Top 5 dive sites for beginners at Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

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

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.

Discover a new world

The excitement of planning a holiday is one of those pleasures many of us look forward to as we step into the new year.

Whether you’re thinking about where to go on your honeymoon, looking for somewhere to escape to with your loved one, or simply want to discover somewhere new, here are some photos to inspire you.

Presidential villa at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Presidential villa at Ephelia, Seychelles

 

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

 

Beach at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Beach at Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Coming home to nest – Turtle Watch Lémuria

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

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.

Find out more

 

Tsarabanjina – a special garden in the Indian Ocean

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, Madagascar

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.

Find out more

 

Food for thought

Foodies looking for new and exciting culinary experiences will find what they’re looking for in Mauritius.

Asian tapas, Constance Le Prince Maurice

Asian tapas, Le Prince Maurice

The restaurants at Le Prince Maurice and Belle Mare Plage epitomise Constance’s culinary spirit combining traditional haute cuisine with the flavours and spices of the Indian Ocean.

Our menus are based around the very freshest local produce, whether it be fish caught that day or herbs and spices grown on the island. Across our restaurants we then prepare these delicacies using a variety of local and international culinary traditions.

Guests can indulge their taste for European fine dining one evening and then shake things up with a traditional Mauritian beach barbecue the next.

At Le Prince Maurice highlights include:

  • L’Archipel – Chef Michael Scioli celebrates local Mauritian cuisine with his lunchtime barbecues and light, spice-infused evening menu.
  • Le Barachois – One of the most romantic restaurant in the Indian Ocean floating on pontoons on the lagoon, diners can enjoy fresh-from-the-sea seafood cooked in local herbs and spices.
  • Laguna Bar – fans of Asian food should visit the new Asian Tapas Corner where Chef Li Junwei prepares the freshest sushi, noodles and dim sum.

At Belle Mare Plage diners can experience:

Crab curry, Deer Hunter restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Crab curry, Deer Hunter restaurant

  • La Spiaggia – the finest Mediterranean cuisine cooked in the classic traditions of France, Italy and Spain. Once a week La Spiaggia hosts a lobster menu offering a variety of lobster dishes.
  • Deer Hunter – a celebration of Mauritian cuisine. Chef Rajesh Payanandee uses traditional recipes and cooking techniques to create a taste of Mauritius for his guests.
  • Blue Penny Café – the epitome of fine dining, head chef Frederic Goisset sets the culinary standard extremely high with his creation of elegant dishes, beautifully presented. He also frequently opens his kitchens to Michelin-star chef’s from around the world.
Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival

 

In March every year Belle Mare Plage attracts foodies from around the globe to the famous Bernard Loiseau Culinary Festival. Six European Michelin-starred chefs compete in teams alongside Constance chefs to create award-winning dishes using only local produce.
Our chefs are given the opportunity to work alongside these European masters, watching and learning from the best of the best. In return the European chefs return to Europe with a hint of Mauritian spice they’ve learnt from us.

Festive fun for all

Enjoy a luxury Christmas in the Indian Ocean and let us lavish you with fine wine, food and treats aplenty.

Beach at Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Beach at Lemuria

At each of our resorts, we’re planning all manner of festive cheer. Here’s a glimpse of what’s on offer this December.

Constance Lémuria
This Christmas we’re celebrating the ‘legend of Lémuria’, inviting guests to explore the story which first inspired our hotel. For those who want to combine Indian Ocean relaxation with some of the traditions of Christmas there will be carol singing on Christmas Eve before the grand arrival of Santa Claus by helicopter on Christmas Day.

New Year’s Eve will be a treat for the senses with a gala dinner for all guests followed by a live performance by US soul singer May Palmer and fireworks on the beach at midnight.

Other highlights at Lémuria will include:

  • Legend pink champagne and frangipani welcome
  • A magic of the sea buffet
  • Takamaka barefoot happy hour exotic cocktails
  • Ocean waves treatment at the Spa de Constance
  • Tree and flower planting for kids at our Turtle Club

Constance Ephélia

Cyann restaurant, Constance Ephelia, Seychelles

Cyann restaurant, Ephelia

Indulge your taste buds at Ephélia with a wide variety of festive culinary treats including Michelin-starred Indian cuisine from visiting Chef Vineet Bhatia. For Christmas dinner choose from a special Christmas menu at Cyann or a try a traditional Italian Christmas at Helios.

Open throughout the festive season, our kids’ Gecko club will run a range of festive activities designed specifically for each age group from toddlers to teenagers. If you’re looking for family adventure why not discover the island together by mountain bike, take one of our treks or kayak through the mangroves.

And once you’ve had your fill of Christmas fun lie, back and relax with some of our detox treatments and de-stressing massages at the Shiseido Spa at Spa de Constance.

Other festive treats include:

  • Champagne cocktails at Zee Bar on New Year’s Eve.
  • Wine tasting and special wine dinners.
  • Learn about the local culture through classes in dance, music, cooking and even cocktails.
  • Rise and shine yoga on the beach.
  • Daily tortoise feeding.

Constance Halaveli

Luxury service from staff at Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Luxury service at Halaveli

Join us for a Christmas eve party on the beach before dinner under the stars and dance to the sounds of our resident DJ.

Sit back and enjoy champagne cocktails before choosing whether to enjoy Christmas dinner under the stars at Meeru Beach or to join the festive fun at Jahaz.

Other treats for Christmas and New Year include:

  • Night beach cinema for when you want to lie back and relax.
  • Culinary treats – executive chef, Glen Cooper, has created themed menus including a delectable lobster feast, and wine tasting with head sommelier, Cedric Jacob.
  • Champagne cocktail New Year’s Eve party and dancing on the beach til dawn to a live Maldivian band.
  • Special festive spa treatments from Valmont, Ila and Spa de Constance.
  • Daily events at our Kids Club from mini-Olympics to pirate treasure hunts and meeting Santa.

Constance Moofushi

Champagne bar on the beach at Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Champagne bar on the beach at Moofushi

On Christmas Eve the whole family can join us for a festive treasure hunt and kids’ party before the adult fun begins with a beach cocktail party.

Choose how you want to enjoy your Christmas dinner from the relaxed ‘back to childhood’ buffet at Manta or a more traditional Christmas Eve menu at the elegant Alizée. Then head to the beach for barefoot dancing and music, hosted by resident DJ Sanjeewa.

Other festive highlights include:

  • A movie for all the family on the beach
  • A Petanque tournament
  • New Year’s Eve cocktail party on the beach
  • A choice of New Year’s Eve gala buffet at Manta Restaurant or a special New Year’s Eve Menu at Alizée
  • A New Year’s Eve party on the beach including a champagne raffle with a star prize of a week’s stay at Constance Moofushi
Mauritius
Spa for children at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Spa for children at Le Prince Maurice

We also have a host of festive events taking place at our 2 luxury resorts in Mauritius,  Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice.

See out the old year and bring the new one in with a bang at Belle Mare Plage. From a personal visit from Santa Claus on Christmas day to a Tropical New Year’s Eve party on the beach there is something for everyone no matter what your age.

Highlights for the festive season include:

  • Kids Christmas card making and tree decoration
  • Christmas buffet at La Citronnelle
  • Champagne, oysters and urchins evening at La Spiaggia
  • Kid’s New Year’s Eve disco
  • New Year’s Eve beach party with fireworks at midnight.

Read more about the Island romance of Mauritius.