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Indian Ocean

Seychelles


The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands nestled in the Indian Ocean just east of Kenya and north of Madagascar, are a must-see destination for any traveller seeking a pristine and tranquil escape. With powder white beaches, an abundance of lush tropical greenery and crystal-clear waters, as epitomised by the beauty of local beach Anse Lazio - these islands offer a means of relaxation and culture in virtually un-touched natural beauty and bountiful marine life. For culture, indulge yourself in the unique blend of nationalities that seep into local life on the main island of Mahé; the Creole architecture influenced by French colonialism, traditional music and blended cuisine with elements of African, French, South Indian and Chinese flavours all prove important in creating a captivating identity for this nation. In Victoria, the capital city, you’ll find museums, open-air markets selling regional seafood specialities like bouyon bred and bourzwa griye amongst the murmuring local nightlife.


The Maldives


Dotted in the Indian Ocean, just southwest of Sri Lanka, you’ll find the irresistible archipelago known as The Maldives. Throughout their 26 atolls and 1192 coral islands, you’ll find unparalleled beauty, tranquillity and a tropical paradise with vibrant marine life all to be discovered. Embrace the unique Maldivian culture in the capital of Malé, where the combination of Sri Lankan, Indian, Persian, Indonesia and African influences create a distinctive island identity; particularly in the way of local cuisine. Similar to many archipelago, seafood delicacies reign supreme here, with specialities like mas huni and fihunu mas challenging your perceptions of Maldivian food. With a majority Muslim population under British colonial rule, there is a fascinating history to be explored in these beautiful and intricate communities. From in-between the interlocking coral blocks of the Hukuru Miskiy mosque in Malé, to the legends of old which are remembered in festivals such as Bodu Eid - celebrated on the day after the Hajj pilgrimage; there is too much to be discovered and celebrated in these enchanting islands and their communities.


Mauritius


Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean to the east of Madagascar, stands as an enthralling destination beckoning travellers who are seeking a diverse and captivating escape. Boasting pristine beaches with ivory sands, lush tropics, and eclectic azure waters, Mauritius offers a picturesque setting for relaxation and exploration. The allure of Belle Mare, a local gem, stands as an example of the natural beauty exhibited on the island and its breath-taking coastline. Within these irresistible waters, however, there also lies cultural treasure to be discovered. From the main island’s capital of Port Louis, with its Creole architecture reminiscent of by-gone French colonial rule, to the historical sites of Aapravasi Ghat and the curated journey of La Route du Thé, it would be best not to leave any cultural stone unturned here. For a celebration of local life and community, head to the vibrant markets where you will be exposed to the food and way of life of those that call this island nation home – with native treats like boulettes and dholl puri on the menu, it would be difficult to not find yourself fully immersed in and entranced by the history and beauty of the island.


Madagascar


With a claim to fame as the fourth largest island in the world, and home to an incredible collection of wildlife including over 40 species of lemur - all lemur species are in fact, native to the island – Madagascar is a captivating island nation with plenty of reasons to visit. Renowned for its stunning landscapes, from the famous Avenue of the Baobabs to the lush rainforests of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, you would be wise to enjoy a moment taking in all the natural beauty that thrives here. For a more relaxation focused visit, perhaps the untouched beauty of Île Sainte-Marie might be more appealing, with its white beaches and clear water providing a tropical haven. Madagascar's cultural richness is reflected in its blend of Malagasy, African, Asian and European influences; in the capital city of Antananarivo, discover the island's diverse crafts, spices and local life through the market stalls and local vendors. Traditional Malagasy music, dance and rituals offer a glimpse into the island's soul, while the unique Malagasy cuisine, influenced by French and Southeast Asian flavours, tantalises taste buds with dishes like romazava and ravitoto.

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Gordon Ramsay

The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.

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