The archipelago of Nosy Be is one of the top destinations in Madagascar, its islands blessed with gorgeous beaches, corals, tropical forests, and a slow and easy pace of life. Nosy Komba is situated like a stepping stone between the mainland and the more visited Nosy Be (“big island”).The island slopes up to the centuries-dormant volcano at its heart, and volcanic rocks encircle Nosy Komba, protecting its shores from rough waters. Lush tropical forest and fragrant plantations cover most of the island, harboring an incredible array of endemic flora and fauna, including a colony of habituated black lemurs.
Larger and more touristed, this island off the coast of mainland Madagascar is a 35-minute boat ride from Tsara Komba. Island highlights include a 200-year-old sacred tree, a rum distillery, Mont Passot, and a lively village market where locals sell all manner of fruits and flowers.
The island’s main village is known for its traditional crafts. At every turn, meet local artists selling their intricately embroidered tablecloths and fine wood carvings. Outside of town, encounter wild lemurs at a nature sanctuary.
The Nosy Be archipelago, including Nosy Komba, is home to the Sakalava people, once part of a powerful kingdom that ruled much of western Madagascar. Today, the Sakalava are known for their seafaring abilities and their women’s elaborate face-painting designs. Several small fishing villages dot the island.
Isolated from mainland Africa and India for the past 88 million years, Madagascar is sometimes called the “land that time forgot” for its impressive biodiversity—from leaping lemurs and colorful chameleons to towering baobab trees. Three-fourths of the country’s flora and fauna can be found nowhere else on the planet. Some 5,000 black lemurs live in the wild on Nosy Komba alone, giving the place its other name of “Lemur Island.” Along the coast of this small volcanic island, the crystalline waters of the Mozambique Channel teems with a dazzling array of fish, turtles, sea anemones, and coral.
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