"I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful." -- John Locke, ''Lost"The oceans scattered upon the Indian Ocean are truly like worlds unto themselves. So far removed from the reality of white-picketed suburbia and the concrete jungle, these paradisical havens offer respite and rejuvenation. [caption id="attachment_15376" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Map of the Indian Ocean Islands[/caption] From Madagascar’s leaping lemurs to Zanzibar’s giant sea turtles each island is unique in culture, ecosystem, and atmosphere. The one thing they have in common is those postcard-perfect beaches! We’ve uncovered the best of the Indian Ocean and are proud to present Rhino Africa’s Top 10 Lodges and Hotels in the Indian Ocean Islands.
Where? Set in subtropical gardens along Turtle Bay on the northwest coast of Mauritius. The hotel is about an hour's drive from the airport. Why? This is the ideal place to submerge yourself in the warm northcoast waters and enjoy the watersports. Get to know the local underwater population - scuba, snorkel, water-ski and fish to your heart's content. Read more about The Oberoi here.
MauritiusAny country which has the Dodo as its national bird has got to be something special. Mauritius certainly does not disappoint in this regard. As the host of not one, but two world heritage sites, powdery white beaches and just about every other tropical paradise cliché you can imagine, the survivors in Lost would have had a much better time of it if they had crashed on this desert island instead.
Where? Trou aux Biches is situated in the north of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Why? With a lush green forest at your flanks and the ocean at you door step, it doesn't get more scenic than this. Not only is the lodge a leader in luxury, but it's also eco-friendly. There's a reason Trou aux Biches is the crème de la crème of Mauritius' hideaways. Read more about Trou aux Biches here.
Where? One and Only Le Saint Geran is situated on the East Coast of Mauritius on the Belle Mare peninsula, about 55km from the international airport further south. Why? There really should be no question about why anyone would want to stay at any of the One and Only resorts. With unfaltering standards and every luxury imaginable, from an 18-hole golf course to divine spa facilities, this is like paradise within paradise. Read more about One and Only Le Saint Geran here.
Where? Anjajavy L'Hotel is nestled on the northwest tip of Madagascar, 120 km north of Majunga, near the fishing village of Anjajavy. It can only be reached by air, an hour flight from Nosy Be or 90 minutes from Antananarivo. Why? No-one ever said finding paradise would be easy. The Anjajavy hotel, is epicurean, exclusive and so far off the beaten track, it's accessible only by air. This tropical eden is thriving with life - dancing lemurs, colour-changing chameleons and rainbow printed birds. Read more about Anjajavy L 'Hotel here. Watch our video on Anjajavy L 'Hotel here.
MadagascarYou’ve seen the films, you’ve heard of the lemurs, but nothing quite prepares you for the sheer awesomeness of Madagascar. As the fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar is home to 5 percent of the world's plant and animal species, of which 80 percent are endemic to the island. Madagascar is remarkably untouched by the bustling tourist trade, which makes it a unique and mysterious location, perfect for exploration and discovery. Read more about our Madagascan adventures on our blog.
Where? Desroches Island Resort is an exclusive offering on a private island located 230km south-west of Mahé. It is easily reached from Mahe, with 5 scheduled flights per week, each 35 minutes long. Why? Ian Fleming is said to have named a character in his books after a drink he bought in the Seychelles. This is exactly the kind of place you'd expect the creator of the world's greatest super-spy to frequent. Elegant, suave and dripping with style, Desroches is a luxury destination in every sense of the word. Read more about Desroches Island Resort here
The SeychellesAs the oldest oceanic islands on earth, the Seychelles has not only seen it all, we’d argue that this group of islands has it all. A one-time pirate’s hide-out, the real treasures are the pristine shores and dynamic ecosystem. As an archipelago off the east coast of Africa, the Seychelles is a magical location, boasting one of the world’s tiniest frogs, the largest turtle and a variety of birds not found anywhere else on the planet.
Where? Sainte Anne Resort & Spa is situated on Sainte Anne’s island, just 10 minutes away by boat from Mahé. Why? There's something undeniably romantic about an island getaway. At Sainte Anne, you'll be experience this first-hand. This is an ideal place for couples and honeymooners looking for that magical place. Read more about Sainte Anne Resort and Spa here.
We've finally arrived at the Spice Islands, known to you as Zanzibar and to the locals as Unguja. Zanzibar has a diverse and complicated past which has been heavily influenced by the slave trade in the 18th century. Thankfully, Zanzibar is now more famous for its picturesque beaches and culturally rich capital than for its trade. Whether you choose to explore the mainland or lounge about on the sandy shores of the coastline, Zanzibar is undoubtedly one of Africa’s shiniest gems.Where? Baraza is located on the beautiful Bwejuu Beach on the south-east coast of Zanzibar Island, near the village of Bwejuu. Why? As you'd expect from a lodge which means "bench" in Swahili, Baraza is the place to kick back, shrug off your worries and sip on something fruity while the crystal waters of the Indian Ocean sparkle around you. Read more about Baraza here.
Where? Kilindi is located on the north-west coast of Zanzibar, adjacent to the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Why? When Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba sang “You’ll think you’re in paradise”, we’re pretty certain he was talking about Kilindi. After all, the boutique hotel was originally designed for the Scandinavian pop singer. With breezy, minimalist décor and a definite air of luxury, we’ll understand if you want to stay here a few extra days... or years. Read more about Kilindi here.
Where? Matemwe is just 60 minutes drive from Stone Town, in the north-east part of Zanzibar, off the mainland of Tanzania, East Africa. Why? Matemwe is all about authentic Zanzibar. Experience the world from a gently swaying hammock and dine at the gorgeous open-air restaurant where the produce, like the atmosphere is soaked in local flavour. Read more about Matemwe here.
Where? Mnemba Island Lodge is situated on an exclusive island just 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar in the azure Indian Ocean. Why? It's rustic, romantic and right on the beach-front. Need more convincing? How about the fact that the lodge boasts one of the most beautiful diving sites, excellent birdwatching opportunities, all-day snorkelling and private candlelit dinners to end the day. Best summed up, it's a little slice of heaven. Read more about Mnemba Island Lodge here.
Rhino Africa can tailor-make an African holiday of a lifetime to suit your budget, needs and style. What about combining a beach holiday with an authentic African safari? One of our expert consultants can give you all the inside information to ensure that you get the best experience and the best value for money possible. So contact us today and let’s start planning! Africa awaits.