On October 1, 2020, the tropical African island of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean reopened its borders, after months of lockdown, as part of safety measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airlink, a privately owned, regional airline based in Johannesburg, South Africa is scheduled to commence direct flights between Johannesburg and Nosy Be in December. The airline is set to operate a seasonal schedule of a weekly flight for six to eight weeks, starting from 13 December.
Where is Nosy Be?
Nosy Be is an island located off the northwest coast of Madagascar. The island is situated in the Mozambique Channel, eight kilometres off the coast of Madagascar. Nosy Be is Madagascar’s largest and most popular tourist resort.
The Island of Nosy Be
It is a volcanic island with an area of 312 square kilometres. The highest peak on the island is Mont Lokobe, which rises to 450 metres above sea level. The island’s volcano has not erupted in recorded history.
There are eleven volcanic crater lakes on the island.
The main town on the island is called Andoany. There are several smaller islands near Nosy Be, including Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia and Nosy Tanikely.
Unique Species that can be found
The island of Nosy Be is known for having one of the world’s smallest frogs (Stumpffia pygmaea) and the panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis). The Lokobe Reserve located on the island, is one of Madagascar’s five notable nature reserves (Reserves Naturalles Integrales).
Sightings of a Rare Whale Species
A rare whale species, the Omura Whale, has been sighted in the waters around the island. Recent studies indicate that the waters of the Mozambique channel between Nosy Be and Madagascar are the habitat for a number of Omura Whales.
Researchers are conducting studies on the species from this location.
The island has a tropical monsoon climate. It is very humid in the peak summer months from December to February.
The wet season lasts from October until the beginning of May. Daytime temperatures are quite steady throughout the year, at around 30 degrees Celsius. Nighttime temperatures are slightly cooler, at around 20 degrees Celsius.
Visas are required for South African passport-holders entering Madagascar. Short stay tourist visas are issued to South Africans on arrival. It is the most developed tourism destination in Madagascar, and is the only place in the country where all-inclusive resorts can be found.