Travel inspiration 2014: Madagascar

If you dream of a Robinson Crusoe-style island, deserted beaches, walks through landscapes unchanged for thousands of years and close encounters with rare wildlife then Madagascar should be top of your wish list this year.

Travel inspiration: Madagascar

Travel inspiration: Madagascar

Off the well-worn tourist trail, Madagascar remains a relatively untouched paradise with rich cultural traditions and landscapes teeming with unique biodiversity.

Madagascan landscapes

Spend time on the mainland and go trekking in the breathtaking national parks (including the dramatic UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bermaraha with its startling landscape of limestone needles) and visiting the country’s many vibrant bustling markets before heading to the beach for a little R&R.

Culinary traditions of Madagascar

In Madagascar even relaxation can feel like a cultural adventure with meals of fresh seafood still caught in the traditional way and prepared with the warm spices of the island in the same way it has been for hundreds of years.

At Constance Tsarabanjina guests will see local fishermen turning up on the beach to sell their catch to the hotel’s restaurant. Our chefs create delicious Madagascan dishes with an elegant twist.

Guests who want to immerse themselves in the island’s fishing heritage further can even take a trip on a pirogue (a traditional wooden fishing boat) and try Madagascan net fishing for themselves.

Bring home your catch and the chefs at the resort will prepare and cook it for you to enjoy in the evening.

Unique biodiversity of Madagascar

Of course, one of the main reasons people visit Madagascar is to encounter the unique biodiversity, more than 80 per cent of the flora and fauna here is not found anywhere else on Earth.

Landscapes range from tropical rainforest to spiny deserts, reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove forests. Species include the unique lemurs, endangered serpent eagle as well as rare chameleons and geckos.

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

4 Deserts race, Madagascar

This year Madagascar has been selected to host the Roving Race section of the 4 Deserts race, the world’s leading endurance footrace. In August around 250 runners from more than 40 countries will take on the island’s varied terrain racing over 250km in seven days.

Scuba diving in Madagascar

Once you’ve seen the sights on land dive in to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and discover a submarine world still largely unexplored. The relatively recent growth of tourism in the region means that much of the ocean around the island has not been dived extensively before.

Off the coast of Tsarabanjina you can be among the first to discover vibrant coral reefs, stunning sponge gardens and a plethora of colourful marine life. The many dive sites include exciting tunnels, caves, overhangs, cliff-faces and beautiful reefs, providing something for divers of all levels.

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Barefoot luxury in Madagascar: Constance Tsarabanjina

Hot on the heels of The Week naming Constance Tsarabanjina as one of the 6 best hotels in the world, here’s a glimpse inside the barefoot luxury haven.

No shoes - Barefoot luxury on the beach

No shoes – Barefoot luxury on the beach

 

Tsarabanjina's elegant Beach Villas

Tsarabanjina’s elegant Beach Villas

 

Catch the shade while relaxing in the hammock

Catch the shade while relaxing in the hammock

 

Tranquil seas

Tranquil seas

 

Barracudas swimming in the waters off Tsarabanjina

Barracudas swimming in the waters off Tsarabanjina

 

Explore the colourful coral reef

Explore the colourful coral reef

 

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

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Constance Tsarabanjina named one of the 6 best hotels in the world by The Week

Weekly news magazine, The Week, has declared the private Madagascan island hotel Constance Tsarabanjina one of the six best hotels in the world.

Constance Tsarabanjina, declared one of the six best hotels in the world

Constance Tsarabanjina, declared one of the six best hotels in the world

The magazine rounded up reviews from UK newspapers and lifestyle magazines including Harpers Bazaar, Tatler and the Sunday Telegraph to select its top six.

The piece claims that Constance Tsarabanjina, Hôtel Le Bristol, Paris, a castle in Yorkshire and three others make up a ‘selection of the most exciting places to stay in 2014’.

Based on a review in Tatler magazine, The Week describes Constance Tsarabanjina as a ‘honeymoon haven’ and ‘barefoot luxury at its best’.

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Cocktail: Tongasoa fresh juice

A new year offers the opportunity to turn over a new leaf. Try our delicious Tongasoa fresh juice, a non alcoholic cocktail from Constance Tsarabanjina, that will definitely put a smile on your face.

Tongasoa fresh juice

Tongasoa fresh juice

Ingredients

  • 10 cl of passion fruits
  • 10 cl pineapple
  • 10 cl goyave
  • 2 cl grenadine
  • 7 cl mango juice
  • 1 banana
  • 2 slices of ginger

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Harper’s Bazaar describes Constance Tsarabanjina as a slice of honeymoon heaven

Harper’s Bazaar has selected Constance Tsarabanjina as one of its ‘best for honeymoon’ destinations in its January Escape supplement.

Constance Tsarabanjina - a slice of heaven as described by Harper's Bazaar

Constance Tsarabanjina – a slice of heaven as described by Harper’s Bazaar

The magazine tells its readers that the distant isle off the coast of Madagascar can’t be beaten as a secluded honeymoon getaway.

It describes, ‘The pace is slow, but the service is impeccable. Kick off your shoes as you arrive (you really won’t need them again) and dive into the ocean, surfacing for a massage, a lobster lunch and a lazy hour in your hammock watching frigate birds swoop.’

Tsarabanjina is an idyllic castaway island with a scattering of beautiful secluded beach villas so that you can play Robinson Crusoe with a dash of Constance luxury.

Enjoy the Madagascan charm of lounging on quiet beaches, diving in unexplored waters, eating seafood plucked fresh from the ocean and lovingly prepared by our chefs.

Explore an island of unique biodiversity and rich cultural history before heading back to your very own beach villa and watching the stars from your hammock.

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Recipe: Royal romazava

Romazava is an emblematic dish of traditional Madagascan cuisine. At Constance Tsarabanjina, its preparation is similar to a ritual, and no one is supposed to distract the chef when he is getting it ready. A dish for sharing and generosity, to be enjoyed with friends.

Royal romazava

Royal romazava

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The meat:

  • 300g pork loin
  • 300g stewing beef
  • Black pepper: as required
  • 10g garlic puree
  • 20g ginger puree
  • 10g flour
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • Peanut oil
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt/pepper

1. trim the pork loin and cut it into cubes and brown it with a little oil. Add the garlic and ginger purees.

2. Let it sweat for another 5 minutes, then pour half a litre of water over it and cook it covered for 45 minutes.

3. In a casserole, bring the seasoned sautéed beef back to the heat. add the tomato concentrate and coat the meat. Let it all cook for 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle it with flour and cover it with water. Stir the fresh tomato chopped into pieces, the bouquet garni and the black pepper. Cover and cook it for 2 hours, preferably on a real fire with glowing embers.

The garnish:

  • 300g white rice
  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 banana tree leaf
  • Salt

1. Cook the rice. Chop the tomatoes and season them with salt and coriander.

Finishing and presentation

Cut the banana tree leaf into a square and place the different meats on top. serve the rice and tomatoes separately. For a more traditional result, serve everything in a stew-crock or cast iron pot.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Light and fruity red wine:

  • Upper Hemel En aarde, Newton Johnson. “D”, Pinot Noir, 2009 South Africa
  • Côtes du Marmandais Elian Da Ros, “Le vin est une fête”, 2009 France