NOSY MADAGASIKARA | NOSY BE | NOSY AMBARIOVATO | NOSY TANIKELY
Nosy in Malagasy means Island. Just an hour and a half flight north of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, lies the sleepy island of Nosy Be (Big Island in English). Known for its beautiful beaches, sleepy villages, and French colonial influence, this archipelago serves as a jumping-off point to a number of smaller islands in all directions. One finds it easy to disconnect from the digital world here. Not only are there an abundance of underwater dive excursions, horseback riding, island hopping, wildlife, and scenic parks to distract one from digital devices, but these islands are so far off the grid that electricity is unstable. It can and will vanish during any one of the many fierce lightning storms which pass over daily, leaving one delightfully disconnected from the outside world. The abundance of vibrantly colorful reptiles is very present on these islands. They are everywhere.
Raw video of a lightning storm in slow motion to expose the bolts.
H E L L V I L L E, N O S Y B E
Peaceful drive into Hell Villa, the capital of Nosy Be. There are great deals to be had on local coffee, vanilla, and many spices. Not known for tourism, this small town serves as the capital of the island and main trading markets for the island. I clearly stand out here.
Island Hopping – Nosy Be to Nosy Komba (Lemur Island)
Off the coast of Nosy Be lies a volcanic island, famous for the preservation of lemurs, appropriately nicknamed Nosy Komba (Malagasy for Lemur Island). For a nominal fee of $35. USD, about 110,000 Malagasy Ariary, you can travel via boat to any number of outer islands and explore the deep blue, snorkel, picnic, or, my favorite, get up close and personal with a community of Malagasy lemurs.
N O S Y K O M B A
After 35 minutes of fresh ocean wind in my face, we arrived at the small beach town of Ampangorinana on Nosy Komba. A picturesque island, covering 25 km2, complete with lush jungles and golden-sand beaches. Thanks to Ampangorinana’s location, this island is unspoiled.
Eager to explore the island, we beached the boats inside the cove. Overhead winds from the Indian Ocean provided persistent change of light as the clouds above cast quick-moving shadows on the tropical landscape, causing the rich colors to alternate between soft and deep shades of blue and green. Hot, balmy and very beautiful.
Stock video footage of our arrival at Ampangorinana Beach on Nosy Komba.
After a twenty minute hike into the forest, we encountered curious lemurs who scampered up and down the skinny tree trunks, hungry for fresh bananas. Connecting with these creatures was an amazing experience. They are fun-loving, playful, and trusting, but mostly motivated by food. Bold and eager to jump on your shoulders from all directions for a bite to eat, they are not shy when it comes to asking for handouts.
Other Creatures on Nosy Komba
Rum & Lime – Sleepy Beachfront Bar
Beachfront bar on Ampangorinana Beach. I found a sleepy beach bar offering shots of local rum, a 50/50 mix of rum and local lime juice served with a salted rim. This thatched roof structure provides well needed protection from the intense sun. Paradise found…with a twist of lime.
N O S Y T A N I K E L Y
Atop the lighthouse, you get a panoramic view in all directions.
Local fishing boat in deep waters.
H O R S E B A C K O N N O S Y B E