Discover the exotic birds of Madagascar

Famous for its unique wildlife Madagascar has always attracted visitors keen to discover rare and exotic plants and animals. Here we take a look at the extraordinary birds of Madagascar.

Madagascar Fishing Eagle

Madagascar Fishing Eagle

Madagascar Fish-Eagle

The large Madagascar fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vociferoides) is the largest raptor in Madagascar and is one of the rarest birds of prey.

The body is a dark reddish-brown with dark brown wings. Its cheeks and throat are a whitish colour while its short tail is pure white.

The juvenile Madagascar fish-eagle has streaks on its head and pale fringes to its flight feathers. Its underparts are paler and tail darker than the adult’s. It hunts near or over water and often perches for long periods on tall trees.

The Madagascar fish-eagle has a melodious call, similar to the closely related African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer).

Madagascar Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher

The Malagasy Kingfisher or Madagascar Kingfisher (Alcedo vintsioides) is a member of the Alcedinidae family. It is found in Madagascar, and Mayotte (Comoros). Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.

The Malagasy Kingfisher is found in all types of wetlands, as well as along the island’s coastline. Both sexes are similar.

White throated rail

The Aldabra rail is the last surviving flightless bird in the western Indian Ocean.

It has a slender build with a long, fairly slender neck, legs and feet. The plumage is well defined, being largely bright chestnut except for the striking white throat.

The fairly long, straight bill is dark with, in females, a bright pink base, and in males, a dull or dark red base. Juveniles generally have duller plumage than adults.

Being a flightless bird, the wings are short and are often held close to the body where they blend in with the rest of the plumage.

Many consider the Aldabra rail a subspecies of the white-throated rail (Dryolimnas cuvier).

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher

The symbol of Constance Tsarabanjina, the Malagasy Paradise Flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine, measuring 18cm in length and weighing about 12.2g.

Males have long tail plumes, which can add as much as 18cm to their overall length.

The female is largely rufous orange, with a black head and nape. The flight feathers on her wings are black with rufous edges, and she has a thin, light blue eyelid wattle.

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Beautiful luxury swimming pools in the Indian Ocean

Looking for some poolside luxury? Here’s a glimpse of the stunning swimming pools that sit at the heart of our hotels and resorts in the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius:

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius:

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles:

Constance Lémuria

Constance Lémuria

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles:

Constance Ephélia

Constance Ephélia

Constance Halaveli, Maldives:

Constance Halaveli

Constance Halaveli

Constance Moofushi, Maldives:

Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi

Recipe: Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Seychellois spices and tropical fruits combine to bring out the delicious flavour of duck in this popular recipe from Constance Ephelia.

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Duck legs and roast pineapple, smoked bacon

Ingredients

The meat:

  • 8 duck legs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5g honey
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 1 litre duck stock
  • 1 long pepper

1. Prepare, trim and season the duck legs with salt and pepper.

2. Brown them in a cast iron pan with a little oil, adding the garlic, cinnamon stick, long pepper, chopped onion and cloves. Let it all sweat for 5 minutes.

3. Take the grease off and add the honey, deglazing with the soy sauce and moistening with the duck stock.

4. Boil it and skim off the impurities. put the lid on and put it in the oven at 160˚C for about an hour and a half.

5. At the end of the cooking, take the meat out and reduce the braising liquid to three-quarters in order to obtain a syrupy sauce.

6. Put the duck legs in the sauce and keep them hot.

The garnish:

  • 2 Victoria pineapples
  • Dark Muscovado sugar
  • 200g smoked bacon/lard
  • 4 medium onions
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • Five Pepper Mixture: as required
  • Flat leaf parsley

1. Boil the smoked bacon/lard for an hour. Drain it and set it aside.

2. peel and cut the pineapple into quarters and trim the ends. Put the trimmings in a juicer to obtain some fresh juice.

3. Heat the Muscovado sugar in a pan, caramelise them in a pan, salt the quarters and deglaze them with pineapple juice. Then glaze them once more with some good juice. Store them.

4. Cut the onions into quarters, caramelise them in a pan, salt them and moisten them with the chicken stock and put them in the oven at 160˚C for about 25 minutes. Store it all.

5. Fry the parsley sprigs and set them aside.

Finishing and presentation

Put two duck legs on each plate. Add two pineapple wedges, two pieces of smoked bacon and reduce the braising liquid and finish off with the mixture of five peppers and fried parsley.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Bold dry white wine:

  • Alsace Sonnenglanz Grand Cru, Trapet Gewurtztraminer, 2007 France
  • Hermitage blanc, Domaine Marc Sorrel, 2005 France

The best hidden beaches in the Indian Ocean

Discover the utter joy of stumbling upon a stretch of unspoilt beach where you don’t have to compete with the crowds.

Anse Georgette, Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Anse Georgette, Constance Lémuria

Here’s our rundown of five of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the Indian Ocean.

Anse Georgette – Seychelles, Praslin

The beautiful, secluded beach of Anse Georgette on the northwest of Praslin delivers the Seychellois dream of white sand and calm crystal waters shaded by lush green foliage. The beach can’t be reached by car – to access it you walk through the golf course of Constance Lémuria – so there are never too many visitors and the reward for your effort is a pristine beach with very few people.

Trou d’Argent – Rodrigues

If you’re looking for that genuine Robinson Crusoe feeling then you’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere more deserted than the stunning Trou d’Argent beach on the island of Rodrigues. The island itself is a remote haven lying 600km to the east of its sister island Mauritius, connected by an inter-island flight twice a week.

Betania Beach – Madagascar

The laid back vibe of the Madagascan region of Morondava makes this beach overlooking the Mozambique Channel one of the most chilled out beach venues in the Indian Ocean. The beach stretches for miles and the only things you will be sharing it with are some local livestock.

Trou d’Argent, Rodrigues

Trou d’Argent, Rodrigues

Anse Lazio – Seychelles, Praslin

Anse Lazio is another stunning beach off the beaten track on Praslin. Lazio has a road and even a couple of restaurants but its situation at the top of the island, off the main roads, means this is still a quiet spot. Trip Advisor recently declared this the best beach in Africa – head there now before the rest of the world gets in on the action.

Gris Gris – Mauritius

The south of Mauritius is home to the most dramatic and quietest beaches on the island. The one that tops the must-go list is the breathtakingly beautiful Gris Gris. From the cliffs above you can look down to the wide stretch of sand below, and the huge waves as they pound the shore. It’s not safe to swim in the water due to the currents, but take a gentle walk along the shell-filled beach and shoreline, and feel your spirit soar.

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New General Manager Bruno Le Gac brings passion to Constance Lémuria

New General Manager at Constance Lémuria, Bruno Le Gac brings his passion for warm hospitality and impeccable service to his role at the luxury hotel in the Seychelles.

Bruno Le Gac, General Manager at Constance Lémuria

Bruno Le Gac, General Manager at Constance Lémuria

Bruno joins Lémuria from his position as Resident Manager of Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.

He describes his decision to leave Mauritius as a chance to begin a new adventure in the Seychelles. ‘After more than 10 years in Mauritius it was time for me to take on a new challenge. And what a challenge… I am very happy and I feel very privileged to be in such an amazing place.’

Ultimate luxury at Constance Lémuria

With its elegantly luxurious design, 18-hole golf course and stunning location on the Seychelles island of Praslin, Lémuria is one of Constance’s ‘ultimate’ hotels and a member of the elite Leading Hotels of the World group.

‘Constance Lémuria is a legend,’ Bruno explains. ‘The site is simply unique, one of the most incredible hotel sites in the world. There is a feeling of freedom for the guest in our resort, you can walk from one place to the other, everything is close. A true hassle-free vacation.’

With more than 10 years experience working for Constance Hotels & Resorts, Bruno began his career with Constance as Executive Chef moving up to become Corporate Chef for the company.

What makes Constance different

He describes Constance as being unique in the luxury holiday sector. ‘As a Mauritian company Constance promotes the values of the legendary Mauritian hospitality.’

‘I fell in love with this company the minute I entered the gates of Belle Mare Plage some 11 years ago. It’s not a secret that we have one of the highest rates of repeating guests in the industry. Working with Constance I feel as if I am living a passionate human adventure, we are doing business with soul.’

Trends in the luxury holiday market

Now Bruno is bringing that passion to his first role as General Manager at Lémuria and he feels it’s important to keep on top of current trends in the luxury holiday market.

Sunset dinner at Constance Lémuria

Sunset dinner at Constance Lémuria

‘Guests no longer want to adapt to hotel services so our challenge is to anticipate and personalise our service to them as much as possible. Guests are also now more savvy about the good things in life – food, design, architecture and so on.

‘As a result we have to do more, faster and better, even in a tropical paradise like the Seychelles, and this requires strong organisation, lots of planning and anticipation.’

How new technology is changing travel

In the age of social media and new technology Bruno understands that a hotel needs to be the very best it can to meet the increasingly high expectations of its guests.

‘Everybody checks the internet before choosing their hotel and everyone travels with connected devices. Information is immediate and with the social media every guest is now a potential auditor, journalist, critic. Hoteliers are getting sharper because the guests are.’

The team at Lémuria

As the new General Manager Bruno is keen to welcome new and old guests to his resort.

‘We have an incredible team of professionals of more than 25 nationalities which is looking forward to welcoming you and extending the legendary Constance service.’

‘We have a pollution-free environment, no traffic jams and huge mango trees full of ripe fruits so remember, your next holiday is just a click away.’

Discover more about Constance Lémuria

A journey of a lifetime

Being stuck indoors in the heat of August can make us hanker for childhood summers when every day brought a new adventure and a chance to try something different.

Watersport at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Watersport at Constance Belle Mare Plage

This August, recreate that summer holiday feeling, revive your spirit of adventure and embark on a journey of a lifetime. Ditch the car, leave the office behind and escape on a last-minute trip abroad.

Set yourself free in the Indian Ocean

The stunning islands of the Indian Ocean are the ideal grown-ups’ playground with a climate of warm sunshine and clear waters.

Constance Hotels & Resorts in Mauritius, Maldives, Seychelles and Madagascar offer adventure and excitement a-plenty so you can rediscover the wonder of trying something new along with a host of adrenalin fuelled activities.

Revive your spirit of adventure

Reconnect with that supercharged feeling you get when you do something for the first time. Trying something new gives us a burst of energy and enthusiasm that we carry with us long after the experience itself.

Challenge yourself to try new things whether that be wine tasting in the still water off Constance Moofushi, learning traditional Seychellois dance at Constance Ephélia or learning to cook Mauritian food from our top chefs at Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Big game fishing, Constance Tsarabanjina

Big game fishing, Constance Tsarabanjina

Get your adrenalin pumping

If you’re looking for something a more fast-paced why not try pitting your wits against the ocean with some big game fishing or catamaran sailing.

Thrill-seekers will enjoy speeding across the ocean on water skis or wakeboards or letting the wind take them on windsurfs and kite surfs.

Scuba diving in the Indian Ocean

For those who haven’t scuba dived before, the adventure below the waves awaits you in reefs teeming with vibrant marine life and qualified instructors on hand to guide you.

In the waters off Constance Tsarabanjina you can discover reefs previously unexplored with a kaleidoscope of colourful marine life.

Even experienced divers can try something new with night dives available at Le Prince Maurice, Belle Mare Plage and Ephelia and heart-stopping shark dives at Moofushi and Halaveli.

Take time out for you

Rock climbing at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Rock climbing at Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

In the hectic modern world we can be so busy rushing about for other people that we don’t have time to think about our own needs. Why not make this the summer that you kick-start a new program of wellbeing for you?

For sports fans why not book a session with one of our tennis coaches or take up golf and learn from the pros at our Marc Farry Golf Academy, based on our championship golf courses in Mauritius at Belle Mare Plage and Le Prince Maurice.

Let one of our personal trainers introduce you to one-on-one yoga sessions, or learning how to meditate and breathe to create a greater sense of inner calm.

Last year the trend was for staycations, but 2013 is seeing a revival in people seeking adventure beyond their home shores. Make it the year that tried something new.

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  • Find out more about the exciting water sports at Constance Hotels and Resorts
  • Read more about the Constance fitness facilities and classes
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