Nosy Be Culture week

The best way to become familiar with the customs, surroundings, atmosphere, and more of this rich and colourful country.

You will dive into the local culture and learn the Malagasy language. Discover the charm of the city, visit colourful markets, explore the city, and taste exotic and cosmopolitan cuisines. Walk around the foot of Mont Passot and hike to its peak; tour Hell – Ville and much more.


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Program Description

Nosy Be Culture Week gives you an original experience of the Malagasy lifestyle in Nosy Be. Your week will be filled with trips to various cultural and natural hotspots in Nosy Be.

In addition, this program offers a great opportunity for you to learn and understand more about Madagascar’s history and to become more familiar with your surroundings in and around Nosy Be. It is an enriching experience to get to know the ways of life of the people and adapt yourself to the local environment as you are preparing yourself for a longer stay. This experience will make your stay surely memorable as well as meaningful.

Throughout this week, you will enjoy a picnic lunch, join a local dance, and have a pastry class afterwards. In the evening, join the Malagasy language lessons and learn some basics to make you feel comfortable communicating with the locals.You may also enjoy walking through Hell -ville, visiting night markets, go fishing with local fisherman and many more.

Finally, this week acts as a recommended introduction but also as the perfect opportunity for you in meeting and bonding with fellow participants across the globe.

Add-on: +Learning

There is no +Learning add-on available for this program.

Aims & Objectives

The purpose of this program is to help you get an understanding of the manners, norms, and etiquette that are inherent in Malagasy society, as well as to show you around and introduce you to your new surroundings, helping you feel right at home in this warm and friendly community.



You will have an introduction to our team in Madagascar, exposure to our Code of Conduct, House Rules, Liability Waiver, and Evaluation Forms. Also, you will get to know about Madagascar, Nosy Be, the country, and its culture. After having lunch, you will walk around the foot of Mont Passot and hike to its peak for sunset.


After breakfast, you will walk from AMBATOZAVAVY to MARODOKA across Nosy Be’s rural areas. You will enjoy a picnic lunch, join a local dance, and have a pastry class afterwards. In the evening, join the Malagasy language lessons and learn some basics to make you feel comfortable communicating with the locals.


On Wednesday morning, you will visit a place where a banyan tree grows. It’s where people from Nosy Be and even the mainland make sacrifices to their ancestors to ask for blessings. When their “prayers” are answered, they come back to this Sacred Tree to wrap it in red and white linen.

In the afternoon, you will walk through Hell-Ville. Visiting the marketplace, discovering the old part of the town where the King lives, and enjoying the colonial architecture of the houses at Court de Hell.


In the morning, join a painting class with a local traditional painter who will guide you. After lunch, you will continue your language lessons through the afternoon.


On Friday morning, you will join Ampasipohy by car and by pirogue after. Once there, you will walk to the Lokobe Community Forest’s entrance, spotting lemur species, birds, and reptiles in the lowland rainforest.

After lunch, you will go either to fish with a local fisherman or to the field. As for the former, you will discover the local way of fishing. For the latter, you will work in vanilla, pepper, or pineapple fields.

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Starting Dates

During 2023

This program starts every week.

During 2024

This program starts every week.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                18

Maximum age:                –

Minimum English level:        Basic

CRB required:                On Signup

Passport copy required:        On Signup

Resume copy required:        No

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

The following are further necessary in order for both the participants, local staff and everyones involved to have a meaningful, enjoyable and safe community program.

  • Older participants or over 65 years are required to have a medical clearance as proof of their physical fitness as they may perform various activities.
  • Participants below 18 years old need a signed parental consent as proof of involvement of their children for the program. If possible, accompaniment by an adult is highly advised.
  • Due to the length and active nature of this program and as there are lots of outdoor activities under the heat of the sun, a decent level of fitness is required.
  • Excellent time management and self – organizing and strong desire to take on new challenges and learn as much as possible.
  • Recommended a COVID – 19 Vaccination, purchase travel insurance, medical and Covid – 19  insurance prior to your arrival.
  • Have completed or recommended the following vaccines: Polio, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria/Tetanus, Typhoid, Malaria, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis.
  • Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for all participants arriving in Madagascar.

Additional Equipment

Dress Code:

  • Cover up as much as possible in the spirit of the local culture to avoid embarrassment.
  • Your clothes must not be too short, too tight, or too revealing. Kindly make sure your shoulders and legs are covered.
  • It is completely fine to wear western clothes as long as they fit the local standards.
  • Be thoughtful of the graphics, symbols or text printed on your clothing and avoid wearing clothing styles that might be inappropriate.

Personal belongings such as:

  • Comfortable and sturdy shoes as there are lots of activities taken by foot.
  • Bring Personal toiletries such as basic soap, shampoo, toothpaste and towels.
  • Bring also hat, sunglasses to protect from the heat of the sun particularly during the beach day.
  • An environmentally friendly sunscreen or lotion is also advised to protect you from the heat of the sun and please carry with you preventive agents during outdoor activities, such as mosquito repellents for insect bites or other insects that may irritate your skin.
  • Moreover, bring Medicines with you especially if you have to take specific medicines on a regular basis as well as other medicines for headaches and stomach aches.
  • Refillable water bottles and hydration packs to stay hydrated throughout the day particularly during exploration and outdoor activities.