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Explore the history and climate of Nosy Boraha, the Red Island

Explore the history and climate of Nosy Boraha, the Red Island

The Island’s Short Story

The island of Sainte Marie, also known as Nosy Boraha or formerly Nosy Ibrahim, has a rich history. Legend has it that a tired and hungry Jewish man named Abraham, later known as Ibrahim, found refuge on the island and was blessed by a kind old woman who offered him food. This act of kindness resulted in the blessing of his descendants.

Sainte Marie was once a haven for pirates, with Europeans arriving in the late 16th century. A pirate named Thomas White married a princess from the East of Madagascar, leading to the establishment of the Zanamalata dynasty and the creation of the Betsimisaraka ethnic group. This kingdom extended its influence to Mahavelona.

In 1750, Sainte Marie came under French rule through a treaty signed by Queen Betty, daughter of King Ratsimilaho. Today, her palace stands as a museum, preserving this intriguing history for visitors to explore.

Geographical Location and Climate

Located in the northeastern region of Fenoarivo Antsinanana, Nosy Boraha is an elongated island measuring 49 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. The island features sandy and ferruginous soil along its coastline. With a tropical humid climate, temperatures range from 25°C to 34°C from December to March, and between 20°C and 28°C from May to October. The best time to visit is between April and September.

Known for its preserved nature, Nosy Boraha is famous for humpback whales, stunning beaches, rich history, and friendly locals. Most of the population speaks French, making it the most francophone region in Madagascar. Additionally, English-speaking tour guides are available to assist visitors.

How to get to Nosy Boraha?

– To get to Nosy Boraha, you can take a flight with Air Madagascar from Toamasina or Antananarivo.
– Alternatively, you can travel by boat from Soanierana Ivongo, which takes about two hours.

A unique tropical paradise with preserved natural heritage

Visiting Nosy Boraha means discovering a paradise on earth. The island is full of wonders and has an authentic charm. You can enjoy various activities such as strolls, swims, and tasting delicious coconut punch while watching the fascinating sunset. It’s a great way to escape routine and savor every moment of the serene landscape.

A welcoming population

The island’s charm is heightened by the kindness and generosity of its people. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the warmth of the locals. The cultural and linguistic diversity of the inhabitants makes them very welcoming.

Islands, Beaches, and Bays

Nosy Boraha is an archipelago with lush vegetation, beautiful beaches, and deep waters. Visitors can enjoy canoe rides and explore the landscape on foot or by bike.


Nosy Boraha, located on the east coast of Madagascar, is known for its lush nature. The area boasts forest vegetation and a coastal cave at Ankarena Beach. The 400-hectare Ikalalao forest is home to three lemur species: the Microcebus, mouse lemur, and dwarf lemur. Additionally, visitors can observe various orchid species, endemic chameleons, and unique flora and fauna native to the Indian Ocean. Ambondena forest is rich in bird varieties, arboreal frogs, and different types of lemurs such as mouse lemurs and white-headed lemurs with gray or red-and-white fur. Ampanihy forest features a mangrove to explore by canoe and is a nesting ground for marine turtles.

Local Food: Exploring Regional Cuisine

The cuisine of Sainte-Marie is centered around fish and seafood, traditional to Madagascar. Coconut is commonly used in recipes such as coconut punch, seafood with coconut sauce, cakes, flans, and more.

Tourist activities in Nosy Boraha: What to do?

– In Sainte Marie, there are many things for tourists to do.
– These activities provide jobs for local people.
– Here are some things you can do in Sainte Marie:
– Visit the beaches and enjoy water sports
– Explore historical sites and landmarks
– Take part in cultural events and festivals
– Try local cuisine and visit markets.

Encounter humpback whales


Exploring Ambodifotatra

Shopping in the small shops and taking a stroll in the downtown area can be quite enjoyable. One can also take a tuk-tuk to visit Forbans Island, where they can see the pirate cemetery and the first church in Madagascar, which was a gift from Empress Eugénie of France.

Exploring the East of Sainte Marie

After exploring Ambodifotatra, you can travel to Ampanihy Bay, known for its beautiful white sand beach. You have the option of taking a taxi brousse, quad bike, or motorcycle to get there. Another way to reach the bay is by taking a canoe to explore the mangroves and visit vanilla and clove fields in Anafiafy village.

Exploring Sainte Marie Island by Scooter

Scooters, motorcycles, and quads are available for rent in downtown Ambodifotatra. As you head north, the left side offers a view of the sea while the right side is filled with lush vegetation. Along the way near Antadava, there is a waterfall on your right and an opportunity to stop at the cove for a kayaking trip. Finally, there’s a lovely excursion to the north of the island where beautiful beaches and magnificent natural pools in Ambotiatafana can be visited.

– Rent scooters, motorcycles, and quads in downtown Ambodifotatra.
– Enjoy scenic views of the sea and lush flora as you travel north.
– Stop at Antadava to see a waterfall and take a kayak trip at the cove.
– Visit beautiful beaches and natural pools in Ambotiatafana on an excursion to the north of the island.

Exploring the Sandbar Island

An ideal spot for snorkeling up to the coral reef in crystal-clear waters, picnicking in nature, and exploring a deserted island with red seashells reminiscent of strawberry candy. The area also features three white sandbanks emerging from the water, perfect for taking a break and relaxing for a few hours. Hotels can arrange trips to the sandy islet.

– Crystal-clear waters ideal for snorkeling
– Secluded island with striking red seashells
– Three white sandbanks jutting out of the water
– Possibility to rest and relax on the islands
– Excursions organized by hotels to visit the sandy islet.

Accommodation and dining establishments

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Located on the northwest coast of the island, “Les Tipaniers Lodge” offers a restaurant, bar, and a terrace with an extraordinary view of the canal and mainland. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a common lounge area, bike rental service, and a private beach. Some accommodations feature a seating area for relaxation. The rooms have private bathrooms with robes and toiletries. Additionally, guests can partake in activities such as snorkeling and fishing. This place is perfect for couples, families, and friends.

Luxury Retreat at Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa

Located on the island of Sainte Marie off the north-east coast of Madagascar, “Princesse Bora Lodge” offers an outdoor pool, a spa with aromatic massages, a beautiful beach and garden, free Wi-Fi, free private parking, a restaurant, and a bar. The accommodations are decorated with wood and each has a terrace with a hammock. Guests can enjoy local cuisine on the terrace near the pool and sample fine wines from around the world in the hotel’s wine cellar. Perfect for couples, families, or friends seeking a relaxing getaway. The lodge also provides currency exchange services.

Simplified Subtitle: “Club Paradise Hotel

Located 25 km from Nosy Boraha, “Hotel Club Paradise” offers a restaurant, outdoor pool, free private parking, bar, beautiful private beach, and stunning garden. Every room has a sea view and some are suitable for families. The rooms have wardrobes, desks, and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is served every morning.

Guests can rent cars or bikes on-site and play table tennis. Perfect for couples, families, or friends looking for a fun getaway.

The hotel provides currency exchange services if you need local money.

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