Nicknamed the perfumed island, Nosy Be greets visitors to its azure waters, white sandy beaches, and tropical forests with the relaxing aroma of ylang ylang, coffee, cacao, vanilla, and sugar cane plantations.
Established by Indian and Swahili traders sometime in the 15th century, the island of Nosy Be encompasses 120 square miles of paradise just five miles off the north western shore of Madagascar. The island was formed by volcanoes whose craters and crater lakes still dot the landscape. The highest points are Mount Lokone and Mount Passot. This fertile volcanic soil feeds the island’s thick forests as well as its numerous sugar plantations. The main town, Hell-Ville is not only a popular tourist resort but an important trading port for the island’s rum, vanilla, black peppers, bitter oranges, perfume oils, and sugar.
Nosy Be is home to a range of forest-dwelling animals and marine life. Parc National Lokobe protects most of the island’s endemic vegetation and is home to the adorable black lemur whose female members are actually a pretty chestnut color with white-tufted ears and other lemur species. The Parc also hosts boa constrictors, owls, and chameleons. Moreover, the island is home to one of the world’s smallest frogs and chameleon. Known for its aromatic plants, visitors can find ylang-ylang trees, vanilla orchids, and travelers’ palms across the Parc and island.