On the northwest coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be is a picturesque island offering some wonderful nature and wildlife. Meaning “big island” in Malagasy, Nosy Be is also called the perfume island, thanks to its ylang ylang, spices, sugar cane, coffee and vanilla plantations.
The island was thought to be first populated by Swahili and Indian traders in the 15th century and became prosperous during the slave trade from India all the way to Zanzibar. Today is known as a touristic spot thanks to its magnificent deserted beaches, amazing snorkeling and diving sites and its perfume essence producers, sugar cane factory and rum distilleries.
The administrative center and the main port of the island is Hell-Ville, a charming colonial town with old renovated colorful buildings, shops, galleries and small restaurants. In the upper part of the port old cannons, dating back to the time of the pirates, overlook the marina. One of the main attractions of Hell-Ville is the covered market, a colorful spot where farmers and fishermen from the continent or Madagascar bring their products. Travellers can also visit the village of Dzamanzary with its sugar cane factories and rum distilleries.
Nosy Be offers a wide range of activities such as day cruises to discover the archipelago, scuba diving adventures and fishing excursions.
Photo credit: © ONTM