Fly To Nosy Be, Madagascar
Nossi-Be is Madagascar’s number one beach destination and it is here that holidaymakers truly understand that luxury doesn’t necessarily mean electricity (or even a comfy mattress!). It is the distinct lack of modern amenities that make this Indian Ocean island getaway so appealing – in fact, apart from one pimped up package resort aimed predominantly at the Italian market, Nossi-Be is pretty much void of bling. Refreshingly so. Picture this: an island holiday with little to do than grab a novel, hit the beach and laze about with the whir of jet-skis in the offing. Paradise!
Although Nossi-Be’s beaches and resorts don’t look like the stuff fantasies are made of, they get top marks for tranquillity, romance, crystalline turquoise waters minus the seaweed and superb al fresco restaurants serving the finest seafood right on the beach. Take a deep breath and you’ll inhale scents of vanilla and ylang-ylang and exhale as you get to grips with an invitingly slow pace of life. And then there are the sunsets. As the sky turns shades of pinks and purples and the last of the sun’s rays form silhouettes of women clad in bright sarongs walking home with the catch of the day, around the same time as you find yourself sipping on a refreshing cocktail.
Nossi-Be is the most expensive destination in Madagascar but compared to North America or Europe, prices are relatively low and many a tourist has found the lack of major development and slow lifestyle worth the extra few Rands. The climate is sunny year-round but there are risks of cyclones in February and in March.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South Africans travelling to Nosy Be do require a Visa to enter Madagascar. Make sure that your SA passport is valid for 6 months from the date of your return. You’ll also need a few pages free for stamps.
- The South African Embassy in Madagascar is located in the capital Antananarivo at Lot IVO 68 Bis, Rue Ravoninahitriniarivo, Ankorondran, 101, Antananarivo. Phone: +261 20 224 3350.
See and do
Besides relaxing on the beach in Nosy Be, there are a few other things to see and do in Madagascar. Head to the Highlands, which make up the core of the island where the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, can be found here along with a few other important cities. The landscape is mainly dominated by rice fields, indicative of the Asian origins of the Merina people – the island’s main ethnic group. If you travel along Route Nationale 7 from Antananarivo over to Fianarantsoa you’ll discover some of the more popular attractions on the island.
The North of Madagascar isn’t very populated apart from the Nossi-Be Archipelago and Diego Suarez. There’s a rich mix of ethnic groups in this region along with incredible natural wonders of beauty such as the rainforests of the Majorejy National Park and the Karst Pinnacles of the Ankarana National Park.
An absolute must when you visit Nossi-Be is a Madavoile Cruise. Madavoile is a small and privately owned yacht chartering company. The company operates out of Crater Bay and is run by a couple who have lived in Madagascar for more than 15 years. They run seven boats, a small yacht and catamarans of various sizes. The boats can hold up to eight passengers at a time and each boat comes with a full crew complete with chef and captain. Charter the boat to explore the other islands around Madagascar.
Fascene Airport – NOS
Nossi-Be Fascene Airport is located in Nossi-be, just off the northwest coast of Madagascar. It’s a medium sized airport with limited facilities.
Fascene Airport (code NOS) is a hub for Air Austral (Reunion), Air Madagascar, Meridiana and Neos.