NewsFlights Airlink resumes service to Nosy Be + Madagascar quick guide

Airlink will re-introduce flights between Johannesburg and Nosy Be in Madagascar, effective March 20.

Tourism Update reports Flights will operate weekly with a single return flight on Sundays. The flight will depart on Sundays at 09:30 from OR Tambo International Airport and arrive at Nosy Be at 14:00.

The return flight will depart Nosy Be at 14:45 and arrive in Johannesburg at 18:45. Due to the flight duration and prevailing headwinds the aircraft will perform an en-route technical fuel-stop in Vilanculos, Mozambique.

CHECK OUT: Easy island escapes for South Africans

Quick Guide Madagascar

Quick intro: One of the largest islands in the world lies just off the coast of south-eastern Africa, complete with its own eco-systems and animals. A journey to Madagascar guarantees you sights you have never come across before, nor can you replicate in any other place on the globe.

Where: Mozambique lies around 400km off the coast of Mozambique.

Capital: Antananarivo

Head of state: Hery Martial Rakotoarimanana Rajaonarimampianina is the President of Madagascar. Rajaonarimampianina was elected in 2013.

Area: 590 000 km2

Languages: Malagasy is easily the most common language, followed by French. English is sparsely understood.

Currency: The Malagasy ariary. R1.00 will get you 243 of them at the current exchange rate, but expect available money changers to charge wildly differing rates.

Climate: Although there is large variation due to the size of the island and altitudes inland, the rainy season runs from November to April, and the cooler dry season from May to October. In a nutshell, the east coast sees the most rain and the higher you go the cooler it gets. Cyclones can occur during the rainy season.

Time zone: UTC +3 (one hour ahead of South Africa)

When to go: This is dependent on where you want to visit. The dry season is the best in which to visit the coastline as it is cooler, but at these times of the year the central part of the island can be downright cold. Heavy rain from the beginning of the year to March can render some travel impossible.

Food to try: Typical Malagasy food is simple but delicious: a plethora of fruit (especially bananas), rice cakes, and superb coffee (often served with condensed milk). Rice accompanies most dishes served with meat or beans. Imported food costs significantly more, typical of any island destination.

Useful phrases: While you scrape by with French in major cities, a few words of Malgasy will go a long way everywhere else. For example, “Tsy mahày mitèny gàsy àho. Miàla tsìny àho” (I am sorry. I speak no Malagasy) could be a useful turn of phrase, but no more useful than  “labièra irày tavoahàngy” (a bottle of beer). And in such a beautiful part of the world, on an island vacation, never forgo “Te ho àny amòron-drànomàsina àho?” (Where is the beach?).

Official carrier: Air Madagascar (sometimes abbreviated to AirMad).

Getting there: Air Madagascar has an extensive domestic network. Airlink is the only scheduled carrier offering daily flights between JNB and Antananarivo.  Air Madagascar no longer operate to Johannesburg.

With our new JNB to Nosey Be flights and our daily flights ex Antanarivo to JNB, customers have the option of flying direct to Nosey on Airlink, and after exploring other parts of Madagascar, have the option of departing from Antanarivo, or visa versa.

Visa: South Africans qualify for a visa on arrival for stays under 30 days.


Written by: Selene Brophy
Published: 1 January 2016
See full article here 

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