On the way to our destination, I didn’t know we were going to cross water of any kind, but if I had investigated, I would have known that our African lodge was located off the coast of Madagascar. My old friend Jessica and I were on our way to the island of Nosy Be for an African safari. I like the name, Nosy Be, it sounds like a noisy little bee but it actually means “big island”.

Our cozy bungalow

We finally arrived at our accommodation, The Villa Blanche, after our boat trip. It was everything I expected. A cozy little bungalow, which is not too fancy, but still has all the luxuries one expects when wanting to relax on vacation. However, I knew I wasn’t going to be spending much time in our bungalow, because one thing was for sure, I was determined to come home with the best tan from my vacation. And what better place to get that dream tan than on an island paradise, lying under the African sun?

There is something about the African sun. Personally, I think you can’t have a happy life without having a good time in the sun. Just another reason why I love my job as a photographer, but this week was my chill week and except to capture my vacation moments, I wasn’t going to spend any time away from the paradise beach.

Palm trees and sunny skies

Almost every morning, Jess and I get up as early as possible to have a good time in the sun. No matter how tempting it is to overindulge, the truth is that even if you live in Africa, its sun can seriously burn you.

It was February, which meant rainy nights and nice humidity during the day, but in my opinion, it was just perfect! Spending lazy days on the long stretch of white beach and making the most of the warm weather was what I had set out to do.

On the island of Nosy Be you can find beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, lined with palm trees, making it an ideal place for an island-style holiday.

We had our sun loungers set up on the terrace of our bungalow, and with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other we left all our worldly worries behind. Yes, this is life. With such a relaxed atmosphere, we just had to make sure we didn’t fall asleep while lying in the sun, as one would surely regret it in the most painful way once one got a bit of heatstroke from spending too much time in the sun and unprotected.

a little reserved

In one of our attempts to do more than laze around, we decided to go on an African safari to the Lokobe Game Reserve, and of course I kept my Kodak camera handy for any moment that might occur. We didn’t see anything for the first half hour or so, but then we got lucky. Hidden high up in one of Madagascar’s many trees was a female black lemur cradling her little one safely in her arms. I still don’t know how Jess managed to find her, but it was obvious that she was lonely and shy.

There are so many varieties of lemurs in the forests that we saw quite a few on the rest of our hike. Very playful, and so loud! Chameleons were almost as plentiful as lemurs. If it wasn’t for our guide, we would never have seen all of them! The colorful butterflies provided us with much animation and it is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. Not forgetting the impressive flora. Especially the beautiful Baobab trees.

After our adventurous expedition and capturing Madagascar’s local animal pride on film, we return to our lodge for a well-deserved Moroccan-style feast.

Our stay at The Villa Blanche was not only perfect for an African safari getaway, but the lodge setup is the ideal laid back holiday getaway.

Nothing revitalizes the soul like a few days of rest in the sun, surrounded by the most pristine presence of nature.