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Essence of Réunion and Madagascar

  • Cirque de Cilaos, an ancient caldera
  • Piton de la Fournaise Volcano
  • Visit to a vanilla plantation in Réunion
  • Le Voile de la Mariée Waterfall
  • Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Sakatia & Nosy Iranja
  • Lemurs of Madagascar


When conjuring up images of exotic beach locations, the island of Réunion, located off the coast of Africa, almost never comes to mind. And so, it shouldn’t, because this tiny speck in the Indian Ocean offers so much more than mere white powdery beaches. Nearly half of Réunion Island is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a volcanic island boasting a lush rain-forested interior, mountains, lagoons and waterfalls. Its most iconic landmark is Piton de la Fournaise, a climbable active volcano standing 2,631 m. Its other volcano, the Piton de Neiges, is inactive

West of Réunion lies the island of Madagascar. It is believed that Madagascar was part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Around 165 million years ago its west coast was formed when it broke off from Africa and 88 million years ago the rest broke off from India. This is why the fauna and flora on the island is so unique as it evolved in relative isolation. Nearly 90% of the plant and animal life on Madagascar is endemic to the island.

Join renowned natural historian, Dave Pepler, and Live the Journey from 07 to 16 June 2020 on a unique journey of discovery to these two diverse islands. Departing from Johannesburg the first stop will be Saint-Denis, the capital of Réunion. A few days will be spent exploring Réunion before connecting with the flight to Nosy Be, a large island off Madagascar’s northwest coast. Spend three full days on Nosy Be before the return journey starts via Réunion to Johannesburg.



Group members get together at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
14:10 Depart for St Denis, Réunion.
20:00 Arrive St Denis, the capital of Réunion where you will be met and welcomed.
Transfer to your hotel by driving via St Denis to La Saline Les Bains, about a 50-minute drive.
O/N Ness Hotel or similar (dinner)


Breakfast at the hotel.
Meet your guide at the hotel and depart for the Cirque de Cilaos, an ancient caldera. Réunion’s dramatic Cirque de Cilaos is a natural wonder and visitors will love the memorable drive that leads towards the stunning cirque (or valley), with all its twists and turns and numerous tunnels. The sometimes-nail-biting drive is well worth it! When you reach the cirque itself, you’ll be treated to colourful fields of flowers, forests with unique indigenous trees, soaring canyon walls and pounding waterfalls.
You then proceed to Ilet à Cordes, an isolated village a little higher than the “centre” to meet Mickael and his wife Raymonda for a traditional cooking lesson. For lunch you will enjoy the traditional food that you have prepared.
In the afternoon you will return to the west coast.
Dinner will be at the hotel.
O/N Ness Hotel or similar (breakfast, traditional lunch, dinner)


Early breakfast at the hotel.
Today’s visit is to another icon of the island, the volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. Situated in the southeast corner of Réunion Island, Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Erupting for the first time about 50,000 years ago, records indicate that this basaltic shield volcano has erupted nearly 190 times since such eruptions were first recorded in 1640. Piton de la Fournaise (Furnace Peak) is about 2,631 meters high. Since 1980 it has been consistently monitored by volcano experts including scientists and government surveillance facilities, just in case an evacuation of residents and guests is required.
On our journey down we stop at Bourg Murat for a traditional lunch. After lunch there is time at leisure that can be used to visit the Cité du Volcan, which is very interesting if you wish to learn more about the geological history of the island and want to test the 4D animation! It is located right next to the restaurant.
We will also stop at La Saga du Rhum, a distillery situated in St Pierre.
Return to the west coast.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Ness Hotel or similar (breakfast, traditional lunch, dinner)


Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we will visit a vanilla plantation in St André, Roulof Plantation. This family has been planting vanilla for several generations. St André is also famous for a Hindu temple, Temple Maryen Péroumal situated in the Champ Borne quarter.
Cirque de Salazie is the largest and greenest of the island’s three natural amphitheatres. This cirque is both rugged and beautiful. It is best described as a long, deep canyon, lined with more than 100 magnificent waterfalls. One of the most breath-taking sites of this cirque is the towering waterfall known as Le Voile de la Mariée. It has many trickles of water said to resemble the tulle fabric of a wedding gown. Get your camera ready as you’ll want to remember this sight for years to come!

Stop at the small village of Hell-Bourg for lunch at Les Jardins d’Heva, Hotel-Restaurant. The enchanting little mountain town of Hell-Bourg showcase Creole culture at its finest, boasting enchanting Creole houses and colourful flower gardens that simply delight the eye. We will visit the Folio House also known as the Villa Folio. The house and its gardens have been taken over by the Folio family. This is an authentic journey back in time, to an era when the leading Creole families of the island left the heat of coastal areas to rest in the cool highlands, in charming Creole houses with a refined style.
Return to the west coast.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Ness Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)


Breakfast and check-out.
Transfer to the airport to check-in for your flight to Nosy Be.
10:20 Depart for Nosy Be.
11:10 Arrive Nosy Be where you will be met and transfer to your hotel for lunch.
Depart on an afternoon city tour. Visit Lemuria Land with it modern ylang ylang distillery and botanical and zoological gardens. Also visit the sacred tree before driving north to Ambatoloka and Mont Passot for sunset.
Return to your hotel.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Nosy Be Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)


Breakfast at the hotel and then a day tour awaits you.
Depart from the hotel to Hell-Ville Harbour to board a speed boat to Nosy Komba, the lemur islet. Within 30-minutes you will be on the island that is famous for its black lemurs. Spend some time with the lemurs. Nosy Tanikely is a 15-minute boat ride from Nosy Komba. Tanikely is a natural aquarium. The marine wealth around the island is exceptional and therefore it is popular for snorkelling. Snorkelling equipment will be at your disposal if you would like to explore the underwater world … turtles, corals, etc. Those not interested in snorkelling can walk around the island to explore the lighthouse and beautiful beaches.
Enjoy a seafood picnic lunch.
15:30 Arrive back at Hell-Ville Harbour.
From the harbour you will be transferred back to the hotel.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Nosy Be Hotel or similar (breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner)


Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Depart to the jetty from where you will take a motorboat to Nosy Sakatia. Full day excursion of the island. Sakatia is on Nosy Be’s west coast. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, endemic flora and rare bird species as you explore the island.
A picnic lunch (seafood and vegetables, rice and fruit), will be served on the beach.
Return to Nosy Be early afternoon.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Nosy Be Hotel or similar (breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner)


Breakfast at your hotel.
Transfer to the jetty for a 90-minute boat transfer to Nosy Iranja. This excursion will not be private as other participants will join the tour. Nosy Iranja consists of two islands that are linked by a 1,2 km sand bank. It is possible to walk from the one island to the other at low tide. The smaller island is known as Iranja Kely. Enjoy a relaxed day on the beach, walking to the lighthouse or browsing through the stalls of the traders on the island. Return to Nosy Be in the afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Nosy Be Hotel or similar (breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner)


Breakfast and then time at leisure until transfer to the airport.
12:15 Depart for Réunion
14:40 Upon arrival at St Denis Airport the guide will be there to meet us. We will depart on an afternoon historical tour of St Denis.
Dinner at the hotel.
O/N Mercure Creolia or similar (breakfast, dinner)


Breakfast and at leisure.
Transfer to the airport to check-in for your return flight to South Africa.
10:40 Depart from Réunion for Johannesburg
12:55 Arrive in Johannesburg


07 June 2020 to 16 June 2020


Per person sharing: EUR 2 700.00
Single Supplement: EUR 410.00



  • 4 nights at Ness Hotel situated in La Saline Les Bains
  • 1 night at Mercure Creolia Hotel in St Denis
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner daily) as specified
  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Return airport transfers to Ness Hotel
  • Return airport transfers to Mercure Hotel
  • Coach transport and English-speaking guide from day 2 as per the itinerary
  • All specified excursions
  • Local levy


  • 4 nights at Nosy Be Hotel situated on Nosy Be island
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner daily) as specified
  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Return airport transfers to Nosy Be Hotel
  • Boat transfers and English-speaking guide
  • All specified excursions
  • 1 small bottle of water during excursions
  • Park fees and administrative hotel fees


  • All international flights and airport taxes (quoted and booked separately)
  • Visa Fees, if applicable
  • Driver, guide and local escort gratuities
  • Drinks and dining rooms tips and porterage
  • Telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive travel insurance