For all beach lovers don’t miss to visit one of the islands in the northwestern part of Madagascar. Nosy Be, Nosy Iranja, Nosy Tanikely… just to name a few.
Life there is easy and peaceful, a little bit different than the life on ‘the main island’, tourism bring some capital so local people manage to live somehow. Italian tourists rule on this islands, everybody knows Italian beside widespread French. I don’t speak any of those languages so I spent a couple of days as in movie ‘Lost in Translation’.
You can pick chameleon up on every corner and nature is simply amazing. But when it comes to the beauty of the beaches I don’t have enough words to describe it – it’s stunning!
Nosy Be is Madagascar’s largest and busiest tourist resort. It is a nice island with some good beaches and hotels but it acts mainly as the hub to explore some of the neighboring islands.
Feels like heaven! Nosy Iranja
Here is a list of my ‘not to miss’ things in Nosy Be (and islands around it), hope it will help you plan the perfect vacation!
1. Enjoy unreal paradise beaches in Nosy Iranja
Like the quote ‘Life’s a beach…’ is written for this paradise island! Actually is made up of two islands conjoined by a bank of white sand, which is submerged at high tide (Nosy Iranja Be: the big, and Nosy Iranja Kely: the small).
The setting is idyllic, stunning beaches surround a lush tropical island covered with coconut palms, Filaos trees and tropical flowers. The bird life is diverse and remarkable and the island is also home to huge Coconut crabs. The northern (bigger) island, Nosy Iranja Be, is home to a small village, inhabited by the local fishermen and a lighthouse designed by Gustav Eiffel.
Nosy Iranja tour
The Island is situated 1 hour and 30 minutes southwest of Nosy Be Island by speed boat. You can arrange tour through your hotel – guesthouse or in any of the tourist agencies on Nosy Be. Or you can try to find a local fisherman on the beach who would drive you to this paradise.
Tour prices start from 60 – 70 EUR for a whole day tour but with a bargaining you can go for 30 – 35 EUR! The tour will include a great lunch of fish, rice, shrimp and meat skewers and some salad, very delicious!
Life’s a beach!
Watch my Nosy Be & islands around it VIDEO:
2. Snorkel in Nosy Tanikely
Best place for snorkeling in Madagascar and enjoy colorful coral reefs, tropical fish or wonderful sea turtles everywhere you look! It’s about half an hour boat ride from Nosy Be, so it’s ideal for a half day trip. It’s a small island, with not so beautiful sandy beach, but that is compensated by extraordinary ‘underwater world’!
In just one dive I saw more than 5 big sea turtles! Sea turtles come with the tide in the shallow water to eat grass and other plants on the sea floor. Usually they are not interested in people and when they see you they just keep swimming. So it was like that with a few of turtles I’ve seen. Until I saw one beautiful ‘Miss’. I thought she wouldn’t be interested in me like every other turtle I saw. But she turned and began to swim toward me. After she circled around me and watched at me a few minutes she let me to take her to the front fin and we swam together like that for about 10 minutes until she decided it was time to move on and get lost in the deep ‘ocean wilderness’. Wild animals usually do not behave like that. Thank you dear God for sending me such a blessings in my life!
3. Explore Nosy Be
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.
What to do in Nosy Be
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.
Explore the lush jungle in the Lobeke nature reserve!
Walk the streets of the colonial capital of the island, Hell Ville. Take photos of a local market where you can see all kinds of various fruit and vegetable as well as fish and amazing people!
Good cheap place to stay in Nosy Be
Home Sakalava, in Hell Ville
Preparing for snorkeling on Nosy Tanikely
4. Enjoy fresh cheap sea food!
Fresh right from the sea beautiful delicious fish or shrimps just for you. With a rice and salad! And fresh bananas, mango or pineapple after that! Oh, what a great meal! And all that for about 5 EUR or less! Amazing! Delicious! Bon Appétit! Enjoy every day and don’t count the calories, you are on vacation, who cares about it!
5. Relax and do nothing!
Endless sandy beaches with coconut trees and ocean calling you to jump in it! There is no better place to relax and ‘forget the world’ than in Nosy Be and islands that surrendered it!