"Tsanga Tsanga" in Malagasy means "around", "walking", here are our ideas to start discovering Nosy Be.
Discover animism: the visit to the sacred tree and sacred waterfall
Day visit from 8 to 13. Transport: motorbike, bicycle, special taxy.
For the visit to these places, it is important to have some information about religious beliefs in Madagascar. Synthetically, remember that:
- Animistic beliefs and traditional beliefs: 42%
- Protestants: 27%
- Catholics: 20%
- Muslims: 2%
- Other: 2%
The majority of the population in Madagascar follows the traditional animistic beliefs: that ascribes divine and supernatural qualities to objects, places or material beings. Divinity is not something transcendent, but spiritual properties are attributed to certain physical realities.
That is, the soul is in material aspects of beings and entities. There are at least two very interesting places to approach the world of animism and recommend them highly.
A few minutes from Ambondrona, in the resort of Ampombilava, is the sacred tree (arbre sacré), a ficus bengalensis or Religious, which according to legend was imported from India as a gift to Queen Tsiomeko around 1800.
This tree is considered sacred in India and the Sakalava ethnic group, has more than 200 years and is very particular: it has aerial roots that depart from the branches and reach the ground, turning into as many trunks.
Like entering a cathedral in the open air in which red and white towels, symbolizing purity and royalty, delimiting the sacred area.
Here the Malagasy come to ask favors and address prayers to the spirit of the tree, covering an area of 2,000 square meters. If you decide to visit this place brings a "lambda" (Malagasy means dress) a sarong, because to enter beneath the impressive alberto must wrap and cover the body as a sign of respect for a sacred place for the Malagasy tradition.
Another fascinating area is the sacred waterfall (La petite cascade), which is at Ampansindava. For Sakalavas this place is sacred and is bordered by white and red drapes. The waterfall forms a very beautiful picturesque lake and mystic: a place of absolute peace between the water sounds and colors of nature.
Andilana, Mont Passot and the seven sacred lakes
Visit in one day from 8:00 to 18. Transport: moto, bicycle, special taxy
To stay in the theme of animism, you can choose to go to visit the beautiful beach of Andilana, the northernmost point of the island, where you can spend a relaxing day of sun and sea.
Andilana is one of the most beautiful beaches of Nosy Be and another holy site, formed by a crescent of white sand surrounded by turquoise waters.
You can spend a relaxing day by the sea, sun and palm trees in absolute calm.To stay in the theme of animism, you can choose to go to visit the beautiful beach of Andilana, the northernmost point of the island, where you can spend a relaxing day of sun and sea.
Andilana is one of the most beautiful beaches of Nosy Be and another holy site, formed by a crescent of white sand surrounded by turquoise waters. You can spend a relaxing day by the sea, sun and palm trees in absolute calm. To Andilana you can have lunch in local "gorgotte", where you can try a great coconut rice, dish sakalava, with fresh fish. In the afternoon, around 15:30, it starts to move in the direction of Mont Passot, which with its 339 m is the highest point of Nosy Be.
Arriving at the top you are in a wonderful area, where you watch the sunset and the views over the Mozambique Channel, from where you can see the seven sacred crater lakes still populated by crocodiles, which are also considered sacred by the Sakalava, as reincarnation ancestor.
Among the scents of Ylang Ylang, spices and colors of Hell Ville (Andoany)
Day visit from 8:00 to 18:00. Transport: bike, cycling, local taxy or special taxy.
The Nosy Be capital Andoany or Hell Ville with about 30,000 inhabitants: it owes its name to Admiral Anne Chrétien Louis de Hell, one of the French governors of Réunion.
It was founded by the French in 1841 and walking through the town you will come across an ancient atmosphere with old colonial style buildings, which seem to fall into disrepair among colorful flowers.
Hell Ville is full of craft shops, and for those who love shopping is ideal to make shopping and spend a day away from the palm trees and relaxing to see how it performs the real Malagasy life.
For those who love the aromas, spices and colors unmissable stop is the Hell Ville (Place du marché), where you can find many spices including vanilla, paprika, turmeric, fruit and plenty of vegetables, rice and small local crafts.
Another very charming place to visit is the port of Hell Ville, where there are the traditional boats of the locals. To get around the city you can take the very nice and fast tuk-tuk yellow.
A few minutes from Hell Ville stand the ruins of Marodoka, who was the first village of Nosy be. The visit is very impressive and you can visit the home of ghosts, where stands a century-old ficus, the ancient mosque (the first in Madagascar) on Friday for African slaves.
If you love the scent, inevitable step will be, within the Land of Lemuria, the largest distillery of Ylang Ylang, which is located about 3 km from Hell Ville.
The lemuria land is a beautiful park, where you can admire the varied and colorful flowers, plants and animals of Madagascar. Inside the park you can visit the plantation of Ylang Ylang, a low, gnarled tree widespread in Nosy Be, which produces fragrant green and yellow flowers, from which we extract the fragrant essence, which is exported all over the Western world for the production of perfumes. The Ylang Ylang is called "the flower of all flowers" and in 1921 was chosen as the fragrance for the famous perfume Chanel N ° 5.
Legend has it that the Ylang Ylang plant is born thanks to two peasants, who wanted to have a child and, not succeeding, they turned to a shaman who, thanks to supernatural mediation, gave birth to a child but on one condition: that the child would be born it should not have been touched by anyone suitor. The child was born and she was so beautiful that one day a boy fell in love with her.
He picked a bouquet of flowers and handed it to her, but unfortunately touched her hand. The beautiful girl then transformed tree Ylang Ylang from the perfumed and fragrant flowers. We remind you, finally, that the essence of Ylang Ylang has calming, hypotensive and aphrodisiac. Visiting the distillery you can see how to extract the essence from Ylang Ylang flowers and you can buy the precious essence.
In the forest with lemurs macaco: the natural reserve of Lokobe
Day visit from 8 to 13. Transport: motor, special taxy, pirogue
The natural reserve of Lokobe protects most of the endemic vegetation of Nosy Be.
In this reserve of 740 hectares you will find lush vegetation and Malagasy different animals: lemurs, including the famous ring-tailed macaques, in addition to snakes (boa constrictor), chameleons and birds of all kinds.
To reach the reserve you must arrive at the village of Ambatozavavy and then proceed in a dugout canoe to reach the reserve. We would highly recommend this excursion for lovers of nature and for the enchanting tour in a pirogue.
Other tours: discovering Djamandjary, Ambatoloaka and Madirokely
Features: day visit from 8 to 13. Means of transport: on foot, scooter, bicycle, tuk tuk, the local taxy, Special taxy
We recommend to take a day to visit Djamandjary, the second most important town of Nosy Be with over 19 million inhabitants. In the past at the village there was the flourishing production and processing of sugarcane. It was in fact produced the Dzama, the famous Madagascan rum.
The refinery was closed in 2006 and is open to the public. You can take the time to stroll along the streets of Djamandjary discovering the small local market of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. If you visit the village on Sundays, you can attend the "moraingy" typical Malagasy struggle.
A few kilometers from our hotel there are the villages of Ambatoloaka and Madirokely beautiful beach where you can spend hours relaxing. Ambatoloaka is a small fishing village, where the atmosphere is really very touristy, with well-equipped restaurants and clubs.
For those who love the nightlife, the evening these villages are populated by tourists and Malagasy who populate the streets and the typical nightlife.