Madagascar Updates: Chapter 15

Madagascar, 11th edition

Please use the comments facility below to submit updates to chapter 15 (Nosy Be) of Madagascar (11th ed).

To comment on other chapters visit the main Madagascar Updates page.

You can order a copy of the Madagascar guide here.



  1. mjkresko2014 said,

    1 May 2017 at 5:42 pm

    I can’t recommend Ange Bleu Boat Charters out of Nosy Be. We had agreed on a predetermined destination weeks prior (off the beaten path). Once on the boat, the captain was surprised at the destination request and said it couldn’t be done. So, we were sold a trip under false pretenses.

  2. 14 February 2016 at 9:19 am

    From next month, there will be direct flights between Johannesburg and Nosy Be! Starting on 20 March 2016, a weekly scheduled flight will be operated by Star Alliance member SA Airlink every Sunday using an Embraer ERJ135 aircraft. The new route represents a huge cost and time saving over the previous best alternative of travelling between these two destinations via Antananarivo. Flight SA8246 will depart Jo’burg at 09:30, with the return SA8247 leaving Nosy Be at 14:45 (this westbound flight entails a short refuelling stop at Beira in Mozambique). Flights are only available through nominated agents and must be incorporated into packages – contact MadagasCaT Charters & Travel for full details:

  3. Daniel Austin said,

    4 March 2015 at 3:16 pm

    There are no longer South African Airways (SA Airlink) flights between Johannesburg and Nosy Be.

  4. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:41 am

    Villa Mena is a beachfront chambres d’hôtes at Ambondrona in Nosy Be. The rooms are in two sizes, each with en-suite hot-water facilities, minibar and safe. A kitchen area is available for use by guests. Contact: mob 032 41 686 63; email

  5. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:05 am

    Nosy Iranja has no cellphone coverage except at one sweetspot on the path to the summit (you can tell where it is because of all the discarded mobile recharge cards on the ground!) where Orange reception is usually possible.

  6. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:02 am

    If you are interested in sea kayaking in the Nosy Be area, contact Bert Spalding, who is based in Ampangorina on Nosy Komba. He offers simple paddling, resort-hopping (where you kayak from hotel to hotel, with your baggage carried on a support pirogue), and kayaking excursions in tandem with a liveaboard yacht experience. Contact: mob 032 40 142 13; email

  7. Daniel Austin said,

    3 December 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Situated not far from the mouth of Russian Bay, some 30km southwest of Nosy Be, the small island of Nosy Antsoha is being turned into a lemur reserve by the owners of Lemuria Land (the zoo on Nosy Be). At present Nosy Antsoha is home to six species, including three of sifaka, and lots of black lemurs. Many local operators now prefer the lemur experience here to that on Nosy Komba. Entry is 5,000Ar per person and there is a guardian-guide on the island who can show visitors around. There is reasonable snorkelling in front of the island.

  8. Daniel Austin said,

    15 October 2014 at 9:13 am

    The telephone number of Maki Lodge on Nosy Komba has changed to 034 88 477 34. They now have free Wi-Fi in the bar/reception area.

  9. Daniel Austin said,

    15 October 2014 at 9:10 am

    There is now a pharmacy in the growing village of Ampangorinana, at the northern tip of Nosy Komba (Depot des Medicaments Todi; 032 04 013 93).
    For a photo, see the Bradt Madagascar Facebook page at

  10. 27 September 2014 at 1:26 am

    As of July 2014, Jacques Vieira of Sakatia Lodge is a certified IDAN Chamber Attendant, which means he is officially qualified to tend to scuba divers suffering decompression illness at the Multiplace Recompression Chamber at the Madagascar for Life Onlus Clinic in Nosy Be.

  11. Daniel Austin said,

    22 August 2014 at 1:53 pm

    A new small family-run hotel has opened at Ambondrona Beach in Nosy Be. Ylang Hotel offers six comfortable double bungalows set amid a pretty garden, with a swimming pool, gym, game room, bar and restaurant. The rooms are air-conditioned, most with en-suite hot-water facilities, fridge and safe. There is car, 4×4, scooter and quad hire, and activities they can arrange include sailing, whale-watching, diving and fishing.
    Contact details: 032 78 490 46;;

  12. Daniel Austin said,

    21 August 2014 at 3:06 pm

    MalagasyCar now offers daily scheduled departures to Ambanja/Ankify (crossing point for Nosy Be) from Tana and Mahajanga in comfortable vehicles. From Tana, it takes 16 hours to cover the 880km, departing at 14:00 and arriving in Ankify around 06.00, for the price of 168,000Ar per person, meals included. From Mahajanga it is 12hrs/640km, departing at 06:30 and arriving 18:30, price 128,000Ar.
    For more information, contact 034 49 588 88/032 43 588 88/033 01 588 88 or, or visit For booking in Nosy Be, visit Oasis restaurant; in Ambanja bookings can be made via the Maki boutique or the Palma Nova hotel.

  13. Daniel Austin said,

    3 July 2014 at 11:44 am

    We are getting reports that a serious fire last night destroyed most of the 50 rooms at Nosy Be Hotel, a beautiful spa hotel on the west coast of Nosy Be. The cause is not yet known, but it is not thought that there were any casualties.
    (The incident comes in the wake of a fire that destroyed a significant part of the nearby Vanila Hotel & Spa in March, which was blamed on an electrical fault.)

    • Daniel Austin said,

      6 July 2014 at 9:27 am

      The cause of the fire at Nosy Be Hotel & Spa three nights ago has been confirmed as a cigarette carelessly discarded by a guest on their veranda. The VIP rooms are amongst the many destroyed, but the reception, restaurant, spa and pool remain open and 22 of the rooms are functional. The hotel is continuing to honour bookings and is able to transfer guests to their sister hotel Sangany Lodge if they wish.
      They have announced that as soon as the insurance inspectors are finished with their checks, the fire-damaged area will be rapidly cleared and landscaped with an attractive garden until such time as reconstruction can commence.

  14. Daniel Austin said,

    30 June 2014 at 2:03 am

    Madagascar National Parks announced yesterday that Lokobe National Park is now officially open to tourists! Although protected since 1927, this forest in the southeast of Nosy Be had until recently been a Strict Reserve, a category of protected area only visitable by scientists with special permits.
    Covering an area of some 900ha, Lokobe is home to 42 species of birds, 50 reptiles, 14 amphibians and three lemurs. Three self-guided trails have been established in the park.

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