Why you should visit the Indian Ocean
Why you should visit the Indian Ocean
A magnificent selection of beautiful islands abound off the shores of Africa’s east coast, each one gently lapped by the warm indigo blue waters of the Indian Ocean. All have lush tropical vegetation, miles of shimmering beaches, crystal clear water and guaranteed sunshine.
No two islands are the same, each one has its own charm and allure. Some are geared for an intimate escape from our fast-paced lifestyles, offering hammocks and relaxation in paradise, delicious foods and coconut cocktails, others offer an escape to Mother Nature, a serenity and connection to the earth in the green tropical forests with their tropical birdsong.
Others are rich in culture and tradition, offering exploration of historical backgrounds and enticing the senses with the sampling of local cuisine. And adding the cherry to the top, the explosion of multi-coloured fish and other sea-life in the warm ocean waters make many of these islands a paradise for those lovers of the water world.
If you are set on a barefoot luxury destination in paradise, Asante Travel will guide you with knowledge and expertise, to the Indian Ocean Island best suited to your needs.
When is the best time to visit
Madagascar: The most pleasant time to visit Madagascar is usually in the dryer and cooler months of May and October. Global climatic changes mean that traditional weather patterns may be unreliable, so be prepared for anything! The only time you should avoid going is from January to March, when heavy rains can make the roads impassable and there is a high risk of cyclones in the east and northeast.
Maldives: With temperatures ranging between 23°C to 30°C, all year round is a good time to visit the Maldives. The very best weather is between December and February for blue skies, sunshine and low humidity. Diving is excellent throughout the year, but generally there is a greater variety of marine life from May to November, and better visibility of the western side of the atoll. Between December and April the visibility is better on the eastern side of the Maldives.
Mauritius: Depending on your holiday preferences, the warmest weather occurs during the month of February and the coolest is during July. In general, the northern and western regions are warmer and drier than the east and south.
For beach holidays October to April are when the days are long, hot and humid, and offer welcome breezes and refreshing swimming. It is also an excellent time for any watersports. It’s good to remember that towards the end of September until March, is the cyclone season.
The clearest waters for diving are between December and March, and anglers will be delighted at the opportunities for big game fishing from October until April.
During the July to September winter months, the temperature is cooler and air conditioning is not obligatory during most of this time. Rain is usually in the evening or just a passing shower during the day. Cooler weather and less humidity during this period makes this the time to engage in many of the inland activities such as hiking and quad biking. It’s also a good time for any sport requiring wind, such as kitesurfing, for water sport enthusiasts.
Surfers are advised to visit the beaches of Mauritius between June and August, when there are amazing waves along the west coast, especially in the area of Tamarin and Le Morne. Despite it being winter, the sun shines throughout the day – particularly strongly at midday – and a good tan can still be achieved!
Reunion: The cooler and drier months between May and November are the best months to be in Reunion. For hikers, October and November are the best time to plan for.
Seychelles: With the year-round warm, tropical climate, any time is a good time to visit the Seychelles, depending on your particular interests. Sailing: The north-westerly trade winds blow from October to March and wind speeds reach an average of between 8 – 12 knots. The brisk South-easterly trade winds blow from May to September and winds measure between 10 and 12 knots, conditions ideal for sailing. The Seychelles Sailing Cup, an international sailing event, is held in January.
Diving and snorkelling: The months of April and May, October and November are best, when water temperatures are very warm and visibility regularly reaches over 30 metres.
Culture: The “Festival Kreole” is a week-long celebration of Creole heritage and tradition and is held every October. Bear in mind that the heaviest rain falls from the end of December to early January.
What to pack for your trip?
Madagascar: Depending on the time of the year, the island can be quite cool (especially in the Highlands), so a warm fleece and waterproof jacket and sensible hiking boots are essentials for hiking in the national parks. Binoculars are recommended for sights of the endemic lemurs, chameleons and bird species, and mosquito repellent is good to have, since it is not always available in Madagascar.
A solar charger can be handy for your batteries and camera, and a spare memory card for the camera. Light cotton and linen clothing are advisable for warm climate, and especially if you are planning on hiking, packing some rehydrating powder can be helpful.
Maldives: For the year-round warm temperatures, pack light: cotton and linen wear, t-shirts, shorts and wrap-around skirts, shorts, sandals and beachwear. Mosquito repellent is a good idea and as usual when travelling in the tropics, don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats or caps. This is a Muslim country, so covering yourself properly around the resorts is wise. Women need to wear long skirts and avoid low cut tops. Men are not advised to walk around bare-chested. Nudism in public places is prohibited!
Mauritius: Lightweight cotton and linen clothing with warmer wear for the evenings and winter months is recommended. Long sleeves and trousers deter insects, and sunscreen, wide brimmed hats or caps and sunglasses are necessary. Rainwear is advisable all year round.
Men can usually spend most of the time in shorts, and wear long trousers during evening visits to hotels. Holiday clothes are readily available in Mauritius and your support of the local markets will be well appreciated. Low-priced polo shirts, T-shirts, shorts, shirts, trousers, pullovers and beach wear are all well worth a look, so allow for this when packing.
Reunion: Light cottons and linens are comfortable for the summer, but pack a warm jumper or jacket, depending on the season, and if you are planning on trekking in the mountains, spending the night at high altitude or getting up early to see the sun rise at Piton des Neiges, don’t forget a good warm anorak, At high altitudes, temperatures can drop below freezing. For the beaches, beachwear is fine, but will cause offence if worn elsewhere. Sunscreen, wide brimmed sunhat or cap, sunglasses, comfortable hiking boots and long sleeved shirts and trousers for the summer evenings (as well as mosquito repellent) are advisable.
Seychelles: Light cotton and linen apparel is most suitable for the tropical climate, and hats, sunglasses and sun protection are necessities. The tropical sun is extremely strong, and even on an overcast day, can cause painful sunburn. It is even advisable to wear a T-Shirt for your first couple of dips in the ocean. Casual evening wear (long trousers for men) and appropriate footwear is necessary for gaining entrance to casinos, most hotels and restaurants. For snorkelers and divers, a 4mm “shorty” wetsuit is the recommended minimum protection for the Outer islands. Islands with large drop-offs and walls often have marked thermosclines with temperatures ranging from 19 – 27 degrees, so a full wetsuit is an advantage for most divers.