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Boababs - Mauritius To Zanzibar

Africa's Frontier Islands

Mauritius to Zanzibar17 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $16,390.00* PP

For millennia, the eastern edge of Africa has stood at the crossroads of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. Onboard Coral Geographer, take in the diverse landscapes of Mauritius, Réunion, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania over 17 nights. In the comfort of our state-of-the-art expedition ship, explore lands that only hardy traders in search of ancient spices ventured to in the past. Your African frontier expedition starts at cosmopolitan Port Louis in Mauritius which is well connected through its international airport. Make your first landfall in the tiny island of Reunion, a French ‘department’ and the outermost region of the European Union. Madagascar, with its extraordinary biodiversity and vast hinterland offers a fascinating contrast. Meet the semi-nomadic Vezo people at Andavadoaka who make their living from the sea, encounter native lemurs at Kirindy Reserve, and walk down the striking avenue of the giant Baobabs. Explore tiny Mozambique Island, a World Heritage site with a fascinating blend of African, Arab and European cultures. Take in the UNESCO World Heritage Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani, an island state off the coast of Tanzania and once a medieval sultanate occupied from the 9th to the 19th century. Disembark at legendary Zanzibar, a melting pot of civilisations since the first millennium. This is a truly extraordinary voyage visiting historic lands only accessible by small expedition ship.

  • 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
  • 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 lemurs and elusive fossa
  • Walk down the impressive Avenue of the Baobabs, lined with 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



Board Coral Geographer in Port Louis, Mauritius at 3:00pm 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.


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.

Alternatively, guests are welcomed to do a half day tour of a vanilla plantation. Learn about the important part that vanilla plays in Reunion’s cultural heritage at St Andre vanilla plantation then explore St Denis. This option suits those who wish to do the optional helicopter ride in the morning.

Coral Adventurer At Sea

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.

lemur madagascar

During our two days at Toliara, guests will form smaller groups and enjoy one activity each morning and afternoon. These activities include:

Miary banyan tree and Miary market: located about 10km outside Toliara, the sacred banyan tree has an intriguing legend involving sacrifice to save the village from an impending flood. Learn of the history and what the sacred tree represents. A visit to the local market offers organically grown products and we may have the opportunity to witness a traditional folkdance.

Antsokay Arboretum and Artisan Markets: Opened in 1980 by the Swiss Botanist, Hermann Petignat, the Arboretum site is located 12km southeast of the city’s centre. The mission of the Arboretum is to conserve, maintain and increase botanical research and collection of plants in southwestern Madagascar and promote public awareness through environmental education. Visit the market located in the heart of Tulear where you can buy handicrafts such as sculpture, weaving and wood carving.

Orphanage Nathanael: Visit the orphanage, overseen by a French Association, home to 99 children between the ages of 6 and 17. See the children’s vegetable garden, tour the dormitories, kitchen, classrooms and library.

Honko Conservation & Reniala Forest: Winning a gold award for best wildlife conservation at the 2015 Responsible Tourism Awards, the Honko Conversation initiative began in response to a threat to the mangrove forests recognised in 2007. At Reniala (meaning baobab in Malagasy) explore a unique habitat home to more than 2,000 plant species, 95% of which are endemic to the area.

Snorkelling from the Xplorer tender over coral

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.

Boat on the beach

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.


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.

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

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

Banded Kestrel Mahajanga

Arriving after lunch into Mahajanga we will experience the famed Cirque Rouge, a multi-coloured rock formation that recalls somehow red American canyons. A hill locks where large gullies have been carved. Erosion has made this sandstone surface display a wide range of colours, from white, pink orange to ochre shades. Local people come here to carry out some of the colourful sand for filling bottles and selling them as souvenirs, or drawing pictures with these sands.

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

Mozambique beach games

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.

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

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

Kilwa Kisiwana Ruins

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.

Zanzibar Women

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. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Suites

Private Balcony - 37.5m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

5 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD).  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)

Not Included

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are traveling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

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