The only airlines companies to reach Nosy Be with direct flights, charter, from Europe are: Neos with departures from Italy, Rome Fiumicino (FCO), Milan Malpensa (MXP) and Verona (VRN) and Blue Panorama from Poland, Warsaw (WAW). Another operating airline flying directly from South Africa to Nosy Be is Air Link.
Although there are direct flights, we recommend, especially for divers, to travel with Ethiopian Airlines; comfortable, safe and with a total travel weight of 54kg per person.
From Italy departures are with Neos on Mondays with arrival on Tuesdays and Tuesdays on Wednesdays. With Ethiopian Airlines, Monday on Tuesday, Wednesday on Thursday and Friday on Saturday.
The planes take off in the evening to arrive on Nosy Be in late morning or early afternoon.
From Paris, weekly flights are made with stopovers either in Addis Ababa or in la Réunion Island and then to Nosy Be via Air Austral or Ethiopian Airlines.
The only flight from Poland is on Thursday with arrival on Friday, while from South Africa flights to Nosy Be are on Wednesday and Saturday.
Internal flights to Antananarivo (capital of Madagascar) and Diego Suarez (North of Madagascar) are made by the national airline, Ewa Air.
Domestic flights between Nosy Be and the capital are guaranteed on a daily basis. By the way every day flights are subject to severe delays or cancellations, therefore, we advise those who want to use Antananarivo as destination of arrival or departure for Madagascar and then reach the various destinations on the country, to reach the capital at least one day in advance of your flight.
The tourist visa will be applied to your passport at the entry gate.
The cost of Madagascar entry visa is about 140.000Ar equivalent to approximately 35€ (at the current exchange rate) per person until one month staying.
For two months staying about 280.000 Ar approximately 70€ per person.
For three months staying about 420.000 Ar approximately 105€ per person.
Entry visa can be purchased locally, upon arrival at the airport and must be accompanied by a return ticket.
The airport security tax it is included in your plane ticket.
The tourist tax is 2€ to be paid on site, usually at the hotel.
Don’t forget to check yours passports validation. The expiry date must be not less than 6 months. Airline tickets. An SD Card Extreme is recommended to capture the best of your images.
Bring with you an adequate supply of money that can be used to purchase beautiful souvenirs such as hand-embroidered tablecloths, raffia bags, seed necklaces, gemstones and precious stones, etc.
It is not always very easy to withdraw money from ATMs.
Banks are only located in the city and with times not always compatible with your excursions.
Polarized sunglasses if possible, sunscreen protection +50 and 30, after sun, camera, battery charger, any illuminators for your suits and if necessary spare batteries.
Take as little as possible with you, here in Nosy it’s always warm and the hot sun shines almost all year round.
Light clothing such as shorts, swimsuits, flip-flops, T-shirts and sarongs.
Sneakers will only serve you for hiking in the forest or if someone can’t do without a morning run.
As for long “light comfortable” clothing (jeans are not recommended, it’s too hot to wear them in the forest), in order to avoid carrying unnecessary weight, we advise you to use the same ones with which you will arrive in Nosy Be, maybe they could be useful if you plan to spend the night in bivouacs by the sea.
A little advice: if you are planning to do a little charity, you can think of optimizing the space and weight with clothes dedicated to gifts for children (sunglasses even out of fashion, mobile phones, glasses that you no longer use here can be useful).
The allowance proposed by the airlines is not bad if we consider that we do not need winter clothing, however, it is not difficult for divers to overweight, but the airlines allow the purchase of sports luggage upon presentation of the diving licence.
Below we report the weight of luggage allowed by some airlines. For further information, please control your airlines company in case of changes.
For each kg in excess there is an extra charge of about 15€, however we recommend you to consult the extra weight of your airline.
Here below the most common one to Nosy Be.
- Hand beam 1 x 7 kg
- Hold baggage 2 x 23 kg
- Extra sport diving baggage 1x23kg, about 75€.
- Hand beam 1 x 10 kg
- Hold baggage 1 x 25 kg
- Extra sport diving baggage 1x20kg free, heavier until max 25kg it cost is 50€.
- Hand beam 1 x 5 kg
- Hold baggage 1 x 20 kg
- Extra sport diving baggage 1x12kg for 100€.
When you arrive at Nosy Be airport you will be exhausted, it will be hot and all you want to do is to get out of that little structure as soon as possible… we understand you, we go through it every time we return to Nosy Be.
People approaching you will ask for a tip to speed up the procedure.
You have been wait for a long time and, 15 more minutes won’t change your life.
You can make a difference by helping this country to fight against corruption… these people can’t ask you for money, let them do the tasks they are paid for, when they see that opening the luggage doesn’t bother you, they will grimace and let you pass.
Here you will find precious woods such as Rosewood and Ebony. Since 2013 the export of these woods has been banned, but they are still on the market.
To procure this wood, Nosy Be suffers from great deforestation, the rivers in the rainy season overflow more and more … do not be complicit in this natural disaster and flooding of the houses of the locals.
The masks that you will find on sale, are not part of the culture of Madagascar, they are made especially for you tourists, who will return home happy with your beautiful mask, sure to have brought home a corner of Nosy Be, in reality you will only take home a tree cut down.
In their culture, instead, there is the working of the zebu horns, where the animal neither is killed, nor suffers from the cut; with the horns are made some beautiful artifacts: bracelets, combs, and cutlery, belt buckles etc.
Excellent and original are the paintings that you find exposed on the streets or outside the boutiques.
Nosy Be and Madagascar in particular, is also famous for the richness of the subsoil. In fact here you can buy precious stones such as Rubies, Sapphires, Aquamarine, Tourmalines, Quartzes, Amethysts at reasonable costs, but with an eye to the scam.
These stones can be found directly on the beach at prices really ragged, but you will buy only waste stones or stones that resemble them, so we recommend you to rely on the boutiques that will give you a regular certificate of authenticity.
Many guests often ask us what could be useful for children or the most needy: they need everything from shoes to clothes that may be a bit ruined and to avoid always carrying extra weight in your suitcase, you can take advantage of using them for the last time here in Nosy before donating them.
Those clothes that look like they have to be thrown away by European standards, here they will look like they just came out of the shop.
The sunlight is very strong and hot. Often people have cataract problems, sunglasses that you don’t need or that have gone out of fashion will be well appreciated, the same for the glasses to leave not directly to the person, but either in the clinic or to us who will give them to the doctor who will distribute them as needed.
Of the mobile phones that for Italy are now obsolete here will be the latest model arrived from space.
School materials for children, which you can buy directly in the stationers that are present on site without loading heavy notebooks, backpacks and pens your luggage, so you will do a double act of goodness, one for children and one for the merchant.
Then there are the medicines. Bring them if you want, but do not give them absolutely to people who might ask for them, it could be dangerous for their health. Think the vast majority of people are treated homeopathically.
A simple aspirin that does not make us almost no effect, for them it is an atomic bomb. We recommend you to deliver them to a doctor who will distribute them, or if you want to do us a great courtesy, you can leave them to us who will distribute them in case of need to the children who work with us or to the inhabitants of the village near the Diving.
Here in Nosy Be there are some inconveniences for waste disposal, especially for plastic and batteries.
If you put in your suitcase a blister of toothpaste, a bubble bath or batteries for your camera… don’t disperse your waste in Nosy be… an empty bottle of bubble bath doesn’t weigh anything and if you crush it it takes up little space, the same for the blister.
Your batteries contain mercury; do not pollute this beautiful land, in Italy you can dispose of them following the right procedures.
At Manta you can pay by several methods: before reaching Nosy Be by PayPal or by bank transfer.
On site cash, preferably EURO or in Ariary, PayPal or online banking.
Other currency or payment methods are not accepted.
The currency used is Ariary (Ar) which has now replaced the old Franco Malgascio (FMG).
In stalls, markets and boutiques your euros will not be of much use or if accepted they will give you a lower exchange rate than the current one.
During the year there are currency changes, 1€ ranges from 3.500Ar to 4.000Ar.
To change you can rely on your facilities, or in Hell Ville there are several banks such as BFV-SG, BNI, BMOI where you can exchange currency or withdraw cash from the counters where you will be charged the equivalent of about € 2.00 for each withdrawal.
If you want you can also ask us, we will certainly be able to direct you well.
You are in Madagascar, the card is not very widespread, it is accepted in hotels but very little in public establishments.
Where available, VISA and MasterCard are more easily accepted.
While for Maestro and American Express cards you may have problems with payment and/or withdrawal.
The ATMs that are not enabled for foreign countries can easily leave them at home, here you won’t need them.
Wherever you pay by Credit Card you will be taxed from 5% to 7% of the total amount.
Most of the tourist facilities provide communal boxes for all staff, so as not to favour only those who have the most contact with customers.
Since years, we receive many e-mails for advice on vaccines, mosquitoes, hygiene and everything related to health, so we have created a special area where you can deepen your curiosity and find emergency contacts.
On site you can find small restaurants with ethnic and international cuisine that at very affordable costs can offer you every delicacy you want.
Also for this reason we are at your disposal for advice and addresses.
After dinner, a bar with live music and a couple of discos are waiting for you to spend the evening.
P.S.: We are definitely not in Ibiza; life here is mainly daytime.