Northern Madagascar in detail

Flights & getting there

Air

International flights include the following.

  • Airlink (www.flyairlink.com) connects Nosy Be Airport with Johannesburg (€940 return, 3½ hours) on Sundays throughout the year, and also on Wednesdays from late June to mid-October.
  • Air Austral flies four times per week from Paris CDG to Nosy Be via Saint Denis (Réunion; €885, 13 hours).
  • Ewa Air has two flights per week from Dzaoudzi (Mayotte) to Nosy Be (€291, one hour).

Internal flights are operated by Tsaradia and Madagasikara Airways.

  • Nosy Be is served by at least one Tsaradia flight daily from Antananarivo (Ar517,100, 1½ hours) and three flights a week from Diego Suarez (Ar395,100, 35 minutes). Madagasikara Airways flies twice on Fridays from Antananarivo (Ar660,820, 1½ hours); one of these flights goes on to Diego Suarez and the other flies via Ile Ste Marie.
  • Diego Suarez Airport has a daily flight to Tsaradia, two flights on Wednesdays to Antananarivo (Ar618,700, two hours) and weekly flights to Sambava (Ar320,000, 45 minutes) and Nosy Be (Ar395,100, 35 minutes). Madagasikara Airways flies once a week from Antananarivo via Nosy Be (Ar660,820, 2¾ hours).
  • Sambava Airport has a daily Tsaradia flight to Antananarivo (Ar552,000, 1½ hours) and weekly flights from Diego Suarez (Ar320,000, 45 minutes). Madagasikara Airways flies once a week from Antananarivo (Ar660,820, 1¼ hours).

Land

The RN6 from Diego Suarez to Ambanja is badly degraded and the journey takes 6½ hours by car or nine hours by taxi-brousse.

The RN5A from Ambilobe to Vohémar is a very rough 150km piste and takes about 10 hours by 4WD, 24 hours by taxi-brousse in dry season and 36 hours in wet season. However, at the time of research, this road was being rebuilt by the Chinese government. Completion is envisaged by mid-2021.

The RN5A from Vohémar to Antalaha, despite its potholes, is in better condition.

Sea

  • Sailing yachts regularly arrive in Nosy Be and many are prepared to take passengers. Their principal destinations are Mayotte, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Speedboats ply the route from Ankify on the mainland to Hell-Ville (Andoany) on Nosy Be (Ar15,000, 40 minutes). They leave when full. The sea gets rougher in the afternoon, so a morning crossing is preferable.