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 Hell-Ville (Nossi-Be) - Profile

Location

Nossi (or Nosy) Be is a small island on the west coast of Madagascar, close to its northern tip. It is well know for its beaches.

Security: Check the latest travel advice. See FCO website. You should be particularly vigilant in the following areas of Nosy Be: Ambatoloaka, Hell-Ville, all beaches, and the road to the airport.

There have been recent attacks on tourists visiting the National Parks Montagne d’Ambre and Ankarana (Oct 2015).

Position 13° 24.36'S, 48° 16.85'E (anchorage)

Clearance

This is a Port of Entry.

See the main Noonsite/Madagascar/formalities page for the full details of clearance.

Anchor off the main dock and call at the Port Captain's office (often close Saturdays and always on Sundays). He will ask for a fee (64,00 Ar, about $19) to issue a local cruising permit (a "Permis de Circulation"). No other port has such a permit and it is only issued to foreign yachts.

To clear in, it is necessary to visit the relevant offices (Port Captain, Police, Immigration, Customs and Health). They are based in the building next to the catholic church. Speaking French may be an advantage.

It may be possible to anchor in Crater Bay and take a taxi into Hell Ville (cost about US$19). If you admit to officials that your yacht is there and not in the harbour (they cannot see the yachts from their offices), they may try and insist on you paying a fine.

First call on the Immigration police in the portacabin inside the port about 20 yds from the slipway. A small fee is payable but ask for a receipt before handing over any money. Then go to the Port Captain's office. This is outside the port, 100 yds up the road on the corner of the 1st RH bend (closed 1200-1500). He requires a copy of boat registration and will try and get you to pay your port fees in advance at the port cashiers (office 50 yds away). Insist that you will pay your port fees on check-out. GET A RECEIPT.

You need to check in/out each province visited. This involves getting a crew list stamped by the Immigration police, then taking it to the Port Captain to get clearance. There is a stiff fine for not doing so.

Do not pay the Immigration police a fee on check out. It is not required and the Hellville police can confirm this.

If a visa on arrival is required, you will be directed to a government office near the Champion supermarket.

Last updated November 2015.

Jacques
Tel:03220415896
Fibre repairs. Also recommended as helpful and reliable in assisting with authorities, laundry, shopping etc.

Docking

Anchoring is the only option. In spite of any plans, no marina has been built here. Crater Bay is the preferred anchorage.

Dinghies can be left at the public jetty in the care of a boat boy. One recommendation is Ja’afardine (Phone 0322830401). He  speaks some English, has a printed introduction and seems more businesslike than the rest. He can also arrange the delivery of fuel from a local service station.

Crater Bay:

There are many yachts here, mostly local. Ashore there is a small yacht club with a landing stage for dinghies. There is a small bar/restaurant built on an old cane railway locomotive. It is a 20 minute walk to the local town where there is a good small supermarket. Some chandlery is available. Only cash can be used and there is nowhere to change money except possibly at a nearby resort. Potable water is available.

It might be advisable to bring outboards on board at night.

Sakatia Island (near Hell-Ville), 13 deg 18.06S and 048 deg 10.63E, has good holding in 4-6m in sand.

Last updated October 2015.

Madagascar Cruising Advice
Des & Nell of SY Gambit (and the ex-Madagascar relay station for the Peri-Peri Net) used to be based on Sakatia Island (near Hell-Ville). They have now returned to South Africa, but are happy to continue offering advice to cruisers visiting Madagascar. They have sailed the country extensively and welcome the opportunity to stay involved in the well being of fellow sailors.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 16, 2015 05:56 PM

Posted on behalf of Stephen Poulson of SV Emerald Sea:
Spending time in Nosy Be and need a excellent tour guide to show you the highlights of Nosy Be? Thomas works at LemurLand, a small zoo, in Hellville, and provides tour guide services there in addition to island tour services (his time and that of a 3rd party vehicle). He has studied botany at college, fluent in English, French and Italian and has been recommended by a number of cruisers presently here including ourselves. He can be contacted at 0328824608.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Oct 05, 2015 11:39 AM

Posted on behalf of Brian Simm
After all the horrors of the pilot books re bribery, demands etc. our arrival was easy and pleasant.
Anchoring by moonlight in Crater bay was easy. This is now the preferred local anchorage with over 50 local and visiting boats, and an active small yacht club.
Next morning anchored off Hellville with the dinghy welcomed on the dock by Jimmy the current local fixit. Care of dinghy sublet immediately and we were guided on the rounds. Police(immigration), port, customs 1 and customs 2. Fees were posted on the walls and fully receipted. Fees totalled about 200000 Ariary for a 17m boat and 2 crew while very good lunch in the 2 1/2 hour office break brought the full total to 270000 local or $90.00.

Madagascar
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Hell-Ville (Nossi-Be)
Mahajanga
Nosy Hara
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