An amazingly calm sea filled with a variety of fish and lobsters. A place renowned for its diving. You can stroll around, climb up the hills and lose your way in its luxuriant vegetation. Frigate birds soar overhead and at night you find hermit crabs scuttling through the undergrowth.
Constance Tsarabanjina is a small island off the coast of Madagascar, which offers calm and exclusivity. It is a place to be refreshed and regenerated in a timeless setting – here, you can discover your own tempo, without pressures or constraints. Tsarabanjina is an island with no news, no television, and no telephone (except for your personal mobile phone).
There is no dress code other than the pareo and bare feet, in order to experience the regenerating contact with the sand, even at the bar. The only sound in the background is that of the waves and the birds. You can pass the time resting and relaxing or with sports, massages and a healthy diet made up mainly of sea food. Your island home is a small house … with simple amenities but cosy.
The island is 10,000 square metres on which sandy paths weave in and out of the shady trees. There are four beaches, all with white sand littered with shells and invariably clear and turquoise water. In the evening, the sunsets are spectacular, particularly from the top of the small cliff above the dining room.
Set on the north west coast of Madagascar, in the Mitsio Archipelago, Tsarabanjina is a peaceful tropical island. Beautiful beaches border the island to the north and south offering fine white sand scattered with shells and fringed with clear, turquoise waters and a coral reef offshore. The island is accessible by light aircraft, helicopter, or boat from nearby Nosy Be Island.
There are 25 bungalows which are split between the ‘North’ and ‘South’ Beaches, whilst the third beach lies on the east side of the island and is deserted. You can access it by a walk over the small volcanic hill on one side of the island. Here you will also find the tomb of the Sakalava kings of the Mitsio islands and is therefore a sacred place. Sometimes fishermen visit offering gifts to them such as money, honey, and rum.
The Tsarabanjina rooms/bungalows are thatched and lie right on the edge of the beach, so you simply step out of your room and onto white powdery sand. The rooms have wooden walls and are a good size yet no huge and all have a small private terrace with two deck chairs to lounge in whilst enjoying the view.
Depending which rooms, you have – north or south beach, the rooms are either air-conditioned throughout or just the bedroom. However, all rooms also have a fan, minibar, safe and kimonos as well as ensuite bathrooms with shower, basin, and separate loo. The bungalows are surrounded by lush forest including palm trees and badamier trees.
At Tsarabanjina there is a PADI diving facility, so those interested in diving are requested to bring their padi certificate with them. There are also many water sports to get involved with such as water skiing and windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing. There are also guided nature walks.
Once a week, the manager or a member of staff give a presentation about the preservation of the fragile coral and seabed around the islands. With regards to PADI dive centre, they offer open water, Advanced open water, and speciality diver courses and of course other PADI courses. There is also a small boutique and dive boutique for those who cannot resist! And if you would like to have a special beach dinner then this can be arranged at an extra cost too.
Another super excursion is to discover the coral reefs of Mitsio and arrange a visit to the Four Brothers Islands with its fabulous frigate birds, northern gannets and white-tailed tropic birds.
Excursions can also be arranged further away such as Nosy Komba, the lemur island and to Nosy Mitsio (La Grande Mitsio), which is known for its large basalt columns, also called the Organ Pipes. It is popular with divers.
Wildlife that you may see around Tsarabanjina includes dolphin, turtles, whale (from June through October but the odd one does pass by out of season), and birdlife includes white eye, white-throated rail, greater frigate bird, pomarine skua, Madagascar turtle dove, green sunbird, fishing eagle, white-tailed tropic bird, Caspian terns and vasa parrot.
The largely undiscovered waters that surround the island are teeming with marine life in coral reefs and beautiful sponge gardens and for those who snorkel and scuba dive there is the possibility of seeing turtle, jack fish, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, baraccuda and kingfish, grey and white-tip sharks, giant moray and sting ray amongst others. Madagascar anemonefish, blue spotted wrasse, Painted frogfish, blotched podge, white-spotted puffer and flounder included.
Whilst snorkelling/diving one can see octopus, ray’s, lobster and clownfish.
Children over the age of four are welcome at Tsarabanjina. There are no specific children's facilities but older children that are happy to explore the island and enjoy the snorkelling will have a good stay.
Tsarabanjina and the Nosy be and Mitsio Islands can be visited almost all through the year and there is little contrast in temperatures and sea temperatures across the year.
The highest temperatures are around 29’ C and the lowest around 23’ C in July. Water temperatures range between 24-29’C so they are very pleasant all year round. The months where one can expect some rain would be late December, January, and February, though with climate change, this can vary.
A gold member of the Green Globe certification, Constance operates eight hotels across the Indian Ocean and is committed to being as sustainable as possible. Conservation, cultural preservation and community development are at the forefront of Constance’s operations, and by staying at a Constance property, guests are directly feeding back into these practices.
For further information, please do feel free to contact Nicola directly or at The Explorations Company for further inspiration and unforgettable safaris and holidays to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
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