East African Islands
Eco-friendly travel guide to East African Islands advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in East African Islands, Africa.
- Air quality: 2 - 3 / 5
- Bus connections: 2 - 3.5 / 5
- Train connections: 1 - 2 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 2 - 2.5 / 5
- National parks: 4 - 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 - 4.5/ 5
- Locals' English level: 2 - 3.5/ 5
- Safety: 3.5 - 4.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$60 - $200
- Budget per day: US$100 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Africa is famous for many things, and its East African Islands is not an exception. Those who wish to visit East African islands usually have a difficult time when it comes to choosing. This is because there are many amazing and suitable options.
If you find yourself in any of the countries in this region, you need to be a responsible traveler. This means that you need to get involved in some local activities including visiting the local markets and engaging in eco-friendly activities like recycling.
All foreigners must ensure that they do not litter the environment. The goal should be to keep the island cleaner than you met it.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air pollution is a problem in many places, and the East African Island region is not an exception.
The locals are sometimes ignorant that some of their activities lead to air pollution. Thus, affecting the air quality. It will be wrong to say that the air quality in this region is good.
If you are visiting this region, ensure that you equip yourself. We would advise those with breathing health issues always to have their drugs and other essentials.
More is needed when it concerns air pollution enlightenment in this region, and we hope that a solution comes quickly. This way, there would be visitations to the region.
Respect the Culture
When it concerns respect in the East African Islands region, we would say that it differs depending on the country you are staying in. However, there are some common factors.
Generally, the countries in this region do not like when foreigners are condescending to their locals. It will be best if you treat everyone equally when you are in this region. It is also helpful if you are not proud or boastful.
Understandably, foreigners love to take pictures. However, if you wish to take a picture of any of the locals, ensure that you ask for permission first. These people do not like to be snapped unawares.
It will also come in handy if you can understand some phrases from their local language.
Top 10 Places to Visit
We would help highlight some of the top places of interest in the East African Islands region, cutting across its different countries.
Some of them are:
• Queen’s Palace (Madagascar): It is a palace from the 17th century and open to public visits. You know that you will get stories about the history of Madagascar from this place. Thankfully, there are tour guides to take you around and give explanations. Asides from the stories, the construction of the building are also intriguing. It is one of the best places to get an amazing view of Madagascar.
• Nosy Sakatia (Madagascar): If you are looking for a relaxing place to visit within Madagascar, this island is your answer. It has a beautiful ocean that feeds thee eyes anytime. It is impossible to visit this place without seeing sea turtles, so be on the lookout for them!
• Mount Karthala (Comoros): Since foreigners always love to explore, we would say that you should visit this place as it lets you climb to the tallest peak in Comoros. However, it will be best if you are careful as it is an active volcano. It is always best if you visit this mountain in the company of a local. It is always a great spot, especially for hikers.
• Chamarel Waterfall (Mauritius): It is not surprising that this is one of the top attractions in the East African Islands region as a waterfall is always sure to intrigue people. It has a beautiful outlay, and its peacefulness always attracts people. Visiting this place is never a bad idea, but you should always go with adequate water as it tends to get hot in that area. Interestingly, you can swim at this waterfall.
• Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden (Mauritius): It is a beautiful place to visit as it allows you to connect with nature. At this garden, you get to see about 60 exotic plants. Asides from these plants, there is also a deer and tortoise park. Visiting this place is sure to put a smile on your face as it is an encompassing form of exploration.
• Mont Choungui (Mayotte): This place is always outstanding as it is in the shape of a cone. It is sure always to catch the eyes of a foreigner. When people hear about it, they always want to visit. It presents pleasant views and lets you appreciate the beauty of nature anytime that you visit. The hiking trail on this mount can be challenging, so ensure that you are prepared before embarking on the hike.
• Dziani Dzaha (Mayotte): It is a simple lake that leaves outstanding memories in its visitors’ mind. It is impossible to visit this place and forget about it in a hurry. If you are looking to take amazing pictures for your travel or memory book, this is the perfect location. It also has hiking trails available. If you ever want to have a quiet time, you should visit this lake.
• Vallée de Mai (Seychelles): If you did not know, this place is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is not free to visit this place, but we can say that it is worth paying for since you will enjoy the visit. When you take a tour of this park, you get to see wildlife and palm trees. You sometimes get to hear background stories and tales. There is always a tour guide so that they will answer all your questions.
• Anse Major Trail (Seychelles): You do not always have to visit a beach before getting beach views. This place is a manifestation of such a claim. When you visit this place, you get a walking trail that gives pleasant views. It always comes in handy for couples as people link it as a romantic place to visit. It helps to calm the nerves and the mind.
• Mafate (Réunion): If you are a fan of hiking, you have found the perfect place to visit. It allows you to see the island from different angles, and the exploration is usually fun. It also makes a perfect camping location for those who decide to camp on the island.
A common trait with foreigners is their need to explore. However, this is not a problem for anyone visiting the East African Islands as you will get different options.
It may not be home, but it presents itself as your home away from home. There are many activities to do, and it comes in handy that the locals are usually friendly and welcoming. However, it depends on the vibe and energy that you present initially.
Once you are in the East African Islands region, you should not hesitate to visit all its attractions as it is what makes your holiday memorable. Always remember that you may never revisit the region, so you should not waste the opportunity.
The city parks are usually a point of call for those who are exploring. Visiting parks makes people happy, so they are always ready to jump on the opportunity.
However, we cannot say that this activity is feasible in the East African Islands. The reason for this is because the countries in this region do not have city parks.
This does not mean that you cannot explore other areas, as city parks are not the only points of call for exploration. It may be heartbreaking when you have visitation of these parks in your mind but find out that you cannot. But it should not dampen your mood as you can still have fun.
If there is something the East African Islands region does not lack, it is national parks. You are sure to see national parks in each country in this region.
Some of these countries have many national parks, so you are sure of having a swell time exploring them. In all of these national parks, you get to experience nature and form a connection.
Thankfully, these national parks are kept in a perfect state. Thus, they are always appealing to the eyes. Visiting such places always turns out to be a great idea as you get to learn more about the environment, meet people, and have fun.
From the name of this region, it is expected that it has many water bodies. After all, what else do you expect from islands?
When a place has many water bodies, people also expect to see and explore beaches. If you have this in your mind or plans, you will not be disappointed when you visit the East African Islands. You are sure to see a beach in each of its countries.
Exploring beaches is a way of having a relaxing time during your holiday. There are usually different activities to do on a beach, so there will never be a dull moment. The beach is also a great place to make new friends.
It is also important for any place to have a landmark as it helps foreigners when it concerns the navigation process.
We would not say that these landmarks are for the region as each country has specific landmarks. However, if you insist, we would say that the water bodies are landmarks for the East African Islands region. But it is a regular feature for most islands.
When you are in any of the countries in this region, you get to see outstanding buildings or monuments. These are classified as landmarks. It could also be a mountain that has a unique design.
The idea of a landmark is for it to get capture people’s attention.
We doubt that there is any country you will visit where you will not see a museum. Thus, we are sure that you can explore museums in any of the East African Islands region countries you visit.
Museums are always important when it concerns preserving history. Thus, when a foreigner wants information about a place, one of the first places of call would be a museum.
You can get this information either in written form or through artifacts. In most of the museums in this region, there are usually tour guides. Thus, you will always get clarifications in any area of confusion. Exploring museums should always be on your list of things to do in this region.
Every region has unique meals, and East African Islands is not an exception. We are not saying that you cannot find these foods in other places as there is a possibility that you can see them in some other African regions. However, it could be that it originated from the East African Islands, or this is the region where you will find most of the ingredients for the meal.
Rice is a major and famous meal in this region. You can eat its varieties of Foza sy hena-kisoa or Vary amid’anana. They are especially common in Madagascar.
It will be best if you also try vegetable soup, with one of the varieties being Lasopy.
There are special restaurants for these meals in the region, and we are sure that you will see them in each country. The preparation process of these meals is usually special to the locals, so they ensure that only expert hands handle it when it concerns restaurants. Thus, you will see some traditional local restaurants.
At such places, you will have a menu that contains an array of options. Most of these options will leave you wanting to empty your wallet on food as they are delicious.
East African Islands meals are always top-notch as their traditional local restaurants strive to serve nothing but the best.
Some foreigners usually voice out their concerns about food when they want to visit a new place. These people are usually vegans, so they are bothered about how they can get meals to suit their eating preference.
For such people, they do not need to bother when visiting the East African Islands region. They are vegetarian restaurants in this region, so you are covered.
If there is any traditional local meal you desire, you are sure to get it in your eating preference at these restaurants. They strive to ensure that no one is left out as they want everyone to enjoy their local delicacies.
You can also see different varieties of street foods in the East African Islands regions. Streets foods are meals that people buy from stores on the roadside. One of their main features is their easy preparation process.
Stick meat is common street food in this region, especially in Mayotte. You can get it at any time of the day.
If you can remember, we mentioned how much the people of Madagascar loved rice. Thus, they also have an infusion of it in their street foods. It is called Koba. It is usually served with banana and seafood.
Each country in the East African Islands region has various street foods that you will enjoy.
Visiting a region means that you enjoy things that cut across its different countries. We do not know the country you are visiting when it concerns the East African region, but we are sure that you will have access to enjoyable drinks.
Carbonated drinks like Coca-Cola are common in this region. Thus, we can say that you will always see such drinks.
In a country like Seychelles, you can always get vodka and other rum-like drinks. Madagascar has a drink called ranonapango. It is prepared from burned rice water.
You can enjoy both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in this region.
The state of tap water in the East African Islands region is usually nothing to write home about. It is why we discourage people from drinking tap water whenever they visit any country in this region.
If you are concerned about your health, you should buy bottled water instead of tap water during your holiday. A conscious effort has not been put into the tap water purification, so it is not healthy or portable.
Ensuring that tap water in this region is portable should be looked into, and there are hopeful thoughts about it. However, one should abstain from drinking tap water in this region until something is done.
We would say that visiting the East African Islands is fun as there is always something to do. Foreigners will not visit a place if it is not interesting.
However, you may need a guide when it concerns activities you can do in this region. You do not need to think far about such activities as the water bodies enable some activities like fishing and kayaking.
One can engage in such activities in most of the water bodies in this region. It is right always to have the accompany of a local as they under the water bodies better. However, you now know that fishing and kayaking are feasible activities.
Yoga is also another activity that foreigners can do in the East African Islands region. We would not say that this activity is as popular as fishing and kayaking, but it is feasible.
Yoga is slowly gaining popularity as people see it as a way of improving the mind and body. Thus, there are more yoga centers now than before. But it still has a long way to go.
These yoga centers are not fully equipped, but there is usually an instructor. It is also not always that you will see people there as it is not a top famous activity.
However, you can engage in it while in the region.
People say one of the top concerns when travelling to a new place is getting a place to stay. We agree with this claim, but we know that you will find it easier when you start to research early.
Getting accommodation in new places usually depends on your budget and the number of people traveling. We will highlight some of your feasible options in the East African Islands region so that you can make a choice.
It is always best to choose early so that you do not look lost and confused when you arrive in the region. Early information is always essential.
You should know that some countries and regions bring sustainability into the picture when it concerns accommodation options. Thus, giving birth to green hotels, which are usually eco-friendly.
Many people are already aware that such an option exists in many places, so they look forward to staying in one. If you are an eco-enthusiast, we know that this may also be on your mind.
It is possible to get green hotels in the East African Islands region, and we are sure that you can find them in any of its countries. The price differs on countries, but your comfort is never compromised.
You will always get the value for your money and peace of mind in such a hotel.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Foreigners also have the option of staying in a hostel or guesthouse when they visit a new place. This option usually comes in handy if you are traveling in a group as there is a provision for more than one person to stay in a room.
If you are visiting the East African Islands region, we know that you can see these options. However, the country you are staying in determines if you will see both options or only one.
We cannot state the prices to expect as it will be wrong to generalize since countries differ. But since you know that it is a feasible option, you should check for any of it in the specific country you are visiting.
Some people say that the apartment option is usually more expensive because it is luxurious. However, you can also get affordable luxury in some places.
An apartment’s idea is to provide a place with encompassing features that ensure you get a taste of home. Staying in such a place usually puts a smile on faces.
There are apartments as a part of the available accommodation options in the East African Islands region. You can see them in any of the countries that make up this region.
They are usually welcoming to foreigners and strive hard to ensure that you do not have any complaints during your stay.
There are different reasons why a person may subscribe to the Couchsurfing idea when in a new place.
It could be that they are looking for free accommodation. It could also be that they desire living like a local, and what better way than to stay with a local?
Whatever the reason might be, what matters is that the Couchsurfing idea is possible in the East African Islands region. The locals are welcoming, and many of them are willing to play host.
Some people are skeptical about this idea, but it goes smoothly when both parties are ready to compromise on conflicting thoughts and ideas.
Many of the tourist attractions in the East African Islands region can pass for a perfect campsite. Thus, camping is feasible.
These locations usually connect people with nature, which is usually paramount when camping. The idea is to be in tune with your environment.
Understandably, it is a new region, and you are not used to it. This is why it comes in handy to be friendly with the locals so that they can accompany you if you desire to camp. These locals will also carry you along if they organize any camping activity.
Camping is always fun as you learn new things about the environment, share stories and engage in catchy activities.
Getting There and Moving Around
It is one thing to have a country in the East Africa Islands region to visit, but it is another thing to know the means that takes you to this country.
If you have not done adequate research about this place, you might be assuming the wrong option when it concerns getting there. Some options might look or seem feasible, but you will later realize that they cannot get you to this region.
Thus, knowing how to get there should be one of your major concerns not to encounter complications. It is always a setback when you encounter difficulty in reaching your destination.
It may seem like you have conquered or achieved your goal when you get to your desired country. However, there is still another obstacle to figure out. This comes in the form of moving around.
Being on holiday means that you have to move around and explore. Even if a holiday is not what took you to that region, you still have to figure out how you will move from one point to another.
What are the different means of transportation in the East African Islands region? This is a common question that we get from people, and we will try our best to provide answers.
The goal is for you to have a stress-free trip.
Walking is one of your options when it concerns moving around in the East African Islands region. However, safety plays a major role in walking around.
Some countries in Africa may not be the safest to visit, but the East Africa Islands region is safe. Thus, there should be no cause for alarm when walking around.
Also, most of these countries are small, and their attractions or major places are centralized. Thus, people do not always have to cover long distances when walking around.
If you take walking as a form of exercise, it becomes more fun than stressful, and you will not feel it.
Using bicycles to move around in the East African Islands region is also not out of place, and you will see people doing it.
Wondering where to get a bicycle? There are rental stores that serve as a solution. In some of the East African Islands region countries, you will see bicycle trails. This comes in handy so that you do not have to struggles lanes with cars.
It is best to note that not all countries have such trails or lanes. For those without, you will have to learn how to ride your bicycle in the same lane as cars. Thus, you should be observant.
Some people will also suggest using a scooter as a means of movement in the East African Islands region. They feel that it should be possible since people also use a bicycle to move around.
It is possible to use a scooter in some countries in this region, but not all the countries. They might be under the same region, but rules vary for one reason or another.
If you are in a country where you can use a scooter, like Madagascar, you must follow proper rules and regulations. It will help if you get clearance to use the scooter and have your safety gear on while riding.
You can use air to get into countries in the East African Islands regions. It is safe for us to say that it is the best way to reach these places.
Coming into such countries is usually easier from France. It is one place where you can get direct flights to countries in this region.
If you did not know, most of these islands were once a part of the French Empire, and some are still governed from Paris. Thus, it is always easier to fly to Paris and get a flight to any of the East African Islands region locations.
Using air is also a means of moving around in some countries in the East African Islands region, with Madagascar being an example. If you are in this country, you can get domestic flights that help you move from one city to another.
It is best to remember that flights can sometimes be expensive. Thus, ensure that your transportation budget is high before you decide to use a flight as a means of moving around.
One of its perks is that it is fast. Thus, you can cover distances in no record time. It comes in handy for those who do not stay long as they can see many places before leaving.
You should know that using a bus to any place depends on if it has a road connection and network. Most of the countries in the East African Islands region do not have such. Thus, using a bus to this region is not feasible.
However, you can use a bus to move around, especially in the bigger countries, like Madagascar.
The bus system helps you navigate between cities, and it is usually affordable.
Using a train in the East African Island region works the same way with a bus. If there is no railway connection, you know that it is impossible to use a train.
There is no railway connection between the countries in this region and other places. Thus, using a train is not a feasible idea in getting there.
Some of these countries have railway connections within, so you can use a train to move around in those places.
It will be impossible to hitchhike in getting into these countries as there is no road connection. It is helpful to remember that the best way of getting to these places is to use air.
However, you can hitchhike within the country. Language is sometimes a barrier as the drivers will only communicate in the local language. This is why it comes in handy if you know some of the phrases.
If you can understand it, you will be able to hitchhike in the East African Islands region.
You can use a boat when it concerns getting into countries in the East African Island region. But it means that you need to be within that region already for this to happen.
Water bodies characterize the region, so it is only normal that boats can operate. However, it is not every time that you will see them, and they are slow. Due to the rareness, they are also expensive.
People are usually rushing the boat option as they want to have the experience.
Some people’s minds may fly high when they hear about sustainable shopping as they feel that it will drain their budget when in a new place. However, the opposite is the case.
The idea here is to patronize the locals in whatever they are selling, especially if these items are eco-friendly. You will realize that most of the items are affordable, so your budget will be intact.
Sustainable shopping helps to grow the economy of the country and region.
If you decide to visit the food market in the country you are visiting, you are engaging in sustainable shopping. After all, the locals are vendors in this place, and they are also selling local items.
Now, you know that engaging in sustainable shopping is easy. Visiting a food market should not be hard as you can see them almost everywhere.
After all, people need to eat, so the demand for food items is usually high.
When visiting the East African Islands region, you will notice second-hand stores in most of its countries. These places help to resell items that are still essential, but their owners do not need them anymore.
When it comes to quality and affordability, these places come in handy. You can now see that sustainable shopping helps preserve your pockets and budget instead of draining them.
Some people say that they get the best gift items when they patronize a second-hand store.
Eco-fashion is another aspect of sustainable shopping that does not get much limelight as it deserves. If you did not know, people could turn recyclable items into fashionable wear.
It happens in the East African Islands region, and we know that this will captivate your interest. After all, who does not like to look good?
If you are looking to purchase fashionable wear at a budget, eco-fashion is the answer. People are always looking unique and superb in these wears.
We cannot say that recycling does not happen in the East African Islands region, but it is not top-notch.
You can see organizations that focus on recycling and individuals that also take on this responsibility. Sometimes, the people are not responsive when it concerns depositing items that can be recycled.
Thus, people need more enlightenment on the benefits of recycling. We can see that eco-fashion happens, which is a result of recycling. But it is not popular.
More needs to be done about recycling in this region.
Some countries struggle with proper management of waste, and countries that fall under the East African Islands region are a part of this struggle.
Sometimes, the locals deposit waste in the wrong places. Other times, the body or organization in charge of waste management is not effective.
Each of the countries has its different challenges when it concerns waste management. Thus, we cannot say that waste management is effective in this region. There are hopes that this will change with time.
Work and Study Abroad
There are some good schools in the East African Islands region countries, so it is not out of place that people want to study here.
But we get questions asking if people can work while studying in these countries. The answer to this question is yes, it is possible.
The countries in the region do not impose laws against working on their students. They understand that people work for different reasons, so students can work while studying in this region.
The schools in the East African Islands region also get exchange students. These are people who are already schooling in other places but decide to make a switch.
Many reasons could influence why a student would want to make a switch. It is common to see those who have heard interesting things about the region, so they want to experience it.
If you are thinking of making such a switch, allow us to tell you that it is possible.
The process of getting a job in a new place is not always easy, and it sometimes leaves people frustrated.
Instead of getting frustrated, you can go for the au pair option. It helps people get domesticated jobs for a period of time. The people in the country you are visiting are such to have a need that you can provide a solution.
It could be taking care of their kids or home or something else. What matters is that you get paid for your services.
The au pair system is effective in this region.
By being a volunteer, you are rendering your services for free. We know that some people derive joy from doing such.
The idea is to identify a need in the region and work with the necessary authorities to ensure that you fix it. The East African Islands region is always happy to get volunteers.
Since you already know that waste management and recycling is a need in this region. You can tailor your volunteering services to that aspect.