We boarded our flight to Antananarivo, Madagascar where we had to wait three hours in a scrubby little airport for a connecting flight to the island of Nosy Be, which is more of a holiday place. While waiting, it dawned on us that we didn’t know how we were going to get to the hotel from the airport, so we gave them a ring. I went on this trip with my mother, yes, my mother. She was able to see that the dollars on a French degree had actually been well spent! Whoever answered the phone at the hotel didn’t speak English, so a taxi ride later, a long drive through windy island roads, we arrived at the Loharano Hotel, which was absolutely beautiful! Small villas set around a picturesque pool- tres glamorous!
Above seven colors of the earth – national geographic photo credit
After four days, we moved on to Mauritius, a beautiful island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where things picked up considerably! We stayed at a little place called Les Lanteniers Bleus run by owner Josette in an area called Riviere Noire. It was originally her house, so it has an incredibly cozy feel and is situated right on its own private beach.
We ventured out to see a geological formation, the Seven Colors of the Earth, which is basically different colored rock and soil caused by metal oxide deposits. In the same place was an enclosure with a few giant tortoises which we were very excited about, but little did we know we would have many more giant tortoise-related adventures that day….all day.
There’s also a beautiful waterfall, a huge gorge with lovely views to the sea, a Hindu temple, the giant statue of the goddess Shiva (my first taste of something I have come to know well in India!), and then the best part… the crocodile park!
The crocodile park is basically a small zoo with lots of crocs, some bats, warthogs, monkeys, and other various creatures. It also has giant tortoises – HUNDREDS of them – and people are allowed to feed them, pet them, and RIDE them! You can also do day boat trips to see dolphins, go snorkelling, and swim. After a day out, I recommend heading off to Big Willy’s!
Above shot of Madagascar