Madagascar is home to gorgeous resorts. Constance Tsarabanjina, located on a tiny island in the north-west of Madagascar, is one of them.
Tsarabanjina was completely uninhabited before 1990. The island was then only known as the location of the tombs of their Sakalava kings (the tombs still exist today, a protected spot on the east of the island where Mitsio islanders come to bring offerings).
Constance Tsarabanjina: How did it all begin?
In 1990, South African adventurer Richard Walker came to the island and fell in love with the place. Walker bought it and built a small resort of 8 bungalows so others could share the unique experience of Tsarabanjina.
The Constance hotel group bought the property from Walker and undertook the delicate process of renovating the resort in 2013, while carefully retaining its authentic castaway appeal and environmental considerations.
The multi-million-pound makeover’s first step was to rebuild the 25 beach villas to include modern luxuries such as air conditioning and spacious bathrooms, retaining their rustic Malagasy charm.
It was important to keep the local Malagasy design and use sustainable local materials from the mainland. Malagasy craftsmen decorated the villas using traditional weaving to create art and sculptures.
Nowadays, the simple, stylish rosewood villas are adorned with traditional palm-thatching, large comfortable terraces, and Madagascan art.
In keeping with the laidback vibe of the island, each villa has its own private hammock slung by the trees surrounding the villa and its own sandy path leading down to the beach. The interiors have beautiful detailing and a sumptuous furnishings.
Constance Tsarabanjina: What activities can guests enjoy?
Guests are even encouraged to try their hand at fishing the local waters themselves from a traditional pirogue. In true island style, whatever is caught can be handed over to the chefs to prepare dinner that night.
Those searching for a little more high-octane excitement can pit their wits against the giant sports fish that call the waters around Tsarabanjina home.
Marlins, giant trevally, yellowfin and dogtooth tuna, wahoos and sailfish can all be caught in our waters making the area a Mecca for sports fishermen.
The other pastime that visitors can enjoy is scuba diving in largely unexplored waters. It has exceptional virgin reefs rarely dived before. The waters around Tsarabanjina offer a variety of dive sites for divers of all levels. Beginners can explore the house reef; more experienced divers can swim through the tunnels at the Tétons.
Constance Tsarabanjina: What wildlife is on the island?
Of course, nature lovers have always been drawn to the appeal of Madagascar with its famously unique biodiversity, a trait Tsarabanjina shares with the mainland.
Walk around the island and you’ll discover Madagascar’s famous Traveller’s Palm (see banner image), the Pachypodium and a wide variety of birds including the dazzling fody bird, the beautiful long-tailed Madagscan flycatcher (the emblem of the island) and fish eagles. Biologists even claim to have found the world’s smallest chameleon species on Tsarabanjina.
Bird enthusiasts can take a boat ride to the neighbouring Quatre Frère, a series of rocks, which are home to a rich colony of seabirds including northern gannets, frigate birds and white-tailed tropic birds.
If you’d like to book a holiday at Constance Tsarabanjina or in Madagascar, chat to us.