Touted as one of the hippest destinations for 2013, Madagascar has long lured travellers to its shores in search of undiscovered lands and unique wildlife.
Organ Pipes, Madagascar
Nowhere is the terrain so dramatic as on the Mitsio archipelago. Largely uninhabited, this collection of small islands off the north-west coast of Madagascar are accessible only by boat, and the stunning volcanic landscape makes them well worth the journey.
From Constance Tsarabanjina, the only luxury resort in the archipelago, take a short boat ride to Nosi Mitsio to see the island’s breath-taking columns of basalt. The hard, dark rock was formed by lava cooling quickly following volcanic activity millions of years ago.
Known as The Organ Pipes, the hexagonal basalt towers reach 20 meters in height and make a spectacular natural feature. The area is also a great place to search for fossils with sedimentary rocks pushed up and out of the sea containing fossilised remains dating back 400 million years.
Constance Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius is the very last word in elegant luxury. From the warm friendliness of our staff to the serene romantic restaurants and accommodation everything is designed to give guests the ultimate holiday experience.
Those who want something more active will find Le Prince Maurice a grown-up’s playground with two 18-hole golf courses, a fully equipped gym with a range of classes, water-sports and the Indian Ocean to explore.
For some romance is fine dining at a table for two under the stars while for others it is mastering a new skill together: cooking haute cuisine, wine tasting, dancing or even scuba diving.
At Le Prince Maurice we offer you the luxury and indulgence to create your own experiences and we know they’ll be memories you’ll keep forever.
Video of Constance Le Prince Maurice
Watch our video to discover more about what it’s like at Constance Le Prince Maurice.
The waters off the Madagascan island of Tsarabanjina are the perfect place for beginners to explore the beauty and wonder of the Indian Ocean.
Lion fish at Madagascar
Here is our list of the top 5 dive sites for beginners in Madagascar.
1. South Beach – This vibrantly colourful dive is ideal as a first dive or to build up your confidence. Departing from the east end of South Beach it follows a wall of rock over gradually descending sand before you arrive at a stunning coral reef. The maximum depth is 10 meters.
2. The Two Sisters – Close to the hotel this dive is named after a pair of vertical rocks which play host to an array of soft corals and fish including the common sight of turtles swimming by. This dive is so gentle that it is often dived at night. Maximum depth 14 meters.
3. Akio Reef – This is a fantastic wall-dive for beginners because at 12 meters it is not very deep. The wall provides the perfect environment to see a wide variety of big pelagic fish such as king fish, king mackerel, large groupers and even white tip reef sharks.
4. Kasimo – This 2km stretch of magnificent coral reef is a breath-taking treat for the beginner diver. Although it is considered slightly technical because of its beautiful caves and occasional currents, it is well worth it to see the vibrantly coloured corals and sea life. Highlights include sweet-lips, red and yellow snapper and fusiliers among many others. Considered perfect for all levels the maximum depth of this dive is 12 meters.
5. The Tétons – Perfect for beginners of open water diving these two large rocks mark the location of a stunning reef. Comprised of beautiful soft and hard corals, the reef features a variety of caves and swim-through tunnels to explore as well as a plethora of large spade fish, groupers, turtles, blue spotted rays, lobsters and many large pelagic fish. Dived as a drift dive the maximum depth is 22 meters.
At Constance Lémuria there is more to celebrate this month than Christmas, for December is the peak of the turtle-nesting season.
Baby turtles at Constance Lemuria, Seychelles
The endangered hawksbill and green turtles return year after year to our quiet, idyllic beaches on the island of Praslin in the Seychelles between October and February. This season our Turtle Manager has already had four nests of turtles hatching out.
Each female turtle can lay up to a thousand eggs a season, returning to the beach to lay as many as five times and laying up to 200 eggs at a time.
Monitoring turtle activity
At Lémuria we monitor each nest and each turtle to ensure their safety. We will continue to watch the nests for the next two months until all the eggs have hatched.
Under the supervision of our Turtle Manager, guests at Lémuria can have the unique experience of watching the females come up on the beach to lay and later see the baby turtles move down to the sea.
Our Turtle Preservation Programme, run alongside the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles and with support from the local community and hotel guests, is crucial to the survival of these beautiful creatures. Ask at the resort to find out more about our nesting turtles.
Madagascar has always been a land of promise to travellers attracted by the island’s unique natural environment. The lush tropical forests of Tsarabanjina hold many magnificent prizes for nature lovers.
Traveller’s Palm, photo taken by Fabrice Rose
Highlights amongst its exotic flora include:
The Traveller’s Palm – No-one is quite sure of the origin of this nickname for the ravenala madagascariensis. One theory says that it was considered a gift for thirsty travellers because of the rainwater held in its stems. Another theory says its name came from the fact that its fans tends to grow in an east-west direction making it a crude compass for lost travellers. In fact the plant is not even a true palm but a member of the bird-of-paradise family with similar white flowers.
Vanilla – Not indigenous to the island, vanilla has become one of the island’s most important exports, its lush, tropical climate making it ideal for growing the beautiful, fragrant plant. In order to harvest the prized pods growers can wait up to 5 years for the vine to mature and flower.
Pachypodium – this thick green spiny tree is related to group of succulent spine-bearing trees and shrubs native to Africa and belongs to the dogbane family.
Come and stay with us on Tsarabanjina and let our expert guides show you around this beautiful island and introduce you to these and other fascinating species on a series of guided walks.