Preview: JBL Indian Ocean Expedition 2018 and application details

This 16 day expedition will take us to the dream destinations of the Indian Ocean. The best time for the four destinations is in October. Unlike previous expeditions there will be no outdoor overnight stays in hammocks or sleeping bags on this trip. The price for the JBL expedition from Frankfurt is approx. € 4500 (the exact travel price will be set mid 2017).

Update about the JBL Expedition 2018 to the Indian Ocean

  1. Travel period: the expedition will take place middle/end October 2018. Departure is probably on Friday, 19 October 2018 with Condor from Frankfurt. Return flight is then on 04 November 2018 at 7:45 a.m. to Frankfurt, also with Condor. This planning is based on the current flight schedules and will be fixed for 2018 at the end of 2017.
  2. Change of travel itinerary: we will leave out Mozambique and instead observe the whale sharks in the north of Madagascar nearby Nosy Be. Mozambique has very unfavourable flight connections and would cost us too much wasted time, meaning long waits for connecting flights and nights spent at the airports. With Nosy Be we will win an additional day for the observation of whale sharks.
  3. New on the itinerary: the island of Réunion in the middle of the Indian Ocean! While checking all possible flight connections we discovered (thanks to Mr Barth from Flugpoint Mannheim!) that we had best start in Mauritius, then fly over Reunion directly to Nosy Be in the north of Madagascar, before continuing to the middle of Madagascar and finally to the Seychelles, from where we will take a direct flight to Frankfurt or to other home countries. And while we are in Reunion we should take the opportunity to have a closer look at the rainforest and the sea. So we will stay for one night on this isolated island which is situated another 1000 km off the east coast of Madagascar and recently hit the headlines with shark accidents.
  4. Number of participants: Due to the transport facilities in Madagascar the group size is limited to 15 participants.
  5. Travel price: we are still working on it. The direct flights with Condor will save a bit of the money budgeted.

Mozambique

We will be flying over South Africa to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. From there we are heading off towards the north to Tofo on the coast. The main attractions will be the whale sharks, which you are almost guaranteed to find in October. We’ll be able to snorkel with the world’s largest fish and at close range observe them slurping down their 6000 litres of plankton food. Even if the 13 m long animals are not typical aquarium dwellers, no nature lover could fail to enjoy experiencing these 12 ton lightweights close up. The shallow water reefs are sure to prove as fascinating for the snorkelers as the 25 m deep reefs will be for the divers, where will carry out seawater analyses.

Madagascar

With its 1600 km length, the world’s second largest island state offers incredibly many and diverse habitats, and can only be visited after days of travelling by car or several domestic flights. For three full days we will concentrate on a region in the central east of the island (Andasibe National Park) which has an incredible biodiversity and a large density of individual reptiles and amphibians. Our top priorities will of course be the beautiful day geckos and the many chameleon species we want to observe. But the aquarium enthusiasts will also be able to have the time of their lives: we are bound to find the endemic fish and invertebrate species that live in the streams and rivers. The water of some streams is so clear that we be able to observe them while snorkelling.

Mauritius

After flying for nearly two hours we will reach the dream island Mauritius. We’ll have two whole days to explore the coral reefs and the rainforest in the interior of the island. With the help of the island’s JBL importer, who, of course, knows every nook and cranny, we will have the chance to get to know the best spots on the island in no time. The coral reefs are very interesting for snorkelers as well as for scuba divers. We would like to compare the water values with those of Mozambique and the Seychelles and relate them to the coral growth.

Seychelles

At the end of the expedition we will continue our flight from Mauritius to the Seychelles, 1800 km north and just below the Equator. The Seychelles have become world-famous for their granite rocks and giant tortoises. We will continue our flight from the airport on Mahe to the small island Praslin which provides an ideal basis for explorations. The island is covered by a dense rainforest and has picturesque bays where we also will carry out light measurements. One trip will also take us to the island La Digue which must have the most beautiful granite formations of all Seychelles. From the Seychelles we will head off on a direct flight to Germany or to the participants’ other home countries.