On this incredible journey through both Madagascar and Mauritius there is a brilliant balance between the active and relaxed, and between the natural world (lemurs, chameleons and giant tortoises) and the marine world (dolphins, whales and snorkelling). Your journey starts in the mountains of southern Mauritius, famous for its many nature reserves, breathtaking scenery and wild nature. Following a zip line flight over the forest, tea and rum tastings, a short flight takes you to Madagascar and the rainforest reserve of Andasibe, home to Madagascar’s largest lemur, the indri. Hike the forests to spot lemurs and enjoy night walks seeking out the ghostly white shapes of chameleons. Then return to Mauritius where you may be able to spot dolphins, sperm whales and Blainville's beaked whale.
You may like to visit the ‘Seven Coloured Earths’ of Chamarel. These dunes are a very rare geological curiosity with seven distinct colours fluctuating between ochre, brown, yellow, red and purplish blue. Once mixed, they always end up being separated into a layered spectrum. You can visit the Bois Cheri Tea Plantation and sip a cup of tea before moving on to the glorious Rhumerie de Charmarel one of the most beautiful rum distilleries in the world. Try the signature cocktail La Fleur de Charmarel a heady blend of double distilled rum, cointreau, champagne and fresh strawberries. After a leisurely lunch at a recommended restaurant, you may like to visit the crocodile and giant tortoise park to stroll through the luxuriant greenery of palm trees, banana trees and giant bamboos. Don’t miss the park's rare collection of butterflies.
This morning you will be collect to set off on your half day excursion to discover the beautiful lush forests and waterfalls of Rivière des Galets by zip line. The zip line excursion involves a hint of trekking, swimming in natural clear pools and spectacular glides above the trees, river and rocks along zip lines; the longest of which is 250 metres! Round off the morning's activities with a traditional Mauritian lunch of curries, chutneys and desserts in this magical riverside location. Return to your mountain retreat for afternoon of relaxation in beautiful surrounds.
The haunting cry of the indri is an eerie alarm call as you wake to find yourself on the mist-shrouded outskirts of the Andasibe and Mantadia National Parks. You have two full days to discover the variety of lemurs, reptiles and birds that make this pocket of montane forest their home. One of its most famous inhabitants is the indri - the largest species of lemur with a black and white teddy-bear-like appearance. Other lemurs which can be seen here include the brown lemur, lesser bamboo lemur and red-bellied lemur. On night walks through the forest armed with torches and the expert eyes of your guide, you may spot some of the nocturnal lemurs - brown mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur, eastern woolly lemur and sportive lemur. Any creature that can look in two directions at once is not to be missed and you will be dazzled by the variety of chameleons you may encounter.
A host of marine-based activities are available to book locally including seasonal whale watching, catamaran cruises, spotting dolphins, snorkelling in the reefs and lunching on tropical islands. You may like to book the exclusive Baystone Lagoon Turquoise Excursion to Ambre Island for a private picnic lunch in the shade of the mangrove trees. Enjoy the hotel facilities including the heated swimming pool and spa, complete with flotation tank. The surrounding village of Pointe aux Canonniers offers a range of restaurant and bar options away from your hotel - an opportunity to savour the local flavours.
Harriet was wonderful. She quickly and efficiently listened to what I wanted to do in the countries I was planning to visit, put together a plan in a matter of days, and it was without a doubt the best international trip I've taken in my life (of approximately 30 countries). Service was excellent. Itinerary was excellent. All around a great experience in a less commonly-traveled destination.