Enhance your holiday in Nosy Be with a visit to the Mont Passot

The Mont Passot, which Nosy Be inhabitant also call "Bongo Pisa", is a volcanic mountain located
about thirty kilometers north of Hell-Ville. This popular site for tourists is a place steeped in history
as well as an exceptional shelter for an extraordinarily rich fauna and flora. We invite you to discover
this little paradise, perfectly preserved.
When Queen Tsiomeko exiles in Nosy be
back in time of the Malagasy royalty, Nosy Be was an integral part of the Sakalava kingdom of Boina.
In 1839, Queen Tsiomeko chose to take refuge on the island when the Merina set out to conquer the
Sakalava kingdom. The sovereign asked to be placed under the protection of France. The following
year, the Sakalava kings and the Rear Admiral Anne Chrétien Louis de Hell, Governor of Bourbon,
signed an act of protectorate.
At the establishment of this protectorate, the town of Nosy Be took the name of Hell Ville while the
highest point of the island, the "Bongo Pisa", was named Mont Passot, in memory of Captain Pierre
Passot. The latter transmitted the distress message of Queen Tsiomeko to Bourbon Island. An officer
of the French navy, he was at the origin of the annexation of Nosy Be by France in 1841.
Lose yourself in a five-star nature
The Mont Passot is the ideal place for discovery, surrounded by unspoiled nature. Between its idyllic
landscapes and its sacred lakes, "Bongo Pisa" constitutes a true sanctuary for aquatic species. The
waters swarm with aquatic specimens endemic to Madagascar. There are the Paratilapia - a fish of
the teleost type - and the Ptychochromis - a perciferous species - both of which are members of the
Cichlidae family.
As you travel through the blue lakes of Mount Passot, you will be intoxicated by the sweet fragrance
of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata) nicknamed "Flower of the Flowers". Its extracts an essential oil
very prized by the greatest perfumers of the world. Your meetings with the very smiling local
population will also help brighten your day.
You will choose among three circuits for your visit to Mont Passot:
The Antsahamanavaka Circuit
This circuit - named after a lake formerly called "Tsy Manavaka" literally translated as "where
everyone can go" - will take you to the discovery of Malagasy medicinal plants. You will also cross
Teak forest while enjoying the freshness of water at the foot of a waterfall.
The circuit of Antsidihy, the forbidden lake
This tour is called Lake Antsidihy or fady (taboo), meaning "where you cannot go". Legend says this
site is forbidden because of a Sakalava king would have drowned there. The stars of the place are
the crocodiles, but you will also cross a myriad of species of birds. You will step over a suspended
bridge in the middle of ylang-ylang plantations, and even have the opportunity to visit a distillation
unit, with this rare orchid.
The Circuit of Amparihibe, Water Tank of Nosy Be
Lake Amparihiby, also known as the perfume island's water reservoir, is another essential step in this
invigorating walk. Besides innumerable orchids that have earned the island its sweet nickname,
ylang-ylang plants, vanilla and coffee trees will enchant you also with their exceptional scents.
The Legend of the Sacred Crocodiles
In all, Mont Passot is surrounded by nine fascinating crater lakes. These bodies of water are jealously
 guarded and form an integral part of the local culture. Their mysterious character lies in the belief
that the crocodiles that populate these waters would be inhabited by the spirits of the ancient
Sakalava kings.
These crocodiles are thus promoted to the rank of divinity. If a man is attacked by one of these
reptiles, it will be said that he has transgressed a fady (taboo). It is forbidden to bathe or fish in these
sacred lakes. The canoes also do not have access.
Enjoy Nosy Be on 360 °
Culminating at 329 meters above sea level, the Mont Passot is the best place to enjoy Nosy Be in all
its splendor. So, after a day full of discoveries, climb on the terrace of the Mont Passot to enjoy a
magnificent view of the island, its lakes and its islets at sunset.
To the east, you will be able to immortalize the island of Nosy Faly, sheltering tombs of the Sakalava
Sovereigns of the Bemazava tribe. In the north, you will see Nosy Mitsio, and its 14 islets renowned
for their pristine beaches and appreciated for best fishing spots.
Looking south, you will see the Lemur Island or Nosy Komba, which will give you an idea for your
next trip. Behind this little piece of land is Ankify, a port city that has played an important role in the
history of Nosy Be.
Do not forget your souvenir items
Before you "go back down to earth", do not forget to go through the craft shops run by local people.
Artistic sculptors and embroiderers will reveal their most beautiful pieces so that you can have best
travel memories.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine June 2017

Useful Information

When to go

With its equatorial climate, Nosy-Be is accessible throughout the year. Rainfall is rather rare and the temperature varies from 24 to 32 ° C. Plan your stay between May and October.

How to get there

You can reach Nosy Be by air from the capital Antananarivo or from Johannesburg with AIRLINK. Your flight can depart from France or Italy, Reunion or Johannesburg. It is also possible to reach the island by boat. If you prefer to make the journey by car, follow the National Road N ° 4 to Ambondromamy, then the National Road N ° 6 to Ambanja. Join ankify and board a star to join Hell- Ville. Once in Nosy-Be, drive up to Mount Passot following the road to Andilana. On the spot, park your car in the car park specially arranged by the promoters.

Where to stay

As the Mont Passot does not have accommodation facilities, you will spend your nights in Hell-Ville. Some of the best places to stay are Home Sakalava in the center of the city, Nosy-Be Hôtel, Villa Tsirambesy, Palm Beach Hotel, and Residence Home Madagascar, and the island Nosy Saba Resort & SPA.

Where to eat

The Mont Passot has a restaurant where you can order typical dishes of the region. Do not forget to book (24h in advance). You can also take your picnic basket and eat at your own pace during the tour.

What to see

Find calm and tranquility in the bay of Andilana. Enjoy pleasant excursions to the islands Sakatia, Nosy Fanihy, Tanikely or Iranja. The Lokobe Nature Reserve is also open to visitors wishing to discover endemic fauna and flora, unless you prefer a stroll through the neighborhoods of Hell-Ville.