If you're like us and love the idea of a tropical oasis, but wouldn't be satisfied with "eat, sleep, beach, repeat" then consider Nosy Be for your next tropical escape. This small island, just northwest of mainland Madagascar, is the perfect combination of beach and nature escape. This makes it perfect for those who are looking for a more adventurous and educational holiday.
The options for day trips in this region are endless and somewhat overwhelming as the area is not written about in as much detail as Bali or Mauritius, for example. Luckily we had some guidance from the amazing team at Live the Journey who helped us customize the entire trip to our preferences and at a very reasonable price! If Nosy Be sounds like a destination you'd like to try for yourself I've listed our top 5 day trips below for some inspiration.
1. Lokobe National Park
Situated on a very remote part of the island, the only way to get there is by means of a row boat that our guide arranged for us. It took about an hour to row across, we had an oarsman and two other guides helping us which made it a very comfortable and relaxing trip. The scenes over the water were absolutely breathtaking. Once we got across our local guide took us on a 2.5 hour hike in the dense forest. This might sound a bit extreme to some but I promise it was manageable and SO WORTH IT. Just make sure to wear long trousers and closed shoes to protect yourself from getting bitten by all the mosquitos.
This is a little list of all the amazing things we saw:
Countless interesting insects and plant species.
I would definitely recommend that if you do this option, make it your first activity as it's a wonderful to see the lemurs for the first time in their untouched natural habitat.
2. Nosy Komba
Known as "Lemur Island" in Malagasy. Here you have the opportunity to see these little guys up close and personal. It's far more touristy than the rest of the areas we visited but the island plays an important and valuable role to educate curious travellers and produce a sustainable income for the local community by giving them opportunities to sell their crafts. It is all done in a way to prioritise the wellbeing of the environment and the community.
Our guide led us up the mountain with a few of bananas in hand in hopes of spotting some Lemurs. You aren't allowed to approach them but if they feel safe they might jump on your shoulder and gently take a small piece of the banana from your palm to eat it.
This is honestly such an incredible experience! They are clean, calm & gentle little beings with velvety soft hands. They are not confined to in enclosures or forced to interact but their experiences with humans have made them far more tame than lemurs in other parts of madagascar. This makes Nosy Komba an entirely unique experience and one that you will never find anywhere else in the world. A real must do!
3. Nosy Tanikely
This small island is a marine reserve known around the world for its exceptional biodiversity. The water is warm, the sand is soft and dips off very gradually to a large and beautiful stretch of coral. The fact that it's been so well protected makes for pristine snorkeling conditions.
4. Nosy Iranja
This was named as one of the most beautiful islands in the world by Vogue Magazine and they weren't kidding. Two Islands joined together by a long stretch of soft white sand. The water was like glass as we came in and the tibe low so we were able walk across from one side to the other. It feels like you're walking on water with waves rolling in from both sides of you. The vibe here is completely laid back and just what we needed towards the end of a busy week. After a long stroll across the sand, we explored the village markets and hiked up to the top for views from a old light house built by Eiffel himself! We ended the day off with lunch fit for a king and a dip in the warm water before heading back. The perfect day trip! But be warned- the boat ride was around 2 hours from Nosy Be and on our way back the water got pretty choppy due to a turn in the weather. It's best to always travel with precautionary meds if you tend to get sea sick!
5. Nosy Sakatia
A perfectly chilled way to end the holiday. We spent the first half of the day exploring the village and relaxing and snorkeling at one of the private beaches, had an amazing lunch prepared for us and then ended the afternoon by swimming with giant sea turtles. By far one of the most amazing underwater experiences of the trip. Loved every minute!
If you'd like to see more photos of our trip you can view my highlights here.
If you missed my introductory post about why we chose the island and what to look for in the perfect beachfront hotel, you can find it here.
Please feel free to leave a comment if this is somewhere you've visited or would like to go in future!