On the small and precipitous island of Nosy Komba — a.k.a. ”Lemur Island” — located in the Mozambique Channel, just off the northwestern shores of Madagascar, you can catch elusive black lemurs in their remarkable tropical habitat.
The enormous island nation of Madagascar is swarming with different species of lemurs — although deforestation has reduced their numbers considerably over the years. Even so, this part of the planet is still the ideal location for discovering these unusual primates. Nowhere else on earth, not even on the mainland, will you find untamed black lemurs. Their only natural home is the verdant and rugged island of Nosy Komba.
Nosy Komba and Black Lemurs
Local residents inhabiting the island once venerated these silky lemurs — and many still do to this day. These distinctive lemurs were the first primates ever to call this piece of real estate home. These days, they help bring in a substantial tourist trade. People come to survey the surroundings, walk on the island’s beaches, around the lagoons, and through the coffee and vanilla plantations — all in order to take photos of the elusive black lemurs while they’re swaying through the trees.
“Fady,” the native taboo against injuring these regal animals, has assisted the lemurs in their continued survival, and aided the livelihood of many a human as well. The creatures seem to be fairly comfortable with gawking holidaymakers. They’ll even indulge tourists and linger in the trees long enough for a few pictures to be snapped. Sometimes, when they’re feeling particularly bold, they might even snatch some food out of your hands, or from your backpack.
Geckos, iguanas and a sizeable collection of gigantic jackfruits also occupy space on Nosy Komba. Indigenous tour guides are usually more than happy to take you about, hiking up and down the steep hills, and deeper into the forest, where you’ll be able to soak in the flurry and hum of island life.
Nosy Komba isn’t large, but it’s filled with things to see and do. A stopover here will take up a good chunk of your day. If you’re ever in this neck of the “global woods,” you don’t want to give Nosy Komba a miss. Apart from experiencing the natural world, you can taste flavorful island cuisine, go for a leisurely swim, or snorkel through turquoise waters inside of picturesque coves.
Image credit: balabanovj / 123RF Stock Photo