Constance Tsarabanjina – idyllic private island retreat near Nosy Be
Constance Tsarabanjina is a ‘barefoot luxury’ type of lodge in the Nosy Mitsio archipelago north-east of Nosy Be – extremely well-run with friendly attentive staff. Those who like to dress to be admired will be disappointed! The ambience here is laid-back and relaxed.
Nosy Tsarabanjina is a beautiful gem – a mountainous private island with a choice of four palm-fringed beaches gently sloping into azure blue waters. The perfect choice for honeymooners or anyone who simply wants to get away from it all and completely relax.
If you love diving and snorkelling, then Tsarabanjina, with its stunning white beaches backed with luxuriant vegetation, could be the perfect place for you. It is reached either by private charter plane or by a 2 hour boat ride from Nosy Be.
The thatched villas at the Constance Tsarabanjina are fairly simple with no mod cons like TV or telephone. However they have had a complete makeover and now offer the ultimate in castaway luxury . Using only natural materials the spacious villas combine Malagasy art with an elegant modern style.
The 25 thatched chalets, each with their own private terrace with daybeds, all overlook the ocean. The South beach chalets perhaps have the better setting, facing the sunset and have a cool-breeze type of air-conditioning running over the mosquito netted bed (so mainly used at night) . The North beach chalets have air-conditioning throughout the room. All have complimentary minibar and spacious en suite bathroom with double vanity and shower. The villas are quite close together so we recommend that you take one of the ones further from the main lodge (also helps with walking off the delicious meals!)
The main lodge, right on the beach, has a restaurant on the upper level serving some of the best food in Madagascar (with an obvious focus on freshly caught seafood) with glorious ocean views. Downstairs there’s a vibey sand-floored bar – the perfect place to enjoy a drink as you watch the sunset, as well as a small library offering some books and board games. Though the chalets remain IT-free, internet access is available at the main lodge with wifi at the reception.
Activities at Tsarabinjina
The hotel runs on a fully inclusive system with all meals and most drinks included as well as the following activities included in your stay: non-motorised activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, hobie cat sailing, guided nature walks around the island, morning aqua-gym, bird-watching excursions by boat, volley ball and petanque, beach tennis and table tennis. This might sound like a Club Med experience but it’s not.
Diving, deep sea fishing and massage treatments are at an extra cost, as are boat excursions to other islands in the archipelago. Watch the sun set behind the volcanic Frères islands with its frigate birds, northern gannets and white-tailed tropic birds. Take to the water for a traditional evening fishing trip or take a boat trip to the great basalt columns, the famous sight of ‘Grande Mitsio’ or to see the Lemurs of Nosy Komba.
It has a PADI Dive Centre and diving is an extra cost. However the islands of Nosy Mitsio are perhaps the best in Madagascar for dedicated divers as there are numerous and varied sites. Both hard and soft corals are in good condition and the waters support a large diversity of reef fish. Moray Eels peek out from their crevices and large pelagics such as barracuda, kingfish and tuna are regularly sighted.
Note: Tsarabanjina is remote – that’s part of its charm and so the boat ride is long (2 hours). We recommend that you try to avoid the ‘cyclone’ season of late January to March as this obviously impacts the quality of the scuba diving and the choppiness of the water during the boat ride.