The Big Story: Indian Ocean Islands 1

The Big Story: Indian Ocean Islands

Madagascar DhowJoining the Dots
The Big Story: Indian Ocean Islands Published: Aug 29, 2009

There are many reasons for marooning oneself on an Indian Ocean island. Here are six of the best. It’s difficult not to love an island holiday, no matter how jaded one might be. Over the course of their travels, various Sunday Times writers have come ashore on a dot of sand in the Indian Ocean. Here are choice excerpts from their journeys, and some reasons why you should consider heading eastwards.

The Times” chose 6 places that they recommended – number 5 was our very own favourite ‘Madagascar’! Read on to see what “The Times” had to say about Madagascar!

5. Madagascar: Dhow time: “Let’s go and play with dolphins,”
Mohamed Bakarek shouted from the back of the dhow and suddenly shifted his course 90 degrees north, away from the mainland, deeper into the Indian Ocean. “Where? Where?” was the excited cry across the boat from both kids and grown-ups. Seconds later the question was redundant, as a school of 50 dolphins were swarming all around and under our boat. For 15 glorious minutes they frolicked and flipped in breathtaking proximity, leaving us with a wondrous glaze in our eyes and a lifelong memory.
It was a week-long island safari, sailing and snorkelling every day and sleeping each night at makeshift camps assembled on different beaches. The 10m-long vessel coped comfortably with the two families and five crew members. Everyone reckoned it to be the holiday of a lifetime. The only major disagreement was in the Idols vote for best moment. Some went with the dolphin experience; others felt that was topped by swimming with turtles, feeding lemurs, having enormous chameleons climb over their hats, simply drifting across the ocean with a line of pirogues on the horizon or the isolated tropical perfection of the campsite on the beach at Nosy Iranja, enhanced by generous quantities of miraculously cold Three Horses Beer. For the youngest, nothing could beat finding a succession of perfect pansy shells. — Mike Wills

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