Island Hopping by Kayak in Madagascar As Featured in March 2017 Issue of Go! Magazine!
Island Hopping by Kayak - Price on Application
Note: This trip can also be done by boat.
Day 1. Fly into Nosy Be late afternoon to early evening. You will be met at the airport by the taxi driver who will bring you down to the small port in Hell-Ville where you will be met by a Kayak MadagasCaT representative.
You will be transferred by boat (8 km) to your resort on the north of Nosy Komba Island. The transfer time is approximately 20 – 30 minutes where you will be warmly welcomed in time for sun downers and dinner.
Day 2. After breakfast paddle a short distance (3km) to the nearby private island of Nosy Vorona. This tiny island has the only working lighthouse in the area. The old lighthouse keepers’ house has been converted into accommodation and an extra bungalow built on top of the hill near the lighthouse. You have exclusive use of the island.
On arrival on Nosy Verona you will drop your luggage and prepare for your first day excursion with the support boat to Tanikely Marine Reserve. Pack a small bag or beach basket with beach towels, sunscreen and snorkeling gear and enjoy a day of soaking up the sun with a beach picnic lunch on this pristine little island.
At around 14H30 – 15H00 we make our way back to Nosy Vorona where you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring and enjoying a sun downer on your own tropical island.
Day 3. After breakfast paddle across to the Hermitage Beach Hotel on ‘mainland’ Madagascar, a distance of about 13 km. Set on grassy lawns this colonial era resort is positioned on a lovely isolated beach. Renovations have been done to restore this beautiful old hotel to its former glory.
The resort is bordered by the sea on one side and plantations (mainly cashew nuts) on the other. If you are feeling energetic you can walk to a restaurant in a small village some distance away.
Otherwise chill on the grassy bank under the big shady trees flanking the resort.
Day 4. A morning paddle to the south side of Nosy Komba takes you to a beach for a rest and refreshments. Once you have relaxed and had a swim continue your journey to Berenice Bungalows. The total distance is 15km.
This bungalow resort is set on a little private beach in amongst wonderful gardens. It is owned and run by a Malagasy lady who together with her late Italian husband built the resort many years ago. There are four en-suite bungalows and a main dining, lounge catering area on the fringe of the beach overlooking Ankify on the mainland.
There is some good snorkeling directly in front of the resort.
Day 5. After an early breakfast we paddle 5 km across the channel back to the mainland and land at Ankify Lodge.
This resort is set just above the waters’ edge. . A lovely old colonial house that has being converted in to a bar/restaurant with bungalows built along the ledge. From this vantage point there are stunning views of the south side of Nosy Komba and Nosy Be and mangroves along the coast of the mainland heading up the coast towards Hermitage Hotel in the distance.
The only sea route linking Nosy Be to the mainland runs in front of the resort and lands a little way lower down at Ankify port. It’s fascinating to watch the comings and goings down below, from speed boats carrying passengers to the slower thud, thud car carriers and local pirogues carrying goods.
A mini bus will be waiting to take you to Millot Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour through the plantation learning about the cocoa trees, the different types of pods, how they are processed and dried ready for export. The guide will also show you ylang-ylang and other spice trees as well as the essential oil extraction procedure.
After the visit the mini bus takes you to the charming nearby inland town of Ambanja. The entire area is flat and the drive is awesome, tropical and shaded by big trees with cocoa growing below. After the Diego Suarez junction the road gets narrower and busier with bicycles, taxi bicycles and motor bikes a-plenty, not to mention the odd motor car, taxi brousse and trucks all using the same road. As you enter the town the congestion escalates and includes pedestrians and colourful displays of 2nd hand clothing, plastic ware and other items lining the pavements - all adds to the delightful chaos.
As you slowly nudge your way through the traffic you will notice that there are no flaring tempers, no honking horns, surprisingly no accidents and no policemen.
Just another day in downtown Ambanja.
Lunch is either at Restaurant Patricia down a side street or at the Palma Nova Hotel on the outskirts of town. The choice of restaurant is entirely yours.
Once back at the resort for those feeling like a late afternoon stroll, the road from Ambanja to Ankify port continues to Ankify beach where it ends. Unlike the chaos from town this small gravel road is peaceful and quiet following the coast canopied by huge tropical trees.
A sun downer on the terrace of the old main building followed by a tasty dinner is a perfect way to end a lovely day.
Day 6: After breakfast you head off on your last day of paddling. We cross the channel again towards the west side of Nosy Komba where we take a break on the beach, have a swim, chill, and continue our way back to the north side of Komba and land back at Ilo Bungalows.
Today’s lunch is at one of the beach bars in the village. There is plenty of atmosphere here and a small park where you can to see lemurs in the wild – this is where you get that ‘lemur on the shoulder’ picture! Enjoy some retail therapy at the many stalls selling handmade crafts and curios along with wooden carvings made on site.
Enjoy a post shopping sun downer at one of the local beach bars and watch the last of the taxi boats coming home and the village slowing down after a busy day.
Appetites up, dinner served at your lodge.
Day 7. It’s a lazy start and a swim if you feeling up to it. Breakfast is served and then you transfer to Hell-Ville on Nosy Be for a visit to the market for local chocolate or rum (both excellent!) or last minute gifts for the folk back home. Lunch at your cost.
Overnight at Chez Lulu
Day 8. At leisure until your transfer to Nosy Be Airport for your flight back to JHB