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Nosy Be

mapa Nosy Be
   © University of Texas

History  |  What to see and do  |  Hell-Ville  |  Ambatoloaka and Madirokely  |   Ambondrona Bay  |   Dzamanzary  |   Andilana   |   Andilana to Marodokana   |   Ambanoro   |   Northeast coast   |   Lokobe Reserve    

On the beaten track, the Nosy Be Archipelago is situated off the north-west coast of Madagascar. It’s tropical climate and superb location makes it Madagascar’s beach-resort destination per excellence. Though Nosy Be’s clear inclination towards mass tourism, it is yet a largely sleepy place with sugar cane plantations, rum distilleries, ylang ylang bushes, lounging lemurs, and little air of expectation. Not to forget that this still beautiful island offers some amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities and some primary forests with a great wildlife.


Nosy Be’s first inhabitants were probably Swahili and Indian traders in the 15th century. The island made its first appearance in Madagascar’s history when King Radama the First announced his intention of conquering the whole West of the red Island up to the sea, a plan that succeeded when the Boeni Kingdom was annexed 1837 to the Merina kingdom. After the defeat of her troops, Boina Queen Tsiomeko sought refuge on the islands of Nosy Komba and Nosy Tanikely. The Merina were unable to pursue them onto these islands and settled on the neighbouring coast. In 1838, the Boeni refugees asked protection from the sultan of Zanzibar, who sent a vessel that turned back almost as soon as it arrived. Finally, in 1840, when a French ship entered Nosy Be’s Bay, they asked for the protection of France. In 1841 Queen Tsiomeko and Admiral Hell, governor of Reunion, signed the treaty establishing French authority over the islands of Nosy Be and Nosy Komba, a fact that marked the begin of the French protectorate over the archipelago. The French army still had to stop the military raids of Merina soldiers for almost thirty years.

What to see and do  

The name of Nosy Be means "big island" in Malagasy, though the island has been granted several nicknames over centuries, being probably “Nosy Manitra” (the perfumed island) the most popular of all. As soon as you arrive at Fascene’s airport your nose will soon understand why. Scenting ylang ylang, coffee, cacao, vanilla and sugar cane plantations spread all over the island distil a balmy fragrance that will delight your sense of smell. The yellow Ylang Ylang flower is one of the products used in the production of perfume essence. The trees are bend to the ground to ensure easier picking of the flowers. Red pepper is distilled as a perfume essence too.

Nosy Be’s landscape is varied and it is characterized by a great many hills that are overlooked by Mount Lokone (450m) and Mount Passot (350). From these high vantage points, you have an exceptional view onto Nosy Be Bay, but also on the Radama Islands (south) and Mitsio Islands (north). There are eleven volcanic lakes on the island, which constitute an enormous water reserve for humans and crops. The whole coastline is punctuated by a great number of gorgeous bays and deserted beaches lined by palm trees. There are also many small islets and rocks which are often visited by refuges seeking for some private. Temperatures are pleasant around the whole year. Notice that humidity can be particularly bad during the tropical summer.

Nosy Be offers a wide range of activities that will please even the demanding visitor. Get away from the crowds on white sandy beaches, blue-green seas and the amazing coral reefs. Explore the lush jungle in the Lobeke nature reserve and make the most of your holidays visiting some of the surrounding islands. Indulge yourself a day cruise to the outer islets of Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely and Nosy Sakatia; participate in a scuba diving adventure in the jewel-like archipelago of Nosy Mitsio or embark on a discovery trip to the remote Radama islands, with an astonishing rich undersea life. You can still find your own way of exploring the natural wonders of this archipelago far away from the tourist centres.

There are many local tour operators based in Nosy Be which organizes trekking, mountain bike, diving, fishing and cruises trips in Nosy Be and the region around Diego-Suarez:

Alefa (http://pirogue-madagascar.com, alefa@moov.mg)
Evasion sans Frontiere (www.mada-evasion.com/boutique/NOSYBE)
Forever Dive (http://www.foreverdive.com , info@foreverdive.com
Le temps D´Une Ile (www.letempsduneile.com , contact@letempsduneile.com)
Libertalia Adventure (www.libertalia-aventure.com
Madavoile (http://www.madavoile.com ,  info@madavoile.com
Mada Quad (http://www.madaquad.net , madaquad@gmail.com)
Mitsiky Plongée (www.123plongee-madagascar.com/ , info@123plongee-madagascar.com)
Nosy Be Original (www.nosybe-madagascar.com)
Océane Dream (http://www.oceanesdream.com , oceaned@moov.mg)
Tropical diving (http://www.tropical-diving.com , tropical.diving@moov.mg)


What to see   |  Where to sleep   |  Where to eat   |  Nightlife

Hell-ville Nosy Be
© MauritsV

Hell-Ville (Andoany) is a somehow decaying colonial town and the administrative centre of the island, as well as its main port. The city is characterized by beautiful restored colonial buildings along the sea promenade, some of which were built early in this century and a covered market which give reasons to hope that efforts are made to prevent the architectural decay of the town. In the upper part of the port, old cannons dating back to the time of the pirates watch over the harbour. For the best sunset-viewing setting climb the hill where the old hospital was built. The sea gets dotted with white sails when the fishermen’s launches come back to port.

What to see

The port
Being an island there are only two ways to arrive and leave - by boat or by plane. Most of the islands close by are only served by boat. Besides the ferry one also can negotiate with the local boat operators to be taken to one of the other islands. Most of the traffic from Hell Ville will probably go to either Nosy Komba or Nosy Tanikely the resort island which can be reached from here.

The market
The market is a very coloured place, above all in the afternoon when farmers come from the Great Land (the continent or Madagascar for the people who live on the island), carrying their load of vegetables. The fishermen also come back to the harbour to sell the fish they caught in the archipelago’s waters.

Russian monument
In memory of a naval ship that sank of the coast of Nosy Be in 1904 with many Russian soldiers that drowned in the Indian Ocean.

The oceaographic museum
Open Mo-Fr  from 7 am to 13 am except. Visitors can admire some of the undersea inhabitants of the sea around Nosy Be. From here follow the way to the Lokobe reserve where a path will lead you to the Ampasindava

Abud Hôtel
Tel: + 261 20 06 610 55 / (0)32 07 126 17
Average hotel with thirty rooms equipped with fan and en-suite facilites with warm water for 10 to 13 €. The panoramic terrasse on the fourth floor offers a nice view over the bay.

Bungalows Ambonara
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 613 67 / (0)32 02 478 32
e-mail: ambonara@moov.mg
All eight bungalows are spread over the grounds of an old coffee plantations outside the town. Very nice surroundings and good restaurant too. All in all: a place with a personal touch. Double bungalow for 33 €, family bungalow for 45 €

Diamant 10
Quartier la Baterrie
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 614 48
/ (0)32 07 739 14
Rather impersonal, but well-maintained air-conditioned rooms with minibar for 27 € a double and 31 € a family room.

Hotel Bellevue
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 613 84
Mail: bellevuehotel_nosybe@yahoo.fr
Clean, well-maintained rooms at an economic price (doubles with shared facilitites 12 €, doubles with en-suite facilities and fan 14 €, with AC for 22 €). Proably the best budget place in town.

La Plantation
Quartier La Batterie
Mobile: + 261 (0) 32 07 934 45
Small hotel with only six rooms in an old colonial building. Confortable rooms.

Villa Fany
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 611 70 / (0)32 02 343 79
Small hotel with eight air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant. Rooms with en-suite facilities at 23 €.

Where to eat

Le Nandipo
Rue de l'Indépendance
One of the best restaurants in town, this stylful place with mixed Meditarranean food offers even an internet connection.

Le Papillon
This Italian restaurant on the main street is owned by an Italian who is already a legend in Hell-Ville.Come to see why!

Le Panoramique
Nice meeting point for locals and tourists along. Good breakfast and pizza. The most popular place in town.

If you feel like having an aperitif, a delicious fruit juice or an ice cream, this is probably your best bet choice.

La Plantation
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 614 38
This restaurant is probably one of the best culinary adresses of Hell-Ville. Dishes are a mixture of oriental and Malagasy savours (fish with vanille sauce, zebu with mango chutney).


The most popular place on Fridays' night is Vieux Port, which even has its own music band playing the hits of the moment.

Tuesdays is the day of the Le Manava (with own restaurant)

The new disco at the Hotel la Mer proposes party time on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Ambatoloaka and Madirokely

Where to sleep   |  Where to eat   |  Nightlife  |  Transportation

Most visitors to Nosy Be head for Ambatoloaka, which may once have been a rustic fishing village, but is nowadays the epicentre of Madagascar's fledgling tourism industry. The town seems stuck in a time warp with small boys running after tourists along in the shallows with boats modelled from any waste they can find and lots of elderly “Vahazas” hand in hand with beautiful Malagasy young women.  Nosy Be beach
© Madagascar Travel Guide

Its 2 km long Madirokely beach is popular among herds of tourists sipping rum at the many bars and restaurants that turn the place into one of the liveliest place on the island in matters nightlife. A sacred tree called Ampombolava is found on the beach at just north of Ambatoloaka.

Where to sleep in Ambatoloaka village (hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Chez Aly
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 616 42
/  (0) 32 07 798 23
Small hotel constituted by several adequate bungalows often occupied by Malagasy guests. A good place for the tight budgets.

Chez Gérard et Francine
Mobile: + 261 (0)32 07 127 93
9 comfortable double rooms on a wonderful villa by the beach, all equipped with fan, private veranda, hot shower, safe, a small refrigerator and some with
private facilities. The garden is beautiful and the service very friendly. A good address from any point of view. It is advisable to book in advance.
Room between 43 and 54 € (private / shared facilities)

Clair de Lune
Tel: + 261 (0)32 04 197 18
e-mail: lescheres@gmail.com
Web: http://www.clair-de-lune-nosybe.com
Despite their "far" location from the beach (400 m) these charmanting 6 bungalows will certainly not leave you unimpressed. Guests enjoy an intimacy and an authenticity already lost in Ambatoloaka. A pool, a ping-pong table and a billiard have recently joined the place.

Double bungalow 52 €, triple for 72 € and family bungalow 88 € (breakfast included)

Coucher du Soleil
Mobile: + 261 (0)32 087 21
Mail: coucherdusoleil@moov.mg
7 welcoming bungalows with terrace on a green location at 26 €. The place offers an excellent value for money.

Hotel Benjamin
Phone: +261 20 86 927 64
Mail: contact@hotelbenjamin-nosybe.com
Web: http://www.hotelbenjamin-nosybe.com
10 comfortable bungalows with private bath, hot water and terrace in the centre of Ambatoloaka village among a beautiful tropical garden for 38 € for two.  Excursions and vehicles to rent. Fair prices.

Les Boucaniers
Mobile: + 261 (0)32 02 675 20
e-mail: boucaniers@moov.mg  
Web: http://www.hotellesboucaniers.com
A hotel immitating the original architecture which offes seventeen pleasent rooms all recorated with a lot of taste. The small private verandas transmit a kind of tropical feeling and guests can admire the beautiful panoramic view over the bay from the main terrasse. Double room from 50 to 62 €, a family suite for 102 €

Residence Les Orchidees
Phone: +261 (0)32 07 035 90 
Mail: julieflorent@yahoo.fr
Web: www.villas-orchidees-nosybe.com
Beautiful accommodation consisting on high standard charming villas on a wonderful location by the sea, ideal for big groups of friends or families.
Double room from 47 €, a whole house for 4 people 154 €, for 10 guests 247 €

Villa Perle Noire
Tel:  (+ 261 20) 86 920 44
/(0)32 04 713 95
Mail: perle.noire@moov.mg
Wonderful villa offering ten luxury rooms at 77 € (three rooms with sharing facilities 58 €).

Ylang  Ylang
Mobile: + 261 20 86 928 13
Web: www.hotel-lylangylang.com   
This hotel beside the sea offers four en suite air conditioned rooms and eight en suite ventilated rooms. The restaurant and bar serves good food. Half board possible. 
Double room with fan 48 €, with AC 63 € (included breakfast).

Where to sleep in Madirokely beach (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Aviavy Hotel
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 922 23 / + 261 (0)34 07 207 87
This hotel with fourteen high standard rooms equipped with en-suite baths and air-conditioning has a spacious terrasse from where guests can watch the beach bustle without being disturbed. Double room from 68 to 94 €

Chez Senga
Mobile: + 261 (0)32 40 378 01
e-mail: hotelsenga@moov.mg
Tight budgets will surely appreciate the nice maintained and pricey bungalows and rooms available from 20 to 28 €. Good choice!

Christophe et Sophie le Tallec
Mobile: + 261 (0) 32 07 126 64/65
e-mail: speedas@moov.mg
This friendly couple has built two bungalows next to their home (64 € for two guests, 84 € for four guests). A very suitable address for coupleas and families.

La Caravelle
Mobile: + 261 (0) 32 40 284 54
e-mail: pascal@hotel-nosybe.com 
Web: www.hotel-nosybe.com  
The seven bungalows of this hotel offer a good compromise between more luxury and the traditional accommodation. The bungalows  are equipped with en-suite facilities with warm water, fan, mosquito net and a small private terrace. 23 € per night and person

L'Heure Bleue
Tel: + 261 20 86 060 20 / (0)32 02 203 61
11 wooden stylish bungalows combining traditional construction and all comfort you can imagine (fan, fridge, safe, Wi-Fi). They are emplaced on a slope with fantastic views over the whole bay. On the back side there is a pool and a petanque course. 73 to 94 € per person with half board depending on the season.

Nosy Be Fishing Club
Mobile: + 261 (0) 04 616 14
The club is composed of two houses with total eleven guest rooms. All of them are near the beach. The restaurant is lodged in an additional beach cottage. Rooms with fan cost 35 €, wir air-conditioning 56 €.

Royal Beach
Phone: +261 (0)32 05 322 44
Mail: royalbeach@royalbeach.mg
Web: http://www.hotel-royalbeach.com
New luxus hotel in the centre of Madirokely with 42 rooms and 6 suites with all comforts and views to a tropical garden. Pool, spa, sauna, fitness and massage centre. 
Double standard room from 88 to 136 €, suite from 137 to 228 € depending on the season, meals for 20 €

Where to eat in Ambatoloaka village

Chez Mama
Cheap Malagasy cuisine. Despite the very rustic appereance of the place, no eaters known have suffered from stomach problems there!

Chez Angeline
Very popular place with excellent foie gras

Baobab Kafe

Where to eat Mandirokely beach

Tsy Manin'Rhumerie
Mobile: + 261 (0) 32 400 21 40
Probably the best place to eat around in a warm and pleasant atmosphere and at still affordable prices. Very recommendable.


The two more famous discos in town are Djembé (admissoin Ar 2000) and La Sierene (parties on Thursdays).
K'Bar, Le Billard, Chez Bibi or La Chunga are other lively places that use to gather a considerable amount of tourists.


You can hire a taxi ride from Andoany or Djamandjary (ca. Ar 15,000 per way) or from Andilana (Ar 30,000 one way)

Ambondrona Bay

This small and typical Malagasy village lies just next to the tourist centre of Ambatoloaka. Despite to its next door location, few visitors use to come here, which makes it a fabulous place to experience the island’s charms in a quieter environment without having to renounce completely to the advantages of the developed tourist infrastructure of Ambatoloaka. Attention: finding a taxi in the afternoon to get away can be sometimes very difficult! (the bay can be also reached on foot along the coastal line when the tide is low, but watch out the many slippery stones!)

Villa Tsirambesy
Tel: + 261  (0)32 04 22 955
Web: http://www.villatsirambesy.com
Modern seafront villa with four rooms, one suite and two independent apartments, all equipped with all comforts. A perfect accommodation for groups. 
double room for 68 €, apartment for 138 €

Villa Fany
Tel: (+ 261) 86 611 70 Mobile: + 261 (0) 023 43 79
e-mail: fany@moov.mg
Comfortable villa with eight double rooms from 23 to 30 €.

Villa Amnesia
Mobile: + 261 (0) 33 12 78 613
The third recommendable villa complex placed on the beach. There are two villas and two little bungalows. Rooms are charged at 58 € (three rooms are available pro villa) and 165 € for the whole villa rent.


The village of Dzamanzary is the second most important inhabited place in Nosy Be. Dzamanzary lives mainly on the sugar business (the Sirama sugar refinery, which can be visited, which produces 15/2000 tons of sugar a year).  An old locomotive from the beginning of the railway history is placed at entrance courtyard of the sugar cane factory, which can be visited upon admission (it opens Mo-Fr until 4 pm). The visit tour takes about an hour. From May to September, sugar cane is in blossom and the fields will turn to stretches of silvery panaches that will offer you a beautiful view. On the road to Dzamanzary you will see strange igloo-like constructions that serve as dwellings for the workers of the sugar factory. But Dzamanzary is also well known for its excellent rum, which can buy provided if you bring a bottle and a cork with you.

Les chalets de Melinda
Phone: +261 320267 630
Website: http://www.leschaletsdemelinda.com
Mail: leschaletsdemelinda@gmail.com
Capitaine and Melinda have built two cosy bungalows by the beach surrounded by lush vegetation. A good choice to enjoy familiar atmosphere, good meals and a peaceful and relaxing stay in paradise. Double bungalow for 23 € a day. 

Andilana and the surrounding beaches

What to visit   |  Where to sleep   |  Where to eat   

Andilana The road, which is lined with sugar cane plantations, continues toward the north after Dzamandar. Andilana lies in the north-west of the island at the end of the north-south road. It is a small piece of paradise: White sand, protected bay, shallow swimmable turquoise blue water as far as you can see! The white sandy beach is being reborn as a tourist resort, but further inland, where lines of houses dot a pretty landscape, an atmosphere of honest simplicity remains strong.

© Madagascar Travel Guide

What to visit

  • The Androadroatra waterfalls

You should not miss a visit to the nice waterfall of Androadroatra with its crystal clear opal waters. A 50 m cascade falls into a natural pool sliding over a wet rock wall all covered with moss and lichen. Finding the way is not easy: approximately 500 meters north of the crossroad to the Ambatoloaka beach take a track advancing into the interior of the island. After 2 km we reach the village of Androadroatra, where an entrance fee to be paid.

  • Mont Passot

With its 329 meters above sea level, Mount Passot is the highest peak of the island. It is particularly recommendable to climb onto the top before sunset to see Nosy Be in all its beauty: jagged coasts, numerous bays and lovely coves, deserted beaches and the crystal clear water reddening under the brighten twilight whilst the horizon changes its colour into orange, pink and purple. Mount Passot can be easily accessed. Follow the good track diverting from the main road few kilometres before reaching Andilana.

Mont Passot in Nosy Be
View from the Mont Passot

Where to sleep (Hotels in alphabetical order, prices from 2013)

Amarina Hotel
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 921 28
Four star resort at Amporaha (accessible by boat or with an 4x4 from Andilana) with 38 rooms housed in impeccable bungalows set among palm trees and tropical gardens along the beach. All are sea-facing and equipped with AC, safe, mini-bar and DVD player. Each room has a private terrace, bathroom with shower, bath, hairdryer and a separate toilet. Gourmet food, tasteful furnishings and a wide range of facilities (among them an open air seafront Jacuzzi, a large pool and a separate area for children) this is a definite elegant address for the upmarket.

Andilana Villaggio Bravo
Mob: + 261 (0) 33 15 250 00
This is the luxury beach resort which spoils non-guests the view on this magnificient beach, which is probably one of the nicest of the whole island. Most rooms are held by international tour operators, but ca., 30 rooms are normally available for direct sale, so that you do not necessarily have to book your room in advance. Spotless rooms and service. Prices 139 € - 176 € (full board).

Anjiamarango Beach Resort
Phone +261 (0)32 02 655 98
Mail: contact@anjiamarango-beach-resort.com
Web: www.anjiamarango-beach-resort.com
Brand new 3 stars hotel in Befotaka with a great garden, a nice pool and a private beach with 35 large bungalows with all comforts facing the sea. all kind of activities offered.

Auberge Aladabo
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 922 00 / Mobile: + 261 (0) 32 02 323 93
Familiar but well maintained guesthouse for the small budgets. 32 € for a double bungalow.

Belle Plage
Phone: +261 20 86 927 34
Mail: hotel@belleplage.com
Web: http://www.belleplage.com
16 luxury suites by the sea on the village of Dzamandzary with all comforts.
Rooms from 148 to 173 € depending on the season, half-board 25 € per person

Corail Noir
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 920 52
Dipped in a luxuriant tropical garden and surrounded by sugarcane-plantations this hotel on the on the Ambaro beach offers fifteen rooms at 66 € and nine bungalows from 134 €. It has also a restaurant, a boutique, a poolroom, and a swimming pool right on the beach. 

Chanty Beach
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 928 16
Located on the Ambaro beach, Chanty Beach is a charming, German-owned seafront holiday resort comprising a beautiful Creole style mansion and a neighbouring bungalow with 2 studios (equipped with a kitchen), situated in a well established and treed garden on a palm covered sandy beach. All rooms are sea facing. Meals can be arranged in advance.

Double bungalow from 85 to 99 €, double room 69 to 82 €, depending on the season

Chez Eugenie
Phone: +261 20 86 923 53
Small and family run guesthouse with a warm atmosphere about 200 m from the beach in Andilana village.  Traditional French Cuisine & Malagasy with fresh products.
Double rooms with en-suite facilities cost 43 €, family rooms 74 €

Le Grand Bleu
Phone: +261 (0)32 02 194 84
This small hotel is situated on a promontory overlooking the sea 5 minutes on foot to the beach. It offers fairly basic bungalows available at € 33 and other far more chic at 57 €  The more expensive bungalows are decorated with nice Malagasy furniture and equipped with hot water, air conditioning and mosquito net. All bungalows have an own veranda with hammock. Good value for money. Family bungalow for 88 €

Nosy Be Hotel
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 06 151
Nestled in a lush tropical garden of two hectares, this complex has two swimming pools facing the sea and pleases its guests with a nice architecture. Special attention is paid to the decoration of the 51 rooms (all of them different and equipped with a mini bar and a safe). The hotel has recently built some luxury bungalows which guarantee the maximum comfort.

Double room 90 €, bungalow 118 €, suite from 141 €

Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 927 90
Seven bungalows are spread under the shade of coconut palms and papaya trees in the middle of a cane field. Nice beach complex with pool. The Orangea has a wonderful, open-air restaurant that overlooks their beautiful pool. The combination of setting, cleanliness, dining and staff are usually perfect. Bungalows from 70 €.

Regard de Iles
Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 920 57 / Mobile: + 261 (0) 33 14 266 30
regarddesiles@moov.mgThis Creole style house has five comfortable rooms at 75 €, all of them being air conditioned with TV, telephone, mini bar, tray "tea, coffee," safe, and hair dryer

Vanila Hotel
Tel: (+ 261) 20 86 921 01 / 02 / 03
A pleasant beach hotel on the beach facing Nosy-Sakatia. You will find all the comfort you might expect of a high standard hotel. Each bedroom is air-conditioned and equipped with a television, telephone, safe, mini-bar and a terrace with a magnificent view on the sea and a tropical garden. A refreshing swimming-pool overlooks the sea. 
Room prices from 86 €  to 143 €
depending on the season, suites 300 €.

Where to eat

Chez Loulou
Andilana , Tel: (+ 261 20) 86 610 36
Delicious lobster (Ar 40,000) and "world buffet" on Sundays.

Chez Ernest
Andilana, small restaurant with fairly good cuisine. Also very popular on Sundays.

Andoany to Marodokana

Musee de la Mer (Sarodravay)
Tel: + 261 (0) 32 02 161 64
Mo-Fr from 8 am to 12 am. Admission: Ar 5.000. 4 km from Andoany.

The museum of Madagascar’s Centre National Oceanographic allows an insight of the ecosystems of the Indian Ocean (rays, sharks, whale bones, sawfish). An interesting collection of seashells and corals are also shown. The exhibition room on the first floor shows biological cycles and disturbances that pollution caused to the environment. Some marine medicinal substances are also represented. But the by far most interesting exhibition’s object is the model of the big Sarimanok canoe. On June 3, 1985, a scientists tried to cross from Indonesia to Madagascar on this boat designed along the lines of large Asian canoes that were used for travelling in the early 1st millennium AD. The odyssey ended in Nosy Be on September 6, 1985, after navigating 4,000 miles. The Sarimanok was destroyed by a cyclone in 1992 and it is being restored right now. The shown model is faithful to the original.


If you keep driving, heading to the east, you will cross the village of Ambanoro that was the first foreign settlement in Madagascar. The ancient constructions have been overgrown with the roots of the sacred tree. The tree’s branches cover the buildings and drop down to the ground.

Ylang Ylang Distillery

Ylang Ylang flower
Ylang Ylang Distillery
The flower of ylang ylang is very perfumed. Its distillation permits the extraction an essential oil destined to the preparation of hair oils and perfumes. The trees bloom all year round, but more especially during the rainy season from November to March and one collect their petals every day by hand.
Five hundred hectares produce 800 t of flowers and 20 t of essential oil per year. About hundred kilograms of flowers are thus necessary to produce about 2,5 kg of oil of ylang ylang. Gas is purified then, exported then in the western countries, where it serves to manufacture perfume. At the Ylang Ylang Distillery, an inebriating scent of spices wraps the air with the perfume of the ylang ylang flower. Coming from Philippines, the ylangplant expanded in the Indian Ocean by the French perfume maker. Of modest and knotted size, this" tree upside-down" that one calls ylang ylang is designated by the scientists as cananga odorata and one uses its smelling green or yellow flowers to manufacture perfume, from where the nickname of island with perfumes that one gives to Nosy Be. The ylang ylang counts among the vital cultures of the Malagasy exports. The distillery is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 8 to 15:30 but the distillation is made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Northeast coast

  • The royal mausoleums

Mahabo of Manongarivo near Antsaholana, north of Andoany, is a place of pilgrimage: the bodies of the queen Binao (nineteenth century) and her brother rest in the royal mausoleum. A little further, the Mahabo of Ambalarafia houses the tomb of Queen Tsiomeko.
To visit these holy places where ceremonies are held regularly, visitors have to ask for permission in advance. You have to respect the rituals and even if nobody asks you anything: providing a symbolic sum of money (Ar 5000 per person) and a small bottle of rum, will help you to respect the fadys and the prescribed behaviour patterns according to the tradition.

Lokobe Reserve

See under Parks and Reserves: Lokobe Reserve

Hotel ParadisaKely
Phone: +261 20 86 938 68
Mail: sanchalain@free.fr
Web: http://madagascar-paradisakely.com
Located by the beach next to the small fisher village of Ampasipohy, this beautiful hotel  offers well-maintained, large and nicely decorated bungalows, a good restaurant and many activities to enjoy a pleasant stay in paradise.
6 double bungalows for 58 €, 1 triple for 77 € and 1 lodge for six people for 115 €.  

Nosy-Be Lodge
Phone: +261 (0)32 41 406 67
Web: http://www.nosy-be-lodge.com
This is a quite new high-standard lodge far from the touristic beaches ideal for those who want to explore the interior green forests of Nosy Be. Located some km from Ankatoka and the Fasene Airport, Nosy-Be Lodge is a quiet and peaceful accommodation focused on eco-tourism which has its own vegetable and botanical garden. The 6 comfortable, well equipped and extra-large bungalows, all of them completely build with traditional materials, are perfectly integrated with the luxuriant vegetation around the lodge. They all are familiar (up to 4 people) and have a huge terrace with terrific views over the island. Of course, several nice treks, fishing day and diving activities are offered.
Price for a bungalow  48 €,  half-board 17 € and full-board 27 €.