprising story (the metal structure dating from the 19th century belonged to the Strasburg train station…)
The road to the village is lined with teks or mantalias, large trees providing a generous shade. There are no attractions around. It is just a mere stop town on the way Nosy Be-Antsiranana. Ambanja is served by the local
Ambanja Airport and maritime harbour, and it is on the Malagasy domestic flight path.

Accommodations (hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Chez Patricia
Very basic rooms with a reputed restaurant for 22,000 Ar for a double

Chez Sachine
Small and simple rooms with ventilator from 10,000 to 14,000 Ar. 

Le Cocotier

Small, cheap and nicely decorated rooms with a restaurant in straw-thatched hut.

Rooms from Ar 8,000 to Ar 14,000 depending on the facilities.
Motel Diamant 10
Tel: +261 20 86 502 59
Functional rooms equipped with TV, bath, AC and fridge for
Ar 50,000, a suite 100,000  Ar

Palma Nova
Tel: +261 032  04 61 121
Web: www.hotel-nord-madagascar.com
Small hotel where balls are organised at the entrance hall in the evening. Rooms are distributed around are small garden and have hot water.
Doubles with shared WC cost Ar 23,000; with private facilities 32,000 Ar, with AC 44,000 Ar

Salama Rose
Close to downtown. Rooms with shower and ventilator
Prices: 13,000 Ar

Accommodations in the surrounding area

Auberge eco- ethnique Alamita
Tel: +261 032 02 043 57
mail: robian@moov.mg
Close to the Amboro valley, 30 km from Ambaja. The building resembles a small traditional village, in a quiet environment surrounded by wild nature to explore. 38 € p. person with full board

Chez Claire

Ambatonono,Tel: +261 032 43 833 92
Basic bungalows for two people for 8,000 Ar some 5 km from the hermitage.

Hotel Hermitage Plage
Tel / Fax: +261 86 930 06 / +261 032 40 115 39
Web: www.kingdelapiste.de

The high standard Hotel Hermitage is surrounded by wet tropical forest, nestled in an isolated bay with a private beach. A true oasis! It be reached by land or sea. The boat transfer to the hotel from the dock at Nosy Be takes 30 minutes, or one hour from the international airport.
Double bungalow for 63 €, family bungalow 84 € (without breakfast).
No charge for children of less than 12 


A taxi-brousse to Diego cost between Ar 15,000 to Ar 20,000.The road is in very good condition. The taxi-brousse station is located near the main road to Diego.

In town, a taxi ride costs about Ar 1,000


There is an Air Madagascar bureau (Tel: +261 86 500 02), a BOA bank and one or two Internet cafes in the centre.


Ambilobe is a very hot town gate to the sugar cane fields of SIRAMA 200 km north of Ambanja. The road crosses never ending plantations of sugarcane, ylang ylang, cocoa, coffee, pepper, crove, cinnamon and vanilla. Some foreign companies are distilling the fragrance of these plants and export them to Europe. Spending the night here might be reasonable for those heading to Vohémar (and further to Sambava and Antalaha) over the horrible track (which is by the way only passable with a 4x4!). Taxi-brousses stop near the Ankarana hotel (Ar 10.000 for Antsiranana). Money can be changed at the BOA bank.

Accommodations (prices from 2013)

Chez Noor
Behind service station Jovenna coming from Diego. It is a white house with a grill, reception and a garden. Rooms with bath and hot water for 25,000 Ar

Diana Hotel
Tel: +261 032 44 644 51
This hotel consists of nine bungalows equipped with private bath, ventilator and cold water. A pleasant homestay though pretty far from the town centre and the taxi-brousse station.
Price for two: 20,000 Ar

Hotel National
Tel: +261 20 82 065 41
Located at the main street in the town’s centre, this nice hotel offers nice room with fair prices: doubles with ventilator and hot water for 30,000 Ar, with Ac for 44,000 Ar

Ankarana national park 

See under Ankarana National Park

Lac Antanavo

According to legend, the present-day lake (the largest crater lake in Madagascar) was once the site of a village whose inhabitants were renowned for their unfriendly welcome to passing strangers. On a hot dry day they refused a particularly desperate visitor a drink of water. However, one of the womenfolk succumbed to his suffering and presented him with a long, cold drink of water. In exchange for her unexpected generosity the stranger told the woman to gather her family and leave the village because water would soon arrive in abundance. A short while later the village was engulfed by a terrible flood and all the inhabitants were killed.

The villagers have since been reincarnated as crocodiles which are said to inhabit the lake. Zebu cattle are still sacrificed and fed to the crocodiles to honour the invisible powers of the lake.

To access the lake, you have to get to the village of Anivorano, 75 km south of Antsiranana. Admission costs Ar 4000. Further Ar 2000 are required to take pictures.

Tsingy rouge

Red Tsingy
© Tourism office of Diego Suarez
These tsingy are made of red laterite (similar to clay) and not of limestone rock like the tsingy at l'Ankarana. They are caused by land / mud slides during heavy rain, which is regular in these parts. The effect of burning land that pro voc deforestation and erosion result because of rain season, and becoming imaginary and impressive view of that site are forming the scilicet (sand), late rite (land) and argil and after the visits in red tsingy , an enormous ravine of sharp, ancient rock formations unique to Madagascar. These turned out to be sand formations overlaid by red clay long ago.  Erosion has worn the clay away, exposing the tall white (with tinges of red) columns of sand formations underneath.  For those who've been to Bryce Canyon National Park, it's similar (though much smaller).
One can match this visit with the sacred lake, including picnic, for a beautiful day excursion. It is better to drive here with a 4x4. There is only a small problem: this beautiful natural site is beginning to be known, and –therefore- to deteriorate. Ar 1000 admission is collected by Angap for maintenance purposes.

Montagne d’Ambre national park 

See under  Amber Mountain National park


Joffreville,  a small mountain village 30 km from the northerly port of Antsiranana, was founded as a retreat for French officers in the early 20th century and has now acquired a recently tourist status due to its proximity to the Amber national park, which is only 4 km from here . The climate there is cool, quite different from the heat in the parched terrain around the bay.
Joffreville lies in a cool mountainous environment

The gardens of the St Jean-Baptiste Monastery offer a jaw-dropping promontory that gives an almost 270 degree arc of the Emerald Bay, the Mozambique Channel in the west and the Indian Ocean at the east. For getting see under “transport” in the Antsiranana section (Ar 4000 - Ar 5000 in bus-bush).

Accommodation (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Auberge sakay Tany
Tel: +261 032 04 281 22
Web: www.sakay-tany.com
Despite the ruinous appearance of the building, this is still a convivial place for people on tight-budgets thanks to the warm hospitality of the hosts. Triples cost Ar 24,000. Five-bed dorms cost Ar 30,000.

Le domaine de Fontenay
Tel: +261 033 11 345 81
Web:  www.lefontenay-madagascar.com

This century-old homestead, once property of a rich French settler, has been lovely restored into a luxury boutique with big and personalized rooms that will guarantee a perfect rest for more demanding travellers.
A double room costs here 185 € with breakfast , a suite 250 €.

Monastere des bénédictes
Tel: +261 032 04 795 24
Just before entering the town, a junction road on the left will take you to this quiet place. Guests can stay in eight, simple but clean bedrooms.
Price pro person in half board from 33 to 38 €

Nature Lodge

Tel: +261 032 07  123 06
e-mail: naturelodge@blueline.mg
Web: www.naturelodge-ambre.com
A favourite accommodation for those visiting the nearby Montagne d’Ambre national park. Charming and impeccable bungalows, terrace with fabulous views  and a restaurant serving excellent meals offer an ideal complex for families.
Double bungalow from 73 €, menu for 15 €

The Litchi Tree
Phone: +261 033 12 784 54
Mail: thelitchitre@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.thelitchitree.com
This incredible old colonial house has been totally renovated to match all ecological standards and was inaugurated as a hotel in 2008. It has 5 superb rooms with hand-made furniture and fantastic views over the Antsiranana Bay and the Mozambique Channel.
A double room costs 83 €

Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)

   Click here : Diego Suarez