The Indian Ocean is home to a large variety of fascinating islands featuring Creole, African, Indian, Chinese and French heritage. On this spectacular island journey we visit five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, starting in Madagascar, often referred to as the Eighth Continent, due to the island’s legendary unique flora and fauna. We explore Mauritius and Rodrigues, islands containing white beaches, quiet fishing villages, fabulous botanical gardens and a fascinating colonial past. We continue to the island of Reunion, which features one of the world's most accessible active volcanoes, emerald forests, tumbling waterfalls and awesome mountainous landscapes. Our journey concludes in the Seychelles, an archipelago offering stunning beaches, marine parks and natural reserves filled with endemic species that are easy to approach.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Rainforests of the Atsinanana, Madagascar|
|2.||Aapravasi Ghat, Mauritius|
|3.||Le Morne Cultural Landscape, Mauritius|
|4.||Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island, Reunion|
|5.||Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles|
|Tour Duration||:||19 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||06 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Antananarivo (MADAGASCAR)
Antananarivo, the capital of the large island of Madagascar, is ideally connected with many cities including Nairobi, Johannesburg, Paris, Seychelles, Mauritius, etc. Upon arrival at Antananarivo, we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Palissandre Hotel, Antananarivo (1 night)
Day 02: Antananarivo/Andasibe/Mantadia National Park (Drive)
We tour Antananarivo, driving to the upper town to see the Queen's palace. In the Malagasy, "Rova" is the symbol of the Merina Kingdom. Sitting on the top of the tallest hill of Antananarivo, it offers a spectacular view of the administrative quarter and its surroundings. We then drive down to the Independence Avenue and the Anosy Lake. Here we get a good picture of the diverse ethnic communities, before we take a scenic drive to Marozevo. We visit the famous exotic farming centre of Mr.Pereyras where we see almost all the chameleon species of Madagascar, as well as butterflies, lizards, snakes, bats and other interesting animals. Then we proceed to Mantadia National Park, part of the Rainforests of the Atsinanana* - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overnight: Hotel Vakôna Forest Lodge, Mantadia National Park (1 night) (B, D)
Day 03: Mantadia National Park/Andasibe/Antananarivo (Drive)
Today we visit the two areas of the National Park. These relict forests are critically important for maintaining ongoing ecological processes necessary for the survival of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity, which reflects the island’s geological history. Having completed its separation from all other land masses more than 60 million years ago, Madagascar’s plant and animal life evolved in isolation. We look out for the Indri, the biggest lemur species in the world, which communicates though calls that can be heard as far away as 4 kilometers. Later we drive back to Antananarivo.
Overnight: Palissandre Hotel, Antananarivo (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Antananarivo/Nosy Be (Flight)
Another short flight from Antananarivo and we arrive in a completely different world, Nosy Be in the northern tip of Madagascar. Upon arrival at this small airport, we are met and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free to relax around town and enjoy Madagascar’s most popular beach.
Overnight: Nosy Be Hotel, Nosy Be (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: Nosy Be
The Nosy Be area is famous for its natural beauty and today is spent exploring the sites. An interesting day ahead as we start with a day excursion of Lokobe, a typical fishing village situated in the middle of an Ylang-Ylang Plantation in the south east part of the town. From here, we take a short boat trip by a Pirogue canoe, crossing to the Beach of Lokobe (only reachable by boat). Take an easy guided walking tour in the tropical forest to discover the fascinating fauna and flora, while searching for lemurians, chameleons, boas and much more. A nearby fishing village gives us an opportunity to meet the local folks. (B, D)
Day 06: Nosy Be/Plaisance (MAURITIUS) (Flight)
Our next island destination is the well-known island of Mauritius. The flight from Nosy Be will take us first to Antananarivo to connect with the international flight to Plaisance International Airport in the island of Mauritius. Upon arrival, we are cordially welcomed and transferred to our beach hotel. Balance of the time is free.
Overnight: Preskil Beach, Mahe (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 07: Mauritius
With several stops to see local life as well as scenic views, we will cover the island of Mauritius in our exploration today. We learn about the history of Mauritius, the variety of people and their origins, as well as their mixed culture and languages. Visit the buildings of Aapravasi Ghat* in the district of Port Louis, among the earliest explicit manifestations of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history starting in 1834. We also explore the Le Morne Cultural Landscape*, a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius. Protected by the isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. (B, D)
Day 08: Mauritius/Rodrigues Island (Flight)
A short flight gets us to Rodrigues Island, where we are met and transferred to our hotel. After time for independent exploring, we are in for a treat, as we join the locals for a sumptuous dinner.
Overnight: Cotton Bay Hotel, Rodrigues (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Rodrigues Island
We tour the island and discover the unique lifestyle of the island, a charming combination of simplicity, friendliness and hospitality. Rodrigues is home to several species of endemic tropical flora and fauna. (B, D)
Day 10: Rodrigues/Mahe Island (SEYCHELLES) (Flight)
An easy day as we take a flight from Rodrigues via Mauritius to Mahe Island, in the Seychelles. Upon arrival at Mahe Island, we are warmly received and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free.
Overnight: Savoy Hotel, Mahe Island (1 night) (B)
Day 11: Mahe Island/Praslin (Flight)
An early morning flight gets us to Praslin. We are warmly received and taken on tour of Praslin, a very popular island. We visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve*, which has the vestiges of a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. The famous coco de mer, from a palm-tree once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom. After the tour we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Indian Ocean Lodge, Praslin Island (2 nights) (B)
Day 12: Praslin/La Digue/Praslin (Boat)
We board a traditional schooner for a brief journey to La Digue Island. The fourth largest island in the Seychelles features spectacular formations of granite boulders. An ox-cart ride on La Digue takes us to L’Union Estate to visit copra sheds, a giant land tortoise pen and an old colonial house. Marvel at the sight of the most beautiful beach of Seychelles, Anse Source d’Argent, over a typical Creole lunch and enjoy some time to spend sunbathing or swimming before our return to Praslin. (B, L)
Day 13: Praslin/Mahe Island/Reunion Island (Flight)
Depending on the flight time, we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Reunion Island via Mahe Island. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free.
Overnight: Boucan Cabot Hotel, Reunion Island (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 14: Reunion Island
We explore the Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island*, the core of La Réunion National Park. Dominated by two towering volcanic peaks, massive walls and three cliff-rimmed cirques, the property includes a great variety of rugged terrain and impressive escarpments, forested gorges and basins creating a visually striking landscape. It is the natural habitat for a wide diversity of plants, presenting a high level of endemism. We start off with a day excursion to Cilaos, a well-known mountain resort featuring a hot spring spa. We drive via a picturesque road awed by impressive landscapes. A short walk to La Roche Merveilleuse takes us to a lookout point where we see the whole valley. We also visit with the native people and learn how they make famous embroideries, typical wine, and grow lentils. In the afternoon, we return to Saint Gilles les Bains, Reunion Island's little "Saint Tropez", then head back to our hotel. (B)
Day 15: Reunion Island/Mayotte (Flight)
Our exploration of Mayotte starts with a visit to the Plage Musical to see the largest Baobab tree on the Island. We will also discover the dense tropical forest in the heart of the Island, visit an Ylang-Ylang Plantation and end at the "Jardin Maore", where we can watch a friendly colony of lemurs living in the garden of the hotel and get another opportunity to swim with turtles.
Overnight: Jardin Maore Hotel, Mayotte (2 nights) (B)
Day 16: Mayotte
Our explorartion of Mayotte starts with a visit to the Plage Musical to see the largest Baobab tree on the Island. We will also discover the dense tropical forest in the heart of the Island, visit an Ylang-Ylang Plantation and the "Jardin Maore", where we can watch a friendly colony of lemurs living in the garden of the hotel and get another opportunity to swim with turtles. (B)
Day 17: Mayotte/Moroni (COMOROS) (Flight)
A short flight gets us to Moroni on Grand Comore Island where we are met and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is free for us to enjoy the town, featuring the history of many settlers who came to inhabit the island, including Malagasy tribes, Malay-Polynesians, Arabs, Persians and Europeans.
Overnight: Retaj Moroni Hotel, Moroni (2 nights) (B)
Day 18: Moroni
A whole different world as we tour the Grand Comoro Island. The local culture reflects the ethnic diversity, history, politics, music, dance, food, drink, arts, sports and international influences in the region. The Grand Comore island is the largest island in the Comoros nation having a population of 316,000 with an area as large as or as small as 1,148 Sq Kms. The island reflects an laid back Arab town. (B)
Day 19: Depart Moroni
After an exciting visit of the Indian Ocean Islands, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. Bestway Tours & Safaris can also arrange other exciting island journeys on the East African coast, Zanzibar Island in Tanzania and Pemba and Lamu islands in Kenya. (B)
Optional Extension: Desroches Island, Amirante Islands
We can also organize an extension to Desroches Island from Mahe, with a private air transfer. Along with the remaining Amirante Islands, Desroches had been a part of the Seychelles since it became a separate colony in 1909. On November 8, 1965, the United Kingdom split Desroches from the Seychelles to become part of the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory together with Farquhar, Aldabra and the Chagos Archipelago, but returned it to the Seychelles with the first two. The purpose was to allow the construction of military facilities for the mutual benefit of the United Kingdom and the United States. On June 23, 1976, Desroches was returned to Seychelles. Please call us for details, as prices vary according to season.
Day 01: Mahe/Desroches Island, Amirantes (Flight)
We take a private flight to Desroches Island. Upon arrival we are met and transferred to the resort. Desroches Island is an idyllic, independently owned, coral island surrounded by white sandy beaches and a protective reef. It is the ultimate island destination, with luxurious accommodation in a heavenly setting of un-spoilt beaches and lush, green forests. Conservation is paramount on Desroches. Every care has been taken in the design to protect the area’s natural history and ecology. Guests at Desroches enjoy first-class accommodation, fine cuisine, world class diving and snorkeling, luxurious spa facilities and striking scenery in total privacy and opulent style. It is the ultimate, indulgent holiday experience.
Overnight:Desroches Island Resort, Desroches Island (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 02: Desroches Island
We have a luxurious day to ourselves to enjoy quiet picnics on secluded beaches, sunset cruises with loved ones, mesmerizing encounters with captivating marine life and blissful pampering treatments in all the natural wonders and five-star luxury the island has to offer. Our experience can be as exhilarating or relaxing as we wish. (B, L, D)
Day 03: Desroches Island/Mahe (Flight)
We return by private charter flight to Mahe. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 06 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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