TROPICAL PARADISE

For most of us, butterflies epitomise the pastoral image of the countryside in summer, an image in which reality and fantasy mingle. Their gracefulness, their seeming carefree attitude and their glorious colours make these creatures the ambassadors of the animal kingdom. Tropical butterflies are undoubtedly the largest, most colourful, and most peculiar of all, as is the incredible variety of natural environments the regions they originate from present. Settled in Honfleur, the Naturospace Butterfly House provides insights into the unsuspected beauty of the life cycle these winged masterpieces are the final stage of.

27
DEGREES ALL YEAR ROUND
350
BOTANICAL SPECIES
1000
BUTTERFLIES

Beyond their undeniable aesthetic quality, the observation of tropical butterflies draws us into an extremely interesting and largely unknown realm: that of the tropics. On that matter, the Naturospace Butterfly House will astound you beyond your imagination. As soon as you enter the tropical forest area, the damp equatorial climate takes you by surprise. Then the variety of plants, their shapes, their lushness, carries you very far away, beyond the seas. And the discovery does not end there since around the corner of the footpath lie many reasons to be surprised and amazed. So then, are you ready to go on a great journey to the Equator? Then welcome to the Naturospace Butterfly House, a zoo unlike any other to spend a very special weekend in Honfleur, Normandy…

My first contact with the tropical rainforest was in Guiana, over twenty years ago. Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport had not yet been remodelled to its present state, you used to step off the plane straight onto the tarmac. I remember how I felt when the plane doors opened and this dense humidity laden with distinctive scents enveloped me, contrasting with the cabin’s cold and dry air conditioning. Then this completely exotic vision when getting off the plane, from the intense light, the red lateritic soil and already, just waiting, the forest with all its mysteries, its legends, its promises of infinite discoveries. While the Amazonian forest cannot be approached effortlessly, it is well worth it, I was never let down. I had the huge privilege of exploring several of its innermost corners up to the borders of Brazil and Suriname in the Tumuk Humak range, where mountains do not yet have names but numbers…

Benoît DAMICO, Director and Founder of the Naturospace Butterfly House

HISTORY OF THE GLASSHOUSE

In 1992, Benoit Damico was given the opportunity of reconciling his passion for nature and animals with his career, and developed a business involving the import and marketing of chrysalises for glasshouses presenting butterflies throughout Europe.

Subsequently, for four years, he took over the management of a butterfly house in Vannes. It was on this occasion he once again tackled the job of running a tourist site.

Benoit Damico created the “Sarl Emeraude” (Limited Liability Company) in French Guiana to develop a chrysalis farming activity. It was once again in Guiana that he took part in scientific expeditions over several weeks, during which he enjoyed full immersion in the unexplored southern forest (the Kailawa expedition in 2004, the Marouini expedition in 2006). Over the course of his many trips to Guiana, he developed his knowledge of the Amazon rainforest environment. Nowadays, he shares his passion with the general public with the help of several associates who are specialists in their respective fields. In 1998, he built the Naturospace Butterfly House in Honfleur, which he runs with the support of an especially committed team. The activity and its results have been in constant progression ever since it opened

The Naturospace Butterfly House is:

  • A 14,000 ft² building featuring a 10,764 ft² tropical glasshouse. A screening room which can seat 50 people, a modular area to host temporary exhibitions, a themed gift shop,
  • On average, a 45 to 60-minute visit,
  • Open daily 10 months a year, without exception, and closes annually for two months in December and January, so that major maintenance work may be undertaken.
  • A team of 5 people employed under open-ended contracts, plus 1 or 2 seasonal workers,
  • Over 80,000 visitors yearly,
  • Simultaneously, a maximum capacity of 250 people,
  • 15,000 that come to life before the eyes of visitors each year,

A “Normandie Qualité Tourisme” (“Normandy Tourism Quality”) label since 2002, a right to use the “Qualité France™” trademark.

Naturospace serre tropicale Honfleur vue aérienne