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20 Day Indian Ocean Islands Tour
TOURCODE: OC22
Duration: 20 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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20 Day Indian Ocean Islands Tour

Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar,Mayotte
20 Days
TOURCODE: OC22

Perfect, palm fringed beaches; Praslin & La Digue day trip; Reunion, 'the Nepal of the Indian Ocean'; Remote Malagasy island of Nosy Be!; Meeting the friendly locals; Mauritius full island exploration; Piton de la Fournaise on Reunion; Off the beaten track on Mayotte

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

Imagine brilliantly bright, turquoise waters lapping on a shore of pristine white, powder-like sand. A place where island chains spread out like pearls offering a paradise to those who explore it. Beyond the idyllic postcard perfect locations, this tour provides the opportunity to explore the unique characteristics of these far flung islands within the Indian Ocean.

Many of the islands on our Indian Ocean Islands tour have a relaxed and slow paced lifestyle. Perhaps it is the isolation of island living, or perhaps it is that connection to nature. In the Seychelles, an UNESCO World Heritage Site is often referred to as the original 'Garden of Eden'. Coastal roads pass quaint coves and fishing villages to reach the beaches with huge granite boulders. Reunion offers mountain scenery and walking trails amongst one of the world's most active volcanoes, and the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot with over 90 percent of its wildlife found nowhere else on Earth, while in Mayotte, one can find sprawling beaches with soft white sand, while inland active volcanoes create fertile lands producing crops such as vanilla, ylang-ylang, coffee, banana and coconuts. Spot lemurs and giant fruit bats near the baobab trees, a tree species which appear as though the roots are growing into the sky which is endemic to Mayotte, Madagascar and parts of the African continent.

Across the Indian Ocean, one will discover populations that are vibrant and multicultural. Mauritius was first named by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages who were also the first people to visit the island. Its location on the trading route to India and Asia brought the Dutch, the French and finally the English to the island. With indentured labour from India, the country has more in common with the Indian subcontinent than its European colonizers.

All in all, an Indian Ocean Islands tour allow one to compare the countries similarities and differences all while soaking up the charms of a true island paradise.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

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The above prices are subject to an additional $480 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.

Due to the fact that hotels in the region do not offer single accommodation rates, the MANDATORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (if we fail to pair you) is 100% of the optional single supplement. FOR 2023 DATES SEE TOUR CODE MCIO

Optional Single Supplement: $2100 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $2100 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.



$1500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Seychelles
Arrival into Mahe, Seychelles (airport code SEZ).

Seemingly forgotten out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles from Africa, more than 115 islands comprise the Seychelles Archipelago. Swaying palms and deep, clear lagoons fringe this group of isles, where wildlife untouched for centuries abounds.

Seychelles is a comparatively young nation that can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the French first arrived on the islands. These islands achieved independence from Britain in 1976 and became a republic within the Commonwealth. Today, the 86,000 strong Seychelles population continues to reflect its multi-ethnic roots. Traditionally, the islands have attracted a broad diversity of peoples, including freed slaves, European settlers, adventurers, traders of Arab and Persian origin as well as Chinese and Indians.

Mahe is the largest island and is dominated by a mountain range that forms the backbone of the island. Morne Seychellois, the highest summit, offers a good backdrop to Victoria -- the capital city. The second largest island, Praslin, is famous for white sandy beaches, especially Anse Lazio, which has consistently been voted one of the world's best beaches. Of these islands, many of them constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while others form the low-lying coral atolls and reef islands of the 'Outer Islands'.

NOTE: ** Some itinerary modifications may occur closer to the departure date due to flight routing and schedule changes. Access to all of the islands we visit is restricted by flight schedules. Any schedule change or adjustment may of course impact the itinerary. The order of islands visited may change, and the number of nights on each island may have to be adjusted. We may lose one night on one island and gain a night on another. Please pack light as some of the flights within this tour have a strict 15kg per person weight limit for checked luggage.

Overnight in Mahe, Seychelles.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Seychelles: Victoria & Mahe Island Tour
Our day of discovery on Mahe Island provides us with an ideal introduction to the Seychelles' way of life. Before touring around the island we will start with a tour of Victoria -- 'the world's smallest capital'. A focal point of the town is its colourful market where stalls of fresh fish, tropical fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, are displayed in abundance. We will also visit the small National Museum dedicated to island history, nature and folklore.

After leaving the center we come to the Botanical Gardens, one of Seychelles' oldest national monuments. These gardens date back more than a century, and house a wide collection of mature, exotic and endemic plants within five acres of landscaped and beautifully maintained tropical gardens.

As we travel around Mahe you will take in the lush vegetation, plantations of coconut palms and cinnamon, and forested peaks. We will witness some unparalleled views of neighbouring islands. The Northern region of Mahe has towering granite peaks with lush vegetation, enchanting villages and splendid beaches. This area is renowned for the greatest contrast in scenery in the archipelago.

We will drive along the spectacular Sans Soucis road to the ruins of the historical Mission Lodge and discover plantations of the wild cinnamon, coffee and tea along the way. Known as Venn's town, this place is home to the ruins of the schools for the children of the freed slaves. Not far from here is the Bel Air cemetery; the final resting place of the early settlers. The splendid Morne Seychellois National Park encompasses an impressive 20% of the land area of Mahe and contains a wide variety of habitats, from coastal mangrove forests up to the country's highest peak, the Morne Seychellois (905m).

Further along our route the mountain slopes adorned by tea shrubs provide a wonderful scenic drive right through to the coast of Mahe. Situated high in the rainforest valley of south Mahe, working plantations grow a splendid variety of spices, tropical fruit trees, essential oil plants and endemic palms.

Overnight in Mahe, Seychelles.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Seychelles: Full Day Praslin Island & La Digue Island Tour
After an early breakfast we will travel by boat to explore two of the most beautiful islands of the Seychelles -- Praslin and La Digue. Our fast ferry for Praslin departs from the Inter Island Quay.

Praslin, (pronounced "Prah-lin"), is the second largest island in Seychelles (located approximately 1.5 hours by boat from Mahe). Here we will visit the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, the only place on earth where the Coco-de-Mer palm grows in its natural state. This palm has some of the longest leaves and the largest and heaviest seeds of any plant in the world. We will listen for the call of the rare Black Parrot as we walk along the tended paths of the unique high-canopied primeval forest. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is often referred to as the original 'Garden of Eden'. Several endemic palm species, as well as the Seychelles flying fox, populate this magical valley. We will drive along the coastal road past quaint coves and fishing villages to reach the famous Anse Lazio beach, with its huge granite boulders. Here we will have ample time to view the impressive granite rock formations.

While Praslin is the second largest of the Seychelles islands after Mahe, it remains a tiny outpost of tranquility where life is slow-paced and relaxed. After our morning here we will take a 30-minute ferry crossing to La Digue. La Digue is a place with impressive perfect beaches sheltered by sculptured boulders and surrounded by lush vegetation. The Seychelles were once described as akin to Hawaii and Tahiti in the 1700s, an untouched Garden of Eden, and no island could be more deserving of this description than La Digue. Small enough to explore on foot, bicycles and ox-carts ply the narrow roads. At L'Union Estate we will see the majestic plantation house. From here we will head to L'Anse Source D'Argent, one of the world's prettiest beaches!! La Digue offers a real insight into the life of the Seychellois people, and today's pace is leisurely (islanders would have it no other way!).

Overnight in Mahe, Seychelles.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Seychelles: Day Cruise of Mahe Island's Coast
After breakfast we will proceed to the harbour and board our catamaran for a day of cruising from Victoria along the northeast coast of Mahe. Our catamaran will skirt the reef edge providing us with some of the best views that the coast has to offer. This is a landscape that has remained unchanged for centuries. We will sail along beaches once frequented by pirates who would careen their ship and stock up on food and water. We pass by majestic boulders, unspoiled coves, and the last nesting beaches on Mahe of the Hawksbill turtles, a species threatened with extinction.

Our catamaran will anchor while we enjoy a mouthwatering barbecue lunch onboard. After lunch you can stretch out and relax on deck as we cruise past the picturesque Sainte Anne Marine National Park, set amid dazzling turquoise waters. This was the first marine park to be established in the Indian Ocean (1973). If the wind is fair, the captain will raise the sails and take us further from the coast.

Overnight in Mahe, Seychelles.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 5 Seychelles - Mauritius
Today we fly from the Seychelles to Mauritius. Surrounded by a tropical sea, covered with swaying fields of sugar cane, and fringed with exotic coconut palms and casuarinas -- Mauritius is truly a garden paradise.

Here the population is vibrant and multicultural. Mauritius was first named Dina Arobi by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages who were also the first people to visit the island. Its location on the trading route to India and Asia brought the Dutch, the French and finally the English to the island. The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island when they came by in the early 1500's. The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and then later abandoned it in the early 1700's. Mauritius later became a French colony in 1715, and the British took control in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country became an independent state as a Commonwealth realm in 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth in 1992.

Due to its volcanic origin, age, isolation and its unique terrain, Mauritius is home to a diversity of flora and fauna not usually found in such a small area. Before its discovery by the Portuguese there were no terrestrial mammals on the island, which allowed the evolution of a number of flightless birds and large reptile species.

Overnight in Port-Louis, Mauritius.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Mauritius: Port Louis & Pamplemousses City Tour
The capital city and main port of Mauritius, Port-Louis was constructed in 1735 by the noted French governor, Mahe de Labourdonnais. Today we embark upon a tour of Port Louis, taking in many of the city's landmarks and highlights, as this is a city rich in history and bursting with life. The city blends the island's past and present, and is a rainbow of cultures, religions and traditions. Surrounded by the Port Louis Moka Range, here one finds many well-preserved historic and colonial buildings. This is the economic and administrative center of the island.

We will visit both the Blue Penny Museum and the Mauritius Natural History Museum. The Blue Penny Museum takes in the history of the island's exploration, settlement and colonial period. Here one finds a fantastic selection of antique maps, photographs and engravings from different periods in history. A highlight of the museum collection is the 1847 Blue Penny and Red Penny stamps. These stamps were bought in 1993 for $2,000,000 by a consortium of Mauritian enterprises headed by the Mauritius Commercial Bank and brought back to Mauritius after almost 150 years abroad.

We will also visit the harbour, as well as one of the busiest places in the capital - the Port Louis market! During our city touring we will also see include the Caudan Waterfront, the Mauritian Chinatown and the old Port Louis theatre.

We will also be sure not to miss the Aapravasi Ghat -- a UNESCO World Heritage site. Aapravasi Ghat is the Immigration Depot where indentured laborers disembarked and were processed before being sent to work on the sugar estates of Mauritius. It is the most important surviving manifestation of the indentured labour system from the 19th and 20th centuries, and only 3 structures of the original site remain. This historical site is an important symbol of Mauritian identity since the ancestors of more than 70% of the present day Mauritian population arrived on the island through this immigrant depot. Aapravasi Ghat means the "Landing place of Immigrants" in Hindi.

Fort Adelaide (also known as La Citadelle), situated in a strategic location, offers a vast panorama of Port-Louis and its harbour. The British built this fortress in fear of a civil war from the remaining French settlers on the island, and also for the purpose of guarding the harbour against enemy attacks. Today we will also visit Pamplemousses Gardens -- known throughout the world for it's large collection of exotic plants. These world famous gardens were renamed Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens in 1988 in honour of the late Prime Minister. These are the oldest botanical gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, and home to an international collection of plants including many indigenous, endemic and exotic plants. The garden is most famous for its giant water lilies, spice garden and unique collection of 85 varieties of palms from Central America, Asia, Africa and the islands around the Indian Ocean.

We end our day with a visit to Eureka House. This is a unique and elegant Creole house, originally owned by British and French aristocrats in the 19th century. The mansion and its grounds provide an intriguing glimpse into colonial life.

Overnight in Port-Louis, Mauritius.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Mauritius: Full Day Island Tour
Today we will enjoy a full day of island exploration. Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Reunion and Rodrigues, the island is part of the Mascarene Islands.

We first head to Grand Bassin, a lake situated in a secluded mountain area deep in the heart of Mauritius. With its Hindu temple this is a holy lake for Mauritians of Hindu faith. The lake rests in the crater of an extinct volcano and it is said that the water inside the lake communicates with the waters of the holy Ganges of India.

We will drive through the Black River Gorges National Park, which encompasses more than 6500 hectares of the remaining native forests of Mauritius. Located in the hilly southwestern part of Mauritius, a visit here provides us with a look at the spectacular natural scenery and some of the unique endemic plant species. This is the sole national park in Mauritius. A twisting road leads to the "seven-coloured earth" of Chamarel, a geological curiosity and one of the oldest sites on the island. This is a mound of undulating land stretching in contrasting layers of colour, and it is believed to be the result from the weathering of volcanic rocks. The landscape here is truly unique!

Our day conclude with a visit to Le Morne Brabant -- a UNESCO World Heritage site. Jutting into the Indian Ocean, Le Morne Brabant is a rugged peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of Mauritius on the windward side of the island. Le Morne Cultural Landscape was used as a shelter by runaway slaves through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain's isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne.

Overnight in Port-Louis, Mauritius.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 8 Mauritius - Saint-Denis, Reunion: Afternoon Walking Tour
Today we fly from Mauritius to the French territory of Reunion.

Reunion is a ruggedly beautiful island of contrasts, a place with wild and dramatic landscapes. Sandwiched between Mauritius and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Reunion has a resolutely French identity, but remains a melting pot of cultures. Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the early sixteenth century, there is little to Reunion's recorded history. The first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorers, though it is possible that Swahili or Malay sailors may have visited the island earlier.

Reunion offers mountain scenery, walking trails, and one of the world's most active volcanoes, the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean. Three cirques (steep bowl-shaped amphitheatres) dominate the topography, and Reunion is similar to the island of Hawaii in that both are located above hotspots in the Earth's crust.

This afternoon we will enjoy a walking tour of Saint-Denis, the capital of this French overseas departement. Situated in a basin at the mouth of the Saint-Denis River, the population here is wedged between the ocean and the mountains. This was originally the main port of Reunion, but an artificial harbour on the northwest coast replaced it in the 1880s.

We will start at the Botanical Gardens where we learn about Reunion's exquisite tropical flowers and plants. The Jardin de l'Etat are historic botanical gardens that originally served as zoological gardens at their foundation in 1773 by the East India Company.

We then continue with a walk along Rue de Paris where will see the main points of interest. The Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) is considered by many to be the city's most beautiful building. We will be sure to see the Cathedrale de Saint-Denis, and the Prefecture, which was begun in 1735 and served as the East India Company headquarters. The Grand Marche is one of the main market areas featuring a variety of items for sale such as Malagasy wooden handicrafts, spices, baskets and furniture. Saint-Denis has some splendid Creole houses, often with big open varangues (verandas) and delicate lambrequins (carved wood cornices) on their eaves and window frames.

Overnight in Saint-Denis, Reunion.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Reunion: Saint-Denis - Piton Maido - Cilaos
Reunion Island can best be described as a combination of French, African, Indian, and Chinese cultures. The inhabitants of the island speak mostly French or Creole, and about three-quarters of the island's residents are Roman Catholic, though both Buddhism and Islam are represented. This is largely a society respectful of each other's diverse cultures.

We start our day by driving west along the coastal highway and then inland towards the mountain towns and heart of the island. Today is a day of ever-changing scenery: charming villages, acacia and tamarind forest, steep cliffs and dramatic views. The land encompassed by the National Park of Reunion Island has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Covering more than 40% of the island, the site was recognized for its exceptional biodiversity as well as for its stunning beauty. The area of Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island coincides with the core zone of La Reunion 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.

Soon we come to Piton Maido, with its incredible viewpoint looking down on the cirque Mafate: Here one is witness to thousands of hectares of almost untouched wilderness. The entire cirque counts only 700 citizens in 15 small villages, and is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers! From here we have a magnificent view of the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean: the Piton des Neiges, the "Peak of the Snows." (Weather permitting, of course).

We then continue back towards the coast and then onward to Cirque de Cilaos, located in the geographic heart of the island. Cilaos is the largest of the 3 cirques, and the name Cilaos comes from the Malagasy word, Tsilaosa, which means 'the place one never leaves'. This is a spectacular landscape, and the journey to get here is simply stunning! The bottom of the 1200-meter deep volcano measures 100 square kilometers, and offers a unique outline not found elsewhere on the island. The setting couldn't be more grandiose, with its volcanic peaks, deep ravines and forests that are straight out of a fairy tale.

Overnight in Cilaos, Reunion.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Cilaos & the "Wild South"
Today we depart from Cilaos and head to the south coast of Reunion where we will spend our day. Reunion’s 'Wild South' is full of lush vegetation, dark green forests contrasting with the azure blue of the ocean. This is a region where the unhurried way of life is complemented by the splendid scenery of volcanic slopes, stunning beaches, and country roads. For many, the south coast is where the real wilderness of Réunion begins to unfold.

We will explore the entire south region, from the white sand beaches of Grand Anse to the southeastern slopes of Piton de la Fournaise. St Joseph, located on the extreme south end of the island of Réunion, is the southernmost point of the European Union. The village of Manapany Les Bains is a quiet holiday spot with a natural swimming pool made from basaltic rock.

The coastal village of Cap Mechant provides stunnig views of the wild seas. This is an exceptional place where lava flows have formed a black cliff that plunges into the sea. Along our route we will witness the evidence of the most recent eruptions and lava flows on the island.

Overnight in Saint-Pierre.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 South Coast - Piton de la Fournaise - Saint-Denis
Today we head to the Piton de la Fournaise -- "Peak of the Furnace." Along our route we will cross an array of contrasting landscapes as we approach the island's still-active volcano.

The jewel of the island is Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. This is a typical example of a hot-spot volcano, and it is about 530,000 years old. Three calderas have formed over time, and numerous pyroclastic cones dot the floor of the calderas and their outer flanks. On our route we will make several stops, including a break at the Nez de Boeuf (ox's nose) to enjoy the beautiful view of the Riviere des Remparts, 1000m (3,000 ft) below. The permanent exhibition at the Maison du Volcan (Volcano House) provides visitors with information on the geological formation of the island. At the upper viewing area we will have plenty of time to walk along the rim and enjoy the spectacular views.

We later continue back towards the north coast and we travel across the heart of the island. This is another stunning region of volcanic valleys surrounded by mountains.

Overnight in Saint-Denis.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Reunion - Nosy Be, Madagascar - Lokobe Reserve
This morning we depart from Saint-Denis and say goodbye to Reunion as we fly to the island of Nosy Be at the northern tip of Madagascar. This is the largest of Madagascar's offshore islands. The name Nosy Be simply means 'Big Island', and is also often referred to as "the Perfumed Isle". The whole island is a volcanic region characterized by basaltic lava flows that have given rise to fertile soils.

Officially known as the Republic of Madagascar, this island nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands including Nosy Be. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. Home to friendly, traditional peoples with tribal cultures, Madagascar has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable tour destination.

We will travel to Ambatozavavy on the east coast where we transfer to traditional pirogues (wooden dugout canoes), in order to journey to Ampasipohy, a little village on the edge of the Lokobe Reserve. The 40-50 minute pirogue trip offers us an excellent way to experience local life and transport. Lokobe Reserve is only accessible by sea and is a haven of peace. Here we will take a guided walk through the forest zone bordering the reserve to look for, among other species, the Grey-backed sportive lemur. The jungle walk with our guide enables us to take in the beautiful sounds of nature in this primitive forest. The famous Nosy Be Panther Chameleon is present in this lowland rainforest. This is the island's last remaining stand of original habitat, known locally as Sambirano. The vegetation here is a blend of evergreen rainforest and moist deciduous forest typical of northwest Madagascar. The 740-hectare reserve is biologically significant for plants and animals found either nowhere else.

Overnight in Nosy Be.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Nosy Be: Excursion to Nosy Komba
During our time here we will tour much of the island. We will explore the coast, the central market, and enjoy the traditional scenery and local villages. Here there is just one busy town, Hell-Ville, where the roads are packed with ancient Renault taxis, zebu-carts, bicycles, tuk-tuks and pedestrians. Local shops jostle for space with local stalls that sell everything from chili peppers to mangrove crabs caked in mud. This decaying colonial town is the administrative centre of the island, as well as its main port. Beautiful restored colonial buildings along the sea promenade, some of which were built early in this century, characterize the city. In the upper part of the port, old cannons watch over the harbour. Here the sea becomes dotted with white sails when the fishermen's launches come back to port.

This morning we drive to Hell-Ville where from the main port we take a boat trip out to the nearby island of Nosy Komba -- "Lemur Island". Nosy Komba, a beautiful island located just a few kilometres away from Nosy Be, is placed 'on the map' for its population of habituated black lemurs. There are numerous coves for us to explore, as well as paths that lead through local farms and into the hills where one finds a variety of birds and chameleons.

Here we take a pleasant walk along the beach and visit a local village before walking in the forest to see the local Black lemur population. You will notice how the hills fold dramatically into the water, creating sandy coves and sheltered harbours for fishing villages. Out of the villages island life is quiet on this beautiful volcanic island.

Overnight in Nosy Be.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Nosy Be, Madagascar
Sightseeing in Nosy Be - details TBA

Overnight in Nosy Be.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Nosy Be, Madagascar - Fly to Saint-Denis, Reunion
We will have a leisurely morning before flying from Nosy Be to Reunion to connect to our onward flight to Mayotte tomorrow. You will have some free time in Saint-Denis this afternoon.

Overnight in Saint-Denis.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 16 Reunion - Dzaoudzi, Mayotte
This morning we fly from Reunion to Dzaoudzi, the capital of the French island of Mayotte.

Arabs invaded the island in the 15th century, and converted its inhabitants, who were probably descendants of earlier Bantu and Malayo-Indonesian peoples, to Islam. In the 16th century the Portuguese and French visited Mayotte. At the end of the 18th century, the Sakalava, a Malagasy tribe from Madagascar, invaded and populated the island, bringing a Malagasy dialect. The French gained colonial control over Mayotte in 1843, and, together with the other islands of the Comoros archipelago and Madagascar, Mayotte became part of a single French overseas territory in the early 20th century.

Mayotte consists of two main islands (Grande-Terre or Mahore, and Petite-Terre or Pamandzi) and several islets. The territory has been politically separate from the rest of the Comoros since the 1970s. Mayotte has inherited a very diverse culture, a richly textured fabric of African, Persian, Malagasy, European and Arab origins. Over the centuries an indigenous form of Islam has developed on the island. Passed down from the early Arab arrivals, the religion is
omnipresent in daily life. Between tradition and modernity, the society of Mayotte maintains the customary rules under the guidance of cadis, judges with the role of civil servants. Based on oral tradition, the heritage of Mayotte is not displayed visibly. The history, tales, beliefs and know-how of Mayotte culture are transmitted by the fundis, teachers who possess and pass on knowledge. Thus, fishing, animal husbandry and crop-growing make use of techniques and know-how transmitted from generation to generation.

Mayotte is ultimately "off the beaten track". During our time here we will enjoy walks through its lush vegetation where we may see lemurs and giant fruit bats going from Baobab to ylang ylang or Mango trees. The harbour of Mamoudzou, the capital, is one of the biggest and most scenic in the Indian Ocean with its bustling marina full of yachts and fishing boats.

Upon arrival we will see Dzaoudzi on Petite Terre, located opposite Mamoudzou. We will enjoy a short nature hike to a magnificent viewpoint overlooking a crater lake, and then we will travel by ferry across to Grand Terre and the main town of Mamoudzou. At the market in Mamoudzou one finds a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and spices like coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.

Overnight in Mayotte.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 17 Mayotte: Island Touring
Our time today is dedicated to exploring this island known for its stunning scenery and friendly population. One of the most interesting aspects of Mahorese culture are the bangas - quaint and colourful little houses built by adolescent men when they move out of their parents' house. This cultural process helps them to mature as they find their status in society without interference from their parents. Later, when these men find a woman to marry, they move to their spouse's home. Just a small number of these houses can be seen today.

Though French is the official language, most people speak Comorian (closely allied to Swahili). There are some villages along the Mayotte coast in which a Malagasy dialect is the main language. Agriculture is the principal occupation on Mayotte and is confined to the central and northeastern plains; cash crops include vanilla, ylang-ylang, coffee, and coconuts. Cassava (manioc), bananas, corn (maize), and rice are grown for subsistence.

We will travel around the coast and through the heart of the island. We continue to Sada with its minaret and small islet. In the islands center one finds many plantations and dense tropical forest. At the Chirongui Pass we will have wonderful overview of the bay of Boueni and Choungui peak.

At Musical Plage we will stop to see the largest baobab tree in Mayotte. Baobab trees are endemic to Mayotte, Madagascar and parts of the African continent. These are interesting looking trees with thick trunks, large fruit shaped gourds, and remarkable branches that look like the roots are on the top of the tree instead of underground. Many Baobabs are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Overnight on Mayotte.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 18 Mayotte: Lagoon Tour
After breakfast we will depart by private zodiacs* in order to discover one the largest closed lagoons in the world. Mayotte and its 1500 km2 lagoon is considered a world-class hotspot of biodiversity. With some luck we hope to see dolphins playing close to our boats. During our journey we will discover the many smaller nearby islets, including the famous 'white sand island'. Depending on the tide, it may also be possible to discover the mysterious world of the mangrove swamp.

We will enjoy lunch along a baobab-lined beach before returning back to our hotel in the afternoon

* NOTE: some of our stops will involve "wet landings," meaning that you must board/disembark by walking in shallow water (knee depth) to and from the beach/boat.

Overnight in Mayotte.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 19 Mayotte: Sightseeing Continued
We have another day exploring the beautiful island of Mayotte. Sightseeing TBA.

Overnight in Mayotte.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 20 Departure from Mayotte
Departure from Dzaoudzi (airport DZA), Mayotte.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner daily (local restaurants and hotels/lodges).

All transport, inter-island flights, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Gratuities for driver-guides, restaurant staff, porters.

Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour.

Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'.

Airport transfers for Land Only customers.

Optional trip cancellation insurance (highly-recommended for this tour).


Seasonality and Weather
Though our tour covers a huge area with several different seasonalities and climactic regimes, our September dates coincide with the best times to visit the region on average, avoiding times when monsoons can bring heavy rainfall and winds. Though we do our best to avoid the hottest times of year overall, all destinations covered are well-known for heat and humidity at the best of times.


Transport and Travel Conditions
Our inter-island travel relies on scheduled local carriers ((ie Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Air Madagascar), whose schedules can change at any time. As such, changes to our published itinerary can reflect this. Though we are usually able to deliver a program whose integrity overall remains intact, one must be prepared for some alterations, possibly at late notice.

Land transport:

MADAGASCAR: Transportation throughout is by 20-24 seat bus, perhaps smaller if groups size warrants. Roads are generally not good, some are just plain bad. Though all efforts are made to ensure that vehicles are in excellent condition, punctures and weather may cause delays and require patience.

OTHER ISLANDS: Local ground transport will be via medium size bus, mini-van, taxi, local ferry and water taxi - The roads on some islands are very poor, and travel is slow.

Our difficulty level 2 rating on this trip refers to its ambitious nature, the possibility of heat at some locations, the remoteness of some locations and basic nature of some accommodation. Flight connections may also be convoluted and occur at inconvenient times. Some reasonable level of physical fitness and steadiness on one's feet is important for the participant to fully and comfortably enjoy tour activities. Porters are available at hotels but you must be independent with your luggage at airports.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the complicated nature of this itinerary, we regret that we are not able to offer custom/private tour services for this program.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Well-located, modern, air-conditioned 3-5 star hotels on the islands. In Madagascar hotels and lodges have hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, and sometimes swimming pools.

Hotel porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited in number and likely smaller than twins.

Due to the fact that hotels in the region do not offer single accommodation rates, the MANDATORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (if we fail to pair you) is 100% of the optional single supplement.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, drivers, & local guides at various locations.


Group Size
Maximum 16 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Coral Strand Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Mahe
Country: Seychelles
Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel, showcasing a new modern luxurious design with highest quality of service, attention to detail and discretion, and providing all the facilities to the most demanding ... discerning travelers.

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to discover all Coral Strand Smart Choice Hotel has to offer from rooms that feature stylish comfort with modern facilities to unique dining pleasures.

A wide arrange of local and international dishes are available through variety of indoor and outdoor restaurants, and our guests are invited to enjoy cocktails entertainment at the Ocean Deck Pub. For those who prefer the hotels distinctive dining and entertainment services, Coral Strand offer an international buffet breakfast and local and international meals throughout the day at our restaurant, Island Trader. Our Executive Chef puts a distinctive stamp on every dish that gives them a special flavor. Romantic gourmet dinners can be arranged straight on the beach with food specialties to remember.

Our friendly environment, children’s pool, tortoise square and water sports on the beach bring to you bright emotions during the day. There is the largest swimming pool (700 sq.m.) in Seychelles available within a walking distance for the guests of Coral Strand hotel.

Fascinating ocean views and lush tropical greenery around area creates a harmonious balance of peace and tranquility.
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Hotel Juliette-Dodu
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Saint-denis
Country: Reunion
The Juliette Dodu is located in the center of Saint Denis, in the childhood home of national heroine Juliette Dodu. Built like a small creole palace, in a historical monument ... the East India Company, its charm enchants everyone. You will feel at home here.
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Vanila Hotel & Spa
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Nosy Be
Country: Madagascar
Placed on the west coast of Nosy Be, Vanila Hotel & Spa combines the comfort of international standards and authenticity of Madagascar.
Its traditional architecture and magnificent park are in
... harmony with the original landscape of the island. Its wide range of high quality services ensures comfort and safety of its guests.
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Hotel Sakouli
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Mamoudzou
Country: Mayotte
Created on a exceptional site and open towards the lagoon, the Hotel Sakouli is located on a panoramic situation on the southern coast of Mayotte.

Its green surroundings of
... beauty makes you smell the principal flowers growing on the Island : ylang ylang, different type of palm trees just like the elegent "royal palm tree", the so called "silk tree", jasmin and frangipaniers.

The 30 hotel rooms are all air conditioned, equipped with bathroom, living room and large private terrasse facing the lagoon.

2 Honeymoon room with mosquito net.

Restaurant and Bar: The chef is proposing a menu with beautiful local food : small crab mangrove with Risotto, Grilled fish, Bass coryphène as carpaccio or as sashimi, goat stew or as colombo, perfumed tomatoes…
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Gallery

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

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