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Ile Aux Nattes a paradise at the end of the world In Madagascar.

Ile Aux Nattes, locally just called Nosy Nato, is fast becoming the new beach paradise in Madagascar.

And it’s easy to understand why it has started to overtake Nosy Bee places as the number one beach destination in the whole of Madagascar.

From The Lonely Planet Madagascar 2016 Edition: What a lovely place this is.
Île aux Nattes is a classic tropical island with curving white beaches and overhanging palms, a turquoise sea with waves breaking over the reef, a gentle breeze, and a lush green interior. “

Ile Aux Nattes a paradise in Madagascar
The Crystal clear water outside Sambatra Lodge where I stayed, the open field is the local football pitch.

And this time I have to agree with the Lonely Planet, Ile aux Nattes is paradise.

But that’s the only thing right about Ile Aux Nattes in the guidebook – everything else is very outdated.

Ile Aux Nattes
A canoe padling by the beach in Ile Aux Nattes

Ile aux Nattes is located just off the southern part of Ile Sainte Marie and separated only by a small channel. Arriving at the southern tip of Ile Sainte Marie, you might automatically think: Oh, I don´t need to pay for the canoe shuttle across the channel; I can just walk across it.

Travel guide to Ill Aux Nattes in Madagascar
the Channel you have to cross
Ile Aux Nattes
The only way of transportation to Ile Aux Nattes
rainbow madagascar
Rainbow across the channel

No, you can’t; it’s a lot deeper than it looks. But you can easily swim across if you don’t have any bags with you, or you can just pay the 2000 Ariary fee to get shuttled across by a canoe.

The boatman can paddle you to your hotel for 10 000 / 15 000. If your hotel is located on the far south side of the Island, it is a 30 -40 min boat trip.

Can´t complain about the beach here on Ile Aux Nattes paradise in Madagascar
I can´t complain about the beach here on Ile Aux Nattes
Ile Aux Nattes travel guide to paradise in Madagascar
Panoramic view from Sambatra Lodge where I stayed, a place I can highly recommend.
Ile Aux Nattes
Bar on the beach in le Aux Nattes

If you have heavy and bulky luggage with you, is it highly recommended to take the canoe to your hotel.

There are no cars on the island at all, but there are about five motorbikes on the Island. There is a small network of trails around the Island connecting the local villages/settlements scattered around.

Ile Aux Nattes madagascar
The beach on the side of Ile Aux Nattes
Ile Aux Nattes madagascar
paradise from above
Ile Aux Nattes
Amazing beach without other people

There isn’t too much to do on this paradise island, but the beach is world-class, and snorkelling is great in the crystal clear water.

Scuba diving is another great activity you can do on the outer reefs.

There is no dive shop on Ile aux Nattes itself, but every guesthouse/hotel can arrange for one of the dive shops on Ile Sainte Marie to pick you up in the morning.

Whale watching is a popular activity here during the month of September.
You can walk around the whole Island on the beach in about 2 hours.

Ile Aux Nattes
local woman at the beach in Ile Aux Nattes

Or you can hike to a building called the “White House” built on the highest point of the Island.

The White House offers a rooftop terrace with a 360* view over the whole island and is the perfect place to knock back a few beers in the sun. Just be aware that you will have to either buy a drink OR pay a 3000 Ariary entrance fee to enjoy the view.Ile Aux Nattes

The panoramic view from the “white house” The lighthouse can be seen in the left corner.

Another option is to hike to the old lighthouse on the south-eastern part of the island for a great view over the southern part of the Island.

The Old Lighthouse madagascar
The Old Lighthouse on the southern part of the Island, there´s a great view from here.

But the best and most popular thing to do here is definitely just to relax on the beach, and then head to the Lucky Dube Pizza Bar, a reggae-themed bar for an afternoon pizza (they have fresh seafood dishes too) over a game of Bocha while listening to your favourite Bob Marley song.

Ile Aux Nattes
The Lucky Dube Pizza place, the place to hang out in the afternoon.
Sunset Madagascar
Two locals are paddling their canoes home just before sunset.
madgascar sunset
Beautiful evenings
t Ile Aux Nattes
Locals walking home

Looking for where to get next in Madagascar? Check out this post about Top 11 Trekking Adventures in Africa, including the hike to Pic Boby Trek.

Additional Information About Ile Aux Nattes.

How to Travel to Ile Aux Nattes.

The only way to reach Ile Aux Nattes is by crossing the small channel with a canoe. A tuk-tuk from Ambodifototra, the biggest city and where the ferries from the mainland arrive at Ill Saint Marie, will cost you 15 000 Ariary.

madagascar canoes
Canoes on the shore ready to cross the channel

There´s one daily flight between Ile Saint Marie and the capital of Madagascar.

There´s even a flight to and from the French Island of La Reunion 3 times a week. If planning to go to Reunion next, read here for a great 6-day itinerary

There are two ferries between Mainland Madagascar to Ill Sainte Marie a day.

Accommodation and hotels on Ile Aux Nattes. 

I stayed at Sambatra Lodge on the western part of the Island, and I absolutely loved it. It´s Run by Vincent, a super friendly South African guy,

Sambatra Beach Lodge madagsacar
My room at Sambatra Beach Lodge

It´s the only fully English spoken accommodation options on Ile Aux Nattes.
The place offers a bar, a great restaurant.

There are seven Bungalows here, all of them with big western bathrooms, comfy double beds, and even an airy balcony that´s perfect for sunsets.

Sambatra Beach Lodge
view from my balcony

Vincent was currently expanding the place with a female and male dormitory during my visit. The only one on the Island.

That´s perfect for sunsets.  Vincent was currently expanding the place with a female and male dormitory during my visit. The only one on the Island.
It´s the place to stay!

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Bad quality photo, but there is a lemur in the bar

The cheaper options mention in the Lonely Planet looked very rundown during my visit; some of them actually looked permanently shut down.

Food & Drinks: There´s not many food and drinks options outside the resorts and guesthouses; you got the Lucky Dube Pizza and a few cheap restaurants in the biggest village in the middle of the Island.

Lucky Dube Pizza Madagascar
Lucky Dube Pizza probably the coolest pizza place and bar in the world

Since everything has to be transferred to Ile Aux Nattes by the small canoes, so are things a bit are more pricey here for drinks and food.
Shops and even the restaurant is often out of stock on different stuff here so if you need anything special be sure to bring it from Ill Sainte Marie.

Money on Ile Aux Nattes: There are no ATM or money exchangers on the Island.

The closest and only ATM´s are up at Ambodifototra, the biggest city at Ill Saint Marie. But they do run out of money, so it´s a good idea to bring some backup from mainland Madagascar.

There´s also two banks and an official money exchange up there. The better hotels/resorts on Ile Aux Nattes do accept payment in Euro.

Ile Aux Nattes Madagascar
Ile Aux Nattes ill miss this place

Internet on Ile Aux Nattes Only 1 or 2 of the most expensive resorts offer WIFI here, and the connection is slow. If you have a local Madagascar Sim Card, will you get a stable 3G connection here.

Electricity: There are only a few hours of electricity a day on Ile Aux Nattes, often two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.

Other: There´s a big presence of mosquitos and other annoying bugs here in the evening. So it´s recommended to bring bug/mosquito repellent with you. There´s nowhere to buy it while here.
There have never been any cases of Malaria on the Island, according to the locals.

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Travel guide to Ile Aux Nattes is a true African paradise. Located of the east coast of Madagascar, here the complete guide how to visit some of the best beaches in the world.
Ile Aux Nattes is a true African paradise. Located off the east coast of Madagascar, here the complete guide on how to visit some of the best beaches in the world.

 

Aa

Sunday 25th of December 2022

I had the privilege of spending the Christmas/New Year holiday on this island some years ago. Remains one of my most cherished memories. Wild time. Gorgeous. Unforgettable.

Sam

Saturday 21st of September 2019

Hi Christian, Hi Linda&Emile, I will go to Tsiroanomandidy for 2 weeks Humanitarian mission but during 2 days I will be off and would love to go to the island and stay at Sambatra Beach Lodge could you please tell how much is the night there, what should I expect ?Thank you for your advice ;) Samara

Sam

Saturday 21st of September 2019

Dear Linda, What a beautiful island how much is it one night @

Marta

Sunday 24th of February 2019

Hello, Nice blog! Do you know if we have to go to Ambodifototra to rent a motorbike or maybe closer to Ile aux Nattes? Maybe Vincent can arrange it? We stay five days and want to visit Sainte Marie. Don't know if stay two days in Marie and three in Nattes. Or staying at Nattes all days it's practical for doing the trips to Marie? Thanks!

Christian L.

Monday 25th of February 2019

Hello Marta. Most likely will you have to go to Ambodifototra to rent a motorbike, but it´s only a short ride from where you take the small canoe to Ile Aux, so it´s not much of a detour. Vincent can most likely arrange you to pick it up from where the Canoe goes. Since canoe ride across from Ile Aux to Sainte Marie only takes 5-10minutes so there´s no problem to stay at Ile Aux and just travel across every day if you want to explore Sainte Marie. Sainte Marie has a lot more food options and it´s A LOT more to do there, but Ile Aux is pure paradise to relax.

If I would ever go back to this part of the world would I spend all nights on Ile Aux and just do "day trips" around Sainte Marie.

The Pirate Tropical Paradise – Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar - Uncharted Backpacker

Monday 8th of October 2018

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