From Nosy Be to Ankify by public ferry

October 4, 2021Niry Fidelis
From Nosy Be to Ankify

Once you land at the Fascene International Airport in Nosy Be, you immediately realize how sparsely the island is organized and consequently, you will also understand that there is no efficient means of public transport in country. Therefore, every trip that you plan for Nosy Be or generally for Madagascar must take into consideration that no journey can be as smooth as you have estimated.

With that said, I’ll give you now all the information you need in order to plan your journey from Nosy Be to Ankify by public ferry.

Hell Ville Ferry station in Nosy Be.

From Nosy Be to Ankify

Do you know French? Then you are starting your trip from Nosy Be to Ankify with one foot forward. Only one foot.

What I mean here is that even though French is their national language, it is not widely known and many locals in Nosy Be talk only Malagasy. Let’s say that only those who have gone to school know a bit of French. And, since education is not everyone’s right or priority in Madagascar, it is rare for everyone to know French, even in the touristy areas.

This is one of the reasons why buying a ticket is not that obvious. Meanwhile, if you don’t know a single word in French, it is going to be even harder. So, arm yourself with courage and patience.

From Nosy Be to Ankify

Since I don’t know a single word in French, I let a Malagasy help me. The taxi driver who drove me from the hotel in Nosy Be to the jetty helped me to buy the ticket for a little money.

I immediately agreed to be helped and it was the wisest decision I have ever made. In addition to not having the command of the language, as I already wrote Madagascar is badly organized, and therefore chaos is created even where there is none necessary. At first glance I didn’t even understand where the ticket selling point was located. And then the people who push and move on like nothing irritated me a lot.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a taxi driver to help you out. At the jetty in Nosy Be, you will find a lot of pushy ticket salesmen, whose only function is to buy the ticket for you and to take you to the right boat.

If you can ignore these middle men, pass the gate, and buy the ticket directly yourself, then you can of course do it but I recommend that you evaluate a bit if it is worth it.

How much does the public ferry from Nosy Be to Ankify cost?

From Nosy Be to Ankify

The public ferry from Nosy Be to Ankify costs only 1000 Ariary, which means, € 0.22. At least this is what I paid. But, I later talked to people who paid more. So, I assume that depending on the commission that the “middle men” decide to apply, prices from Nosy Be to Ankify can increase.

How long does the journey from Nosy Be to Ankify take by public ferry?

From Nosy Be to Ankify

The sailing time between Nosy Be and Ankify is about 30 minutes, but the entire journey can last a bit more: about an hour and a half when everything goes right. Like anywhere in Africa, ferries have no fixed schedules; they leave only when they are full and this usually takes a lot of time.

Moreover, due to the old ferries they use, break downs occur often. Therefore, you should also take this eventuality into account.

From Nosy Be to Ankify by public ferry: Schedule

From Nosy Be to Ankify

As I mentioned before, the public ferry from Nosy Be to Ankify has no schedules. Ferries leave the port in Hell Ville only when they are full and when there is no single space left. I really mean it.

They are able to wait for a hen or for a bunch of bananas which is to be carried from Nosy Be to Ankify. It works like this pretty much everywhere in Africa.

The ferry run from Nosy Be to Ankify starts every day in the morning around 5.30 am and ends in the evening around 4 pm. They run multiple times a day: if I’m not mistaken, every half an hour.

I advise you to not rely on the last ferry, because for one reason or another it may never come, and you then you will find yourself having to cancel all of your plans. It happened to me on my way back to Nosy Be.

Is ferry crossing from Nosy Be to Ankify dangerous?

From Nosy Be to Ankify

Unlike the Barra-Banjul ferry crossing in Gambia that I personally have experienced, the journey from Nosy Be to Ankify seemed to be much safer. But I’ll tell you a secret. The Malagasy people (I guess only those who work in the tourism industry in Madagascar) have a more “brilliant” way of stealing.

Here in Madagascar I rarely heard about pick pockets or other rumours of thieves, but I assure you that they are really very clever in taking advantage of your difficulty or your ignorance to make more money on a service that you definitely need in that moment.

So, the point is that in case you miss the last ferry and you need to reach Ankify the same day, the price you are going to pay will certainly not be little.

Public ferry from Nosy Be to Ankify: some important facts to know.

From Nosy Be to Ankify
  1. In case you miss the last ferry from Nosy Be to Ankify, you can decide to travel by private boats. They cost 80.000 Ariary per boat. That means that you can form small groups between all the passengers waiting at the port in Hell Ville and split the cost.
  2. If you are working on planning your trip to Nosy Be, you have probably come to realize that the island is known for sex tourism, including child sex tourism. Girls from Ankify travel to Nosy Be in the evening and return back to Ankify in the morning by public ferry.
  3. If you need to carry a car between Nosy Be and Ankify, they charge you 160.000 Ariary each way. It is a huge amount of money.
  4. On arrival to the port in Ankify or even at the departure point in Nosy Be, a porter will want to help you out with your luggage for around 100 Ariary.
  5. It could be windy in the evening, so I would recommend travelling in the morning.
  6. Knowing French when traveling in Madagascar can help you communicate with locals. As mentioned earlier, French is their national language and while it may not be widely spoken in some areas, it can certainly come in handy when navigating through the country. Therefore, if you’re planning a trip to Madagascar, it may be worthwhile to start learning French to enhance your overall experience.

Madagascar is a good place for a vacation and a perfect island for tourism. However, embarking on the trip from Nosy Be to Ankify requires understanding a couple of important things. With all this information, you are now ready for an exciting trip from Nosy Be to Ankify.


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