Getting there & away
Nosy Be is best reached from the mainland port of Ankify by small speedboat (Ar20, 000, 30 minutes). These depart in both directions starting around 7.30am. The channel crossing is best undertaken in the morning, before the afternoon tides make the sea rough. Two ferries also make the crossing, but unless you have your car with you (both take vehicles) there’s no reason to take these as they are much slower.
If you’re travelling with a vehicle, the Fivondronana Ferry (032 02 358 40) leaves Nosy Be for Anstahampano port, near Ambanja, daily. Departure times vary according to the high tide, and the journey takes about two hours. Passenger tickets cost Ar15, 000. You can buy tickets at the port or at the office on the main street.
Cargo boats still travel between Nosy Be and Mahajanga, and less frequently between Nosy Be and Diego Suarez. The trips take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours and is very uncomfortable. Check the blackboard outside the Auximad office at the port in Hell-Ville as departures are irregular.
Most of the private yachts passing through Nosy Be are bound for Mayotte (the passage costs about €300). The best place to ask is at Nandipo bar in Hell-Ville. The yachting season runs between August and November.
Air Madagascar (86 613 60; Rte de l’Ouest, Hell-Ville) flights link Nosy Be’s Fasrene Airport with Antananarivo every day (Ar304, 600), often via Mahajanga (Ar288, 000) or Diego Suarez (Ar132, 000). Flights also go to Sambava and Dzaoudzi in Mayotte. There are also international flights to Milan and Réunion.