Island styles – the pros of different Indian Ocean paradises


Island styles – the pros of different Indian Ocean paradises

While beach holidays hold universal appeal, every island has its own unique personality. And even within the Indian Ocean region exists a wide variety of destinations with different but equally appealing attributes. For every type of traveller and reason for travel, the ideal destination awaits. Steadfast Africa specialises in crafting itineraries tailored to your tastes, interests and travel companions, and can pair you with your perfect island paradise.



Best for: ticking the boxes

A perennial favourite as far as island destinations go, Mauritius has it all. From secluded beaches and manicured golf courses to fresh produce and craft markets, family-friendly resorts to ultra-luxury hotels, it’s always a safe bet. Great diversity gives it broad appeal and its well-developed infrastructure makes it a seamless location to travel to.

Scuba diving, snorkelling and unforgettable sunsets are the hallmarks of Mauritius’ west coast, while upscale resorts characterise the east. For shopping, markets and cuisine, the north has much to offer, with wild coastlines, waterfalls and volcanic mountains making up the rest.

All-inclusive resorts are a hassle-free option for families looking for no surprises on checkout, but while it’s a fantastic choice for families – for very good reason – Mauritius has plenty of adults-only resorts perfect for honeymooners, and is certainly not lacking in romance.



Best for: postcard-perfect scenery

Made up of numerous coral atolls, white sand and turquoise water so clear it defies belief, the Maldives may as well sit under ‘tropical paradise’ in the dictionary. The quintessential luxe island destination, it’s synonymous with its iconic over-water villas and superb resorts.

Thriving marine life makes it a haven for water babies and the clarity of the water means it’s an ideal place to scuba dive or casually snorkel – turtles, rays, dolphins and whales being some of the highlights of an underwater excursion. Those who prefer to sit on board the boat can enjoy spectacular sunsets on a gentle cruise. Activities in the Maldives all centre around the water – so watersports enthusiasts of all ages will also enjoy the variety (waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing).

But there’s no lack of opportunity for leisure time either – most resorts will have a pick of spectacular swimming pools, beach bars, restaurants, spas and boutiques to spend your down time in.



Best for: action and adventure

Bordering the Kruger Park, and with direct flights from Cape Town and Kruger, Mozambique makes the perfect accessible add on to an action-filled safari. With over 2500 km of idyllic coastline, it’s a great beach destination for families and couples alike.

What is also offers in abundance is activities – deep sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving. Action junkies will have no trouble keeping themselves busy.

With Portuguese and Arabic influenced cuisine and architecture too, Mozambique is a truly unique destination from a cultural point of view, and there’s much to see inland as well as on the water, giving those lacking the adrenaline gene plenty to do aside from enjoy the sun.

The wide variety of accommodation in Mozambique makes it very versatile – whether you’re looking for self-catering, exclusive-use villa or a luxury all-inclusive resort.



Best for: barefoot romance

Comprising 115 idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean, many uninhabited, the Seychelles will have you feeling as though you’ve landed on the pages of Robinson Crusoe. Secluded and dotted with prehistoric looking boulders and swaying palms, its islands are the epitome of barefoot romance, each varying in size, but all offering superb accommodation in the form of the many excellent luxury resorts and villas.

With many of the islands close enough to one another to spend a day cruising from one to the other and exploring, this is a true tropical paradise and perfectly poised for honeymooners. Hike through lush forests peppered with coco de mer (an ancient, endangered tree), and snorkel and scuba dive among coral reefs before sitting down to a lantern-lit dinner on the sand, waves lapping near your table.



Best for: the intrepid traveller

One of very few destinations one can use the word ‘unspoilt’ to describe it, Madagascar is unique in many ways – from its wildly varying terrains (towering baobabs, tropical islands and rainforests to deep canyons and deserts).

This does mean a fair amount of forward planning is needed – this is where Steadfast comes in – but the raw experience of nature, remarkable scenery and unique wildlife make the preparation well worth it, and those willing to go off the beaten track will be rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and rare wildlife sightings in unreal settings.

The island’s northern region is a favourite for those who want to explore Madagascar’s vibrant, warm waters. Westward, adventure awaits in Tsingy Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, with its needle-sharp limestone outcrops and the iconic baobabs. To the southeast, the rainforests and their endemic lemurs will enchant wildlife lovers.

January 29, 2024

Steadfast Africa