Exploring the Mysteries of the Indian Ocean with Your Family
Are you ready to embark on a thrilling family adventure in the mesmerizing Indian Ocean? From hiking in the volcanic landscapes of Réunion to diving into the marine world of Mauritius, there are unforgettable experiences waiting for you and your loved ones. In this article, we’ve curated a list of four fantastic adventures to cater to every age group, ensuring that your family vacation becomes an unforgettable memory.
1. Riding a Submarine in Mauritius
Best for: Pre-schoolers
Imagine a journey to the depths of the ocean without getting your feet wet! In northwest Mauritius, you and your little ones (aged nine months and up) can embark on an extraordinary voyage with Blue Safari’s 10-seater submarine. As you descend to a depth of 35 meters, everyone gets their own porthole to peer through, making it an ideal adventure for young explorers. Handy ID cards help distinguish your snappers from your groupers, adding a touch of education to this underwater expedition.
Alternatively: For close-up views of the Seychelles’ Mahé island reef, opt for a semi-submarine, allowing children to marvel at the underwater world without descending to great depths.
2. Marine Conservation in the Maldives
Best for: Tweens
While the Maldives is known for its stunning beauty, it’s also grappling with the effects of climate change. This presents a unique opportunity to educate young minds about environmental issues. At Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, in the Baa Atoll north of Malé, your tweens can not only learn about the challenges facing the Maldives but also actively contribute to marine conservation. They’ll have the chance to help scientists create new reefs by attaching live fragments to coral frames. Back home, they can watch their reef flourish online, fostering a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
Alternatively: Consider the Junior Ranger program at Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Sri Lanka, where kids can learn the art of animal tracking in the stunning Yala National Park.
3. Cruising the Backwaters of India
Best for: Primary-schoolers
The lush rivers of Kerala in southern India offer a gentle introduction to the country’s rich culture and natural beauty, minus the hustle and bustle of crowded cities. Step aboard a kettuvallam, a transformed rice barge turned houseboat, for an immersive experience. Children will be fascinated by village life along the waterways, and they can actively participate by joining trips to local markets guided by the friendly houseboat staff. It’s an ideal way to discover India’s charm as a family.
Alternatively: Explore the spice-trading history of Zanzibar with a trip on a wooden dhow, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for pods of leaping dolphins in Menai Bay!
4. Hiking in Réunion
Best for: Teens
Réunion, a unique Indian Ocean island, is a paradise for adventure seekers. Covered in lush greenery, it boasts breathtaking waterfalls and black-sand beaches. With over 600 miles of hiking trails, it’s a dream come true for adrenaline-pumped teenagers. They can challenge themselves by trekking up to the crater rim of Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. For an even more exhilarating experience, try an “aqua hike” in the Langevin River, which combines canyoning and whitewater swimming.
Alternatively: If your teens are wildlife enthusiasts, Madagascar offers incredible opportunities. Consider visiting the Mandrare River Camp to learn forest survival skills from the Antandroy tribe.
So there you have it—four incredible family adventures in the Indian Ocean that cater to all age groups. These experiences are sure to create lasting memories and foster a love for exploration and conservation in your children. Don’t miss the chance to embark on a journey that combines fun, education, and the beauty of the Indian Ocean.
Published in the Indian Ocean supplement, distributed with the September 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Indian Ocean Family Adventures
Q: How can I book a submarine ride in Mauritius?
A: To book a submarine ride in Mauritius, you can contact Blue Safari, the operator mentioned in the article. They offer 10-seater submarine tours that are suitable for pre-schoolers and up. Check their website or get in touch with them for booking details.
Q: What is the age range for the marine conservation program in the Maldives?
A: The marine conservation program at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives is best suited for tweens, typically children between the ages of 8 and 12. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young minds to learn about marine life and conservation efforts.
Q: Are the houseboat trips in the backwaters of Kerala child-friendly?
A: Yes, the houseboat trips in the backwaters of Kerala are child-friendly, particularly for primary-schoolers. These trips offer a serene and culturally rich experience along the rivers of Kerala. Children can enjoy observing village life and even join guided visits to local markets, making it an ideal family adventure.
Q: How can I explore Réunion’s hiking trails mentioned in the article?
A: To explore Réunion’s hiking trails, you can plan a visit to the island and research the specific trails you’d like to tackle. There are over 600 miles of hiking paths to choose from. Make sure to check the weather conditions and any necessary permits or guidelines before embarking on your hiking adventure.
More about Indian Ocean Family Adventures
- Blue Safari Mauritius: For booking submarine rides in Mauritius.
- Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru: To learn more about the marine conservation program in the Maldives.
- Kerala Tourism: For information on houseboat trips in Kerala’s backwaters.
- Réunion Tourism: To explore hiking trails in Réunion Island.