Small Islands at the Edge of Africa - Mauritius to Zanzibar (17 Nights)



The eastern edge of Africa stands at the crossroads of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. On Coral Expeditions’ new Coral Geographer, take in the coastlines of Mauritius, Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania over 17 exotic nights. From the comfort of a modern expedition ship, explore lands that only hardy traders in search of ancient spices ventured to in the past.

Enchanting Malagasy and Creole culture emanate from colourful street-side markets. Wildlife and wild landscapes rise above sparkling seas inhabited by tropical fish. Lush rainforests hide native lemurs and ancient ruins hold rich history.

With a maximum of 120 guests, Coral Geographer is designed to take you in intimate comfort to remote places few other ships can reach.

Expedition Highlights

- Walk the streets of fabled Zanzibar, and discover the palm-fringed beaches, bazaars, dhow-crowded harbour and elaborately carved doors of Stone Town
- Explore the majestic highlands of Reunion, with views from Nez des Boeuf of vast volcanic cirques
- Discover Madagascar’s extraordinary landscapes at a number of National Parks, and spot prolific birdlife, lemurs and other endemic wildlife
- Meet the semi-nomadic Vezo people at Andavadoaka and Bel Sur Mer, who make their living from the sea
- Encounter wildlife on forest walks at Kirindy Reserve, the best place to spot the elusive fossa and numerous lemurs
- Walk down the marvelous Avenue of the Baobabs, and feel small as you gaze up at the towering bottle-shaped trees
- Visit the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest building, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, and wander the historic streets of the Island of Mozambique
- Explore the ruins of the medieval sultanate of Kilwa Kisiwani, a 14th century city of grand proportions


Day 1 - February 17, 2021

Embark: Board at Port Louis Terminal, Mauritius at 3:00pm for 5:00pm departure 17 February 2021

Board Coral Geographer in Port Louis, Mauritius where there is time to settle into your cabin before our 5:00pm departure. Join your fellow travellers and Expedition Team for a safety briefing as well as an overview of the voyage ahead.

Day 2 - February 18, 2021


A choice of excursions at Reunion are available – either a full day tour or a half day morning tour. The full day tour takes in the central highlands where rugged peaks of dormant or extinct volcanoes and mountains rising over 3,000m dominate the landscape. Where the air is scented with vanilla as plunging waterfalls tumble into vast amphitheatres (known as cirques) and tropical fruit plantations meld with sugarcane fields. Enjoy spectacular views from Nez des Boeuf of the Piton de la Fournaise crater before lunch at a creole restaurant and a visit to Cite du Volcan museum.

Learn about the important part that vanilla plays in Reunion’s cultural heritage at St Andre vanilla plantation then explore St Denis before returning to Coral Geographer for lunch and an afternoon at leisure onboard.

Day 3 - February 19, 2021


Enjoy three relaxing sea days at leisure as we cruise towards Madagascar. Join our Expedition Team for a fascinating program of ongoing activities, demonstrations and informative presentations or settle in with a good book on the Vista Deck.

Day 4 - February 20, 2021


Day 5 - February 21, 2021


Day 6 - February 22, 2021


An overland adventure awaits as we journey from coastal Toliara to Isalo National Park approx. 1,000m above sea level, stopping on the way at Zombitse National Park, where we will see baobab trees and perhaps even the White Shifaka Lemur.

Isalo National Park is known for its rugged landscape carved by nature with imposing gorges and plunging canyons. Walking trails and natural swimming holes offer vantage points to view the several species of lemur inhabiting the park as well as the 100 or so bird species.

After lunch we further explore Isalo National Park before enjoying a very special sunset. We enjoy dinner, then breakfast at our overnight accommodation at the Hotel Relais de la Reine and Hotel Jardin du Roy.

There is further opportunity to spot Lemurs or enjoy the hiking trails including a swim at a freshwater billabong in the forest called Piscine Naturelle. After lunch at our hotel we will return to Toliara and Coral Geographer, stopping at the town of Sakaraha.

Day 7 - February 23, 2021


Day 8 - February 24, 2021


The small fishing village of Andavadoaka sits on the edge of a tranquil lagoon protected by coral reefs and is home to semi-nomadic Vezo people who rely upon the ocean for their livelihood. The coral reefs of southwest Madagascar are some of the most diverse in the Indian Ocean biodiversity studies identifying many hundreds of marine species.

We will learn about community projects promoting sustainable marine management before enjoying a leisurely afternoon of beach activities, swimming and snorkelling at Nosy Hao.

Day 9 - February 25, 2021


At the village Belo Sur Mer we again enjoy the company of the semi-nomadic Vezo people who travel the ocean in timber boats and oversized canoes powered by paddle or rudimentary rectangular sails. The ethnic Sakalava people, to which the Vezo belong, traditionally inhabit the coastal strip on the west coast of Madagascar and use outrigger canoes for fishing. The village sits on the shores of a turquoise lagoon with inviting white-sand beaches shaded by palm trees.

This coastal region of Madagascar is well-known for the traditional timber fishing boats, known as pirogues, built on the beach. When a vessel is launched, there is a festival-like atmosphere and we may be lucky enough to time our visit during such an occasion.

Day 10 - February 26, 2021


In a country scarred by deforestation, Kirindy Reserve is a wildlife habitat for threatened species and is protected and managed through selective and sustainable logging. Covering around 125sq km, Kirindy’s dry deciduous forests provide a haven for the endemic fossa, a sort of cat-like mammal the size of a small greyhound, as well as lemurs, birds and reptiles including chameleons.

After lunch we visit the famed Avenue of the Baobabs, known as the ‘most beautiful road in Madagascar’. The magnificent trees with their towering bottle-shaped trunks topped by gangly tentacle-like branches are a relative of the boab trees found in Australia’s Kimberley region. The Avenue of Baobabs is at the centre of a local conservation campaign aiming to protect the avenue as Madagascar’s first natural monument in an often-treeless landscape.

Day 11 - February 27, 2021


Enjoy a day at sea and join our Expedition Team for a fascinating program of ongoing activities, demonstrations and informative presentations.

Day 12 - February 28, 2021


Ankarafantsika National Park is known as the ‘kingdom of birds’ and we enjoy a full day exploring the park on guided walks where we hope to spot birds, chameleons and lemurs like the adorably photogenic coquerel’s sifakas. The park is home to the famed Microcebus, or mouse lemur, the world’s smallest primate, as well 120 nesting bird species like the Madagascan fish eagle and banded kestrel. Lake Ravelobe is a habitat for turtles and crocodiles.

After lunch we explore the park’s walking trails further before an intended visit to Durrell Wildlife Park’s breeding program for the golden-domed ploughshare tortoise, the most threatened tortoise on the planet.

Day 13 - March 1, 2021


Enjoy a day at sea and join our Expedition Team for a fascinating program of ongoing activities, demonstrations and informative presentations.

Day 14 - March 2, 2021


The fortified city of Mozambique and former Portuguese trading post on the Island of Mozambique is a UNESCO World Heritage site, significant for its remarkable 16th century architectural features. Connected to mainland Africa by a 3.4km long bridge straddling the Indian Ocean, the island has two distinct types of dwellings: the stone and lime town of Swahili, Arab and European influence in the north and macuti town (translating to city of roofed palm leaves) with traditional African architecture in the south.

The Southern Hemisphere’s oldest European building, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, considered one of the finest examples of Manueline vaulted architecture and Fort Sao Sebastiao occupy the north coast of the island. We will take guided walking tours to discover the island’s diverse culture, it’s charming people and fascinating history including churches, mosques, colonial buildings and Portuguese houses.

Day 15 - March 3, 2021


One of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique, Ibo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago, Arab traders were attracted by the island’s location as far back as 600AD. Almost 900 years later the Portuguese arrived, utilising the lucrative trading routes established by the Arabs, trading cotton, ivory, cattle and slaves, fortifying the island to protect lucrative industries. The slave trade continued on Ibo Island until the mid-1850’s, with many former slave trading houses and forts serving as military bastions remaining on the waterfront today. Some grand colonial buildings have been lovingly restored to showcase earlier prosperity while other ruins display a hint of the former splendour of this trading port.

After lunch we take a fascinating guided walking tour through these ancient streets which are a virtual living museum from when Ibo Island seemed forgotten by the outside world.

Day 16 - March 4, 2021


Enjoy a day at sea and join our Expedition Team for a fascinating program of ongoing activities, demonstrations and informative presentations.

Day 17 - March 5, 2021


The UNESCO World Heritage Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani site, once a medieval sultanate and occupied from the ninth to the nineteenth century was described as one of the most beautiful cities of the world in its fourteenth century heyday.

There is an opportunity to wander around the magnificent ruins of Malindi Mosque and its adjacent cemetery, Fort Gereza, a former prison built atop the ruins of a Portuguese fort and tombs of Sultans. Husuni Kubwa, a fourteenth century sultans palace of grand proportions right down to its octagonal swimming pool, was similar in structure to those found in Syria, Turkey and the Persian Gulf.

On our final evening onboard Coral Geographer, we reminisce about our voyage to the edge of Africa with new friends over Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

Day 18 - March 6, 2021


Coral Geographer arrives into Zanzibar at 9:00am. Farewell your Master, crew and fellow guests at disembarkation at 10:00am.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

This trip is suitable for passengers of all fitness levels, though reasonable mobility is required to enjoy all it has to offer. For shore excursions, our hydraulic lowering Xplorer tenders permit easy boarding without climbing any stairs. Where possible we split groups to suit easy and moderate walkers. Guests are welcome to opt-out of any excursion and relax onboard. As the itinerary covers remote regions, it is not suitable for passengers with serious medical conditions.

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18 Day Tour