In the warm, clear, azure waters off the eastern seaboard of Africa lie some of the most picture-perfect tropical islands on earth. The Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles contain some of the most coveted honeymoon destinations anywhere. While romance is undeniably in the air, there are also resorts that are ideal for family vacations.
These Indian Ocean Islands are close enough to the mainland to be combined with a safari itinerary, and yet feel a world away. Whether you’re looking for palm-fringed beaches to relax on, or avenues of baobab trees to explore whilst looking out for lemurs, there’s an Indian Ocean destination that’s just right for you.
The largest of all the Indian Ocean Islands is Madagascar, a fascinating living laboratory with unique flora and fauna that has evolved in relative isolation from the engaging ring-tailed lemurs to tiny dwarf chameleons. Madagascar is distinctly different from other Indian Ocean Islands. While it has its share of stunning beaches and opulent eco-lodges, the main reason for choosing to come here is to witness Mother Nature in her most exuberant mood.
The Maldives are one of the region’s premier couples destinations, offering loved-up people at every stage of their relationship the chance to focus on nothing but each other whilst being surrounded by scenery that’s very easy on the eye. Like all Indian Ocean Islands, Maldives offer exceptional watersports opportunities, including blue water game fishing, with wonderful diving and snorkelling opportunities closer in shore.
Mauritius is perhaps the most diverse of the Indian Ocean Islands and offers a wonderful variety of experiences from the active to the very lazy. In addition to beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water, its mountainous interior features rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. Offshore, Mauritius is renowned for its world-class dive sites and the opportunities for visitors to swim with dolphins.
Seychelles are a justifiably popular honeymoon destination, and it’s not hard to see why. Hidden amongst the 115 scattered islands that make up this nation are some seriously exclusive eco-resorts. We’re talking the kind of places where Hollywood A-listers and European royalty go to avoid the paparazzi after exchanging vows. Seychelles boasts pristine natural forests and plenty of endemic wildlife, but it is the sweeps of dazzlingly white sand and smooth, sun-warmed boulders that are the real draw here.