INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS

Off the eastern coastline of Africa lie some of the world’s most stunning island locations – a paradise of white-sand beaches, palm trees and azure waters where hedonistic pleasures seduce even the most world weary of travelers.

While all of Africa’s Indian Ocean islands offer beautiful beaches, warm clear waters and coral reefs, the differences between them ensures the constant pleasure of new discoveries.

Maldives offers unrivalled luxury, stunning beaches and an amazing underwater world . The Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.

Mauritius attracts with its rolling sugar cane fields, mountainous interior, sophisticated resorts and superb shopping.

The Seychelles is the ultimate romantic location with pristine beaches dotted with giant granite rocks and flanked by Coco-de-Mer palms.

Madagascar is exotic, extraordinary and unexpected. For the adventurous and flexible traveller it offers the island holiday of a lifetime.

Reunion Island is a true island of contrasts, ideal for those with an adventurous spirit. It has the active volcano de la Fournaise on its south coast, 27km of pristine beaches to the west, and lush mountain terrain in between.

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SNEAK PEEK - INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS

Maldives

From the moment you fly into the Maldives, the "wow" factor registers off the charts, with pearlescent palm-fringed islands glistening amidst the azure Indian Ocean. Touch down, and stay in overwater bungalows or villas lining spectacular beaches. The really startling beauty, though, is underwater, where world-class coral teems with marine mammals.

Why Maldives?


  • Unique Culture : An eclectic mix of Sinhalese, Arab and South Indian influences.
  • Culinary delights : Sampling the spicy flavours of the Maldives cuisine is an essential part of this vibrant and unique island experience.
  • Secluded Luxury : Limiting resort density to one per island, the Maldives offer the ultimate in secluded delight.
  • A stay in Paradise : With crystalline blue waters surging gently against isolated stretches of pristine white sand, the islands of the Maldives offer a peaceful sanctuary for enjoyment and relaxation.
  • Life under the Sea : Almost every resort island enjoys its own reef convenient for snorkeling, while more remote places for snorkeling and diving are easily accessible by boat.

FACTS


Area : The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 coral atolls, which are made up of hundreds of islands. It’s known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs. The capital, Malé, has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on Majeedhee Magu and 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy (also known as Old Friday Mosque) made of coral stone.

Population : 393 500

Capital : Malé

Language : Maldivian (Dhivehi)

Currency : Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR)

Weather


Climate : The Maldives benefits from its location near the Equator, which offers stable temperatures throughout the year and protection from cyclones. The climate is tropical equatorial, generally humid and warm with two Monsoon seasons. With a distance of 800 km from North to South and the Equator crossing the country, the weather conditions vary according to your location in the archipelago.

Best Travel : December - April

Rainy Season : May - November

With temperatures averaging between 23ºC to 30ºC , it is a good place to visit throughout the year.

Points Of Interest


Utheemu Ganduvaru : A historical residence where Sultan Mohamed Thankurufaan lived. Located in Utheemu, which is an inhabited island in the north of Maldives.

Biyadhoo Island Resort : A peaceful resort and considered one of the best reef houses in the Maldives PADI Dive Center, with more than 35 diving spots available in the area

National Museum of Maldives : Located at Sultan Park in Malé , which was the former palace of the Sultan of Maldives.

HP Reef : Another of the best diving sites where you can explore different kinds of superb coral reef formations and colorful fish underwater. It is a marine protected area located at the North Malé Atoll.

Mauritius

Shimmering sand beaches fringe this large volcanic island. Mountains, coral, and waterfalls offer a natural playground to be enjoyed from your base at abundant, competitively priced hotels. The whole family can make memories of a lifetime while swimming with dolphins, trekking to waterfalls, or learning more about Hindu culture.

Why Mauritius?


  • Seemingly endless miles of dazzling beaches, naturally protected by a coral reef.
  • It is a paradise for water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and deep sea fishing.
  • Experience the natural hospitality of the Mauritian people and their diverse cultural and religious background.
  • A fusion of culture and tradition, Mauritian cooking is in a class of its own.
  • A perfect honeymoon destination.
  • Excellent golf courses.

FACTS


Area : Mauritius, a volcanic island nation in the Indian Ocean, is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior encompasses Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and native fauna. The capital, Port Louis, blends foreign influences and offers sites such as the Champs de Mars horse track, the colonial Eureka plantation and 18th-century botanical gardens.

Population : 1,3 million

Capital : Port Louis

Language : English, French, Mauritian Creole

Currency : Mauritian Rupee (MUR)

Weather


Best Travel : May - Dec

Rainy Season : Jan - Feb
 

Located just 20 degrees south of the equator, Mauritius boasts a typical tropical climate, and is generally considered as a year round destination.

Points Of Interest


Le Morne Mountain : Classified as a World heritage site, a single peak encapsulates much of the history of Mauritius. The mountain was the place for slaves to escape from their masters. It has full viewpoints over the west coast and southern part of the island.

Black River Gorges National Park : A national park stretching over 6574 hectares of incredible native forests and wildlife, covering 3.5% of Mauritius’ land area and including a range of ecosystems.

Chamarel : The highest waterfall in Mauritius at 100 metres and the 7-coloured earths.

La Vanille Crocodile Park : Without doubt, the star of the show here is the crocodile, but you will also see other creatures, including giant bats, giant turtles, monkeys and a huge insect collection.

Seychelles

This otherworldly archipelago of 115 islands, set just south of the equator, is the ultimate castaway fantasy. Exuding timeless beauty, the Seychelles comprises lush wild forest that tumbles into the translucent sea. Diverse flora and fauna is endemic and protected, making it an incredible destination for wildlife encounters.

Why Seychelles?


  • The most beautiful beaches in the world.
  • A variety of activities and attractions.
  • Culinary experiences – best Creole cuisine in the world.
  • Very safe destination due to high standards of living.
  • Romantic and Relaxing – an exclusive high-end travel destination, free of mass tourism.

FACTS


Area : The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, known for its beaches, coral reefs, diving, nature reserves and rare wildlife such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Maher Island, with an international airport, is a key transport hub, home to capital Victoria, the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and white-sand beaches including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka.

Population : 92 000

Capital : Victoria

Language : Seychellois

Currency : Seychellois rupee (SCR)

Weather


Climate : Temperatures in the Seychelles are warm throughout the year with the average temperature ranging from 24ºC to 31ºC. The best months for diving and snorkeling are April/May and October/November when water temperatures can reach 29ºC and visibility regularly reaches over 30 metres.

Best Travel : Feb - Nov

Rainy Season : Dec – Jan

Points Of Interest


Anse Intendance : One of Mahé's most beautiful beaches, this small and secluded crescent of sand on the island's south coast is a favorite surfing spot thanks to its frequent big swells and wild waves.

Baie Lazare : One of the area's main tourist attractions is the neo-Gothic Baie Lazare Church, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, which provides a panoramic view of the area.

Beau Vallon : The alluring curve of glittering sand at Beau Vallon, on Mahé's northwest coast, is a magnet for both tourists and locals.

Morne Seychellois National Park : The largest national park in the Seychelles, which covers more than 20 percent of the area of Maher.

Madagascar

Madagascar ranks high on the sightseeing trail for its native biodiversity, indigenous wildlife, and pristine beaches. More than 90 percent of Madagascar’s fauna is unique to the island, such as the Ring-tailed Lemur. Trek through lush dense forests, and then recline on a hammock on remote coastline. Combining safari and beach time has never been easier.

Why Madagascar?


  • Cultural Experience - A visit to Madagascar will leave tourists with a mixture of awe and wonder upon spending time with the Malagasy people. This Island has a unique and rich cultural heritage, with fascinating and unusual tribes.
  • The unique wildlife - The country’s largest attraction is its unique collection of animals and plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth.
  • Orchids & other flora - As with its unique fauna, 80% of Madagascar’s flora is endemic to the island and has over 13,000 plant species, including all of the world’s eight baobab species (six of which are endemic to Madagascar).
  • Adventure Getaway - The Island offers all adventure enthusiasts an opportunity to take part in activities like surfing, diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, fishing, bird-watching, yachting, kayaking and even seasonal whale watching.
  • Pristine beaches - Madagascar’s beaches are probably one of the undiscovered secrets of the Indian Ocean. You can choose between Nosy Be or one of the northern islands, Ile Sainte Marie or the southern beaches near Ifaty or Fort Dauphin.

FACTS


Area : Madagascar, a huge island nation off the southeast coast of Africa, is home to thousands of animal species – like lemurs – found nowhere else, plus rainforests, beaches and reefs. Near the busy capital, Antananarivo, is Ambohimanga, a hillside complex of royal palaces and burial grounds, as well as the “Avenue of the Baobabs,” a dirt road lined by massive centuries-old trees.

Population : 22.5 million

Capital : Antananarivo

Language : Malagasy

Currency : Madagascar Ariary (MGA)

Weather


Climate : Because of its geography, Madagascar's climate is highly variable. Generally, Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cooler, dry season from May to October.
The east coast is the wettest part of the country and thus home to the island's rainforests. This area is also hit periodically by devastating tropical storms and cyclones.
The central highlands are considerably cooler and drier, and are the location of much of Madagascar's agriculture, especially rice.

Points Of Interest


Ile Sainte Marie : The island lies off the east coast of Madagascar and its array of protected bays and inlets drew pirates to Ile Sainte Marie during the 17th and 18th centuries. The wrecks of several pirate ships can still be viewed from the shallow waters of the Baie des Forbans. The still, clear waters of the island’s bays make ideal spots for snorkeling. Migrating humpback whales visit the island waters during summer and early fall.

Isalo National Park : Notable for is varied terrain. Located in the central southern region of Madagascar, the park includes areas of grassland, steep canyons and sandstone formations, all dotted by occasional pools lined by palm trees.

Tsingy de Bemaraha : The word “tsingy” refers to the pinnacles that dot the park’s limestone plateau. Located near the country’s west coast, the park features a broad expanse of mangrove forest. The park is home to seven lemur species, including the Deckens Sifaka, a genus of lemur notable for its creamy white fur and black face.

Nosy Be : Tranquil beaches, clear turquoise waters and excellent seafood restaurants on the sands, serving seafood dinners.

Reunion Island

What is considered by some to be the very best of France is encapsulated this Indian Ocean French colony. Set apart from other regional islands, Réunion features spectacular topography, with soaring volcanic massifs and peaks. Climb Piton de la Fournaise volcano, or simply indulge in enjoyment in coastal cities, sampling Creole delights.

Why Reunion Island?


  • Discover La Fournaise, an active volcano, and the sheer diversity of landscapes.
  • Cuisine – taste sensations from a melting pot of different cultures.
  • 42% of the island is a protected national park.
  • Extreme sports in Nature – including canyoning, rafting, hiking, aquatic whitewater and paragliding, ultralights and climbing.

FACTS


Area : Réunion Island, a touch of France in the Indian Ocean, is known for its volcanic, rainforested interior, offshore reefs, beaches and Creole culture. The active Piton de la Fournaise volcano, its most iconic landmark, rewards climbers with sweeping views from its rim. Piton des Neiges, a massive extinct volcano, and Réunion’s 3 cirques (calderas), natural amphitheaters formed by collapsed volcanoes, are also climbing destinations.

Population : 845 000

Capital : Saint-Denis

Language : French

Currency : Euro

Weather


Climate : Reunion Island benefits from a tropical climate softened by the breezes of the Indian Ocean. The sun shines all year round, especially in the north, west and south of the island. The wide variety of microclimates in Reunion means that one can be soaking up the sunshine by the sea in the morning and be taking in the cool mountain air in the afternoon, and all this without having to travel far.

The year is divided up into two long periods: the warm and humid season, from November to April, and the fresher and drier season which runs from May to October.

Best Travel : May - Nov

Rainy Season : Dec – Feb

The peak tourist season is during the French school holidays from July to early September. From October through to the New Year holidays is also busy, but after this everything eases down during cyclone-prone February and March.

Points Of Interest


Le Piton de La Fournaise : One of the most active volcanoes of the planet. This mythic volcano can be visited by helicopter or microlight planes, but the best way to discover the volcano is the hard way, trekking!

Mafate : A very uncommon village, is located almost 2000 metres above sea level. The caldera is sort of incommunicado with the rest of the world. There are no roads, no chance to come across a car or a bus, the only way to visit Mafate is by walking.

Cilaos : A world-class site to discover hidden gorges and slide down waterfalls. Famous for its impressive canyons and waterfalls where numerous extreme sports activities like canyoning (canyoneering) and rock climbing can be enjoyed.

Voile de la Mariée : This waterfall is famous for the optical illusion it produces, the falls take on the appearance of the veils of a bride!

SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE PICS FROM THE ISLANDS

#Mauritius #IndianOceanIslands
#Mauritius # IndianOceanIslands
#Maldives #IndianOceanIslands
#Maldives #IndianOceanIslands
#Seychelles #IndianOceanIslands
#Seychelles #IndianOceanIslands
The #Maldives is a great location for Whale Shark sightings.
Crystal rock, Ile aux Benitiers #Mauritius #IndianOceanIslands
Beautiful #baobab trees at sunset at the Avenue of the Baobabs in #Madagascar #IndianOceanIslands

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