Flights & getting there
Be aware that offers of ‘direct’ transfer from Nosy Be to Diego Suarez are often a scam. Resist all offers on Nosy Be, take the boat to Ankify (Ar15,000) and then choose your taxi-brousse (Ar30,000) as you would anywhere (the one in best condition and/or the fullest).
Nosy Be Airport (Fascene) is on the island’s east side, about 12km from Hell-Ville. A taxi fare from the airport to Hell-Ville is around Ar35,000. It is about Ar60,000 to Ambatoloaka or Andilana.
The airport is served by Air Austral, which flies four times a week to Saint Denis (Réunion; €405, 1½ hours). Tsaradia has at least one flight per day to Antananarivo (Ar405,700, 1½ hours) and three flights per week to Diego Suarez (Ar380,800, 35 minutes) – book through Air Madagascar). Madagasikara Airways has a twice-weekly flight to Antananarivo (Ar660,820) via Diego Suarez. Airlink has two flights a week between Johannesburg and Nosy Be.
- Sailing yachts regularly come into Nosy Be and many are prepared to take passengers. Their principal destinations are Mayotte, Mozambique and South Africa. If you're hiring a sailing boat or catamaran, you'll board at La Marina Crater near Ambataloaka.
- Small speedboats shuttle between the mainland port of Ankify and the main ferry port in Hell-Ville on Nosy Be (Ar15,000, 40 minutes, 5.30am to 4pm). Like taxis-brousses they leave when full. Winds pick up in the afternoon, so the crossing is smoother, and therefore more popular, in the morning – you’ll never have to wait long for your boat to depart. Life jackets are provided.
- If you’re travelling with a vehicle, ferries sail between Ankify and the car-ferry port in Hell-Ville in Nosy Be (from Ar160,000 each way, two hours, from 6am to 4pm).
- Pirogues to Nosy Komba leave from the petit port in Hell-Ville in Nosy Be (Ar5000, 20 minutes). If you're staying at a hotel on Nosy Komba, they will send their own boat for transfers for a fee.
- Pirogues to Nosy Sakatia leave from the beach next to Hotel Chanty Beach on the west coast.
- On arrival in Hell-Ville by boat from Ankify, a porter will want to take your luggage off the boat; a tip of Ar1000 is appropriate.