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With wild beaches, incredible diving, fishing, helicopter adventures and a world class spa, it brings a new level of luxury adventure to the Indian Ocean

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At approximately 10km square, the island of Nosy Ankao is small enough to feel like an intimate paradise island, but large enough to provide a wealth of things to see and do. Once a hide-out for pirates, the island has a colourful history and has now become the home of Miavana, the only resort on the island.

It is in fact, the only 5* luxury resort in the country making it the place to be in Madagascar, and pioneer of eco-tourism on such a scale in the region. It is designed by the same talented architects that designed North Island in the Seychelles, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens and is yet another utter triumph in design.

Madagascar itself is a biodiversity hotspot, famed for its high percentage of endemic species.  A stay at Miavana will allow you to explore this natural wonderland, while being treated to the award-winning hospitability.

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The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

Where is Miavana Private Island located?

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the World and is around 400 kilometres off the East coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Miavana is located on the largest of five islands in the Nosy Ankao archipelago, just off the North coast of Madagascar. The archipelago is part of a 15, 000 hectare protected marine area called the Loky Manambato Protected Area which includes the neighbouring mainland.

Several international airlines fly into Madagascars largest airport, in Antananarivo from a variety of destinations such as Nairobi, Johannesburg and Paris. One can also arrive at the smaller international airports on the island in Nosy Be, and Arrachart Airport Antsiranana. The only way to reach Nosy Ankao and Miavana is by helicopter, and it is a 30-minute helicopter flight from Arrachart Airport (also known as Diego Suarez), or 1 hour from Nosy Be. After an incredibly scenic journey, you will gently touch down on the islands helipad and be greeted by a freshly prepared coconut and breath-taking beauty.

What sort of accommodation is available at Miavana Private Island?

Miavana has only 14 villas of various sizes – one, two or three bedrooms that are scattered along the pristine beach, and each is a masterpiece in design with a sleek, minimalist feel.  Built with the notion of bringing the natural elements from outside into the design, the result in an unpretentious but utterly luxurious experience where every detail has been deliberately designed to create a tranquil retreat.  

Floor to ceiling glass frontage allows for panoramic views of the Indian Ocean just a stone’s throw away.  There are two bathrooms for each room – his and hers and they also have a private swimming pool. The rooms are huge - from 450Sq mtrs and all have a private lounge and study.

Undoubtably one of the delightful and unique features of the villas is the distinctive turreted shower, open to the air at the top where one has the feeling of being engulfed in a cosy cocoon of local, hand-cut stones conjuring notions of true castaway luxury. Style and design are very much evident in the rooms with their hand dyed textiles in beach colours, and the floor to ceiling windows draw in the panoramic views.

From your villa, explore the island using the complimentary bicycles and electric buggy.

What activities are available at Miavana Private Island?

Whether you want to have time to yourself in your villa, top up your tan, or get involved in the numerous activities on offer, Time + Tide Miavana Private Island offers a vast array to suit all age categories and fitness levels. Many of these are included in the rates, such as:

  • Snorkelling around the island. The house reef can be reached without a boat and is ideal for snorkelling right
  • Boat cruises
  • Island cultural visits
  • Resort diving lessons and scuba diving around Nosy Ankao.
  • Water skiing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Surf-ski
  • Stand up paddle boarding.
  • Resort diving lessons
  • Shore based fishing and half day fishing trips
  • Cycling
  • Use of an electric buggy

Not included are helicopter adventures, deep sea fishing and PADI qualifications.

Does Miavana Private Island cater for families with young children?

Children of all ages are welcomed at Miavana Private Island in all villa types. Children under the age of 14 are provided with accommodation free of charge when sharing with the minimum number of guests specific to that villa type.  Children from 14-17 years are given a 50% discount off the adult rate when sharing with the minimum number of guests specific to that villa type. 

Villas can accommodate 2 children as a maximum at any one time.  Of course, some water-based activities may not be suitable for children depending on their age however once on the island the staff will happily create a personalized program of activities for children. The parents will be responsible for always supervising their children.

The “bubble maker” is a favorite activity for children 8-9 years old where they can don full scuba gear and jump in to explore the house reef while very closely supervised by one of the PADI instructors. The maximum depth would be up to two meters.

When is the best time to visit Miavana Private Island?

The weather patterns create two distinctly different seasons, and the best months to visit will depend on your preferences and what activities you are keen to get involved in. For some activities, such as guided nature walks in search of lemurs and other wildlife, the weather year-round is suitable.

  • From mid-November through to April, one will have the warmest daily temperatures, between 23˚C / 73˚F up to 33˚C / 91˚F. This period also sees the greatest rainfall, which happily usually falls at night. The weather can be humid at any time of the year, although sea breezes bring cooler air and relief from heat and humidity. This season is best for those wishing to have a chance of seeing sea turtles nesting on the beach or partake in water-based activities such as scuba diving, fishing, and snorkeling. This is also a superb time of year for guided nature walks in search of lemurs and other wildlife.
  • From May through to mid-November, the daily temperatures are a little cooler ranging from 20˚C / 68˚F to 30˚C / 86˚F. At this time of year, there is very little chance of rain. The seasonal south easterly winds peak during this season, during June creating the perfect conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing enthusiasts. This season is the absolute best however for wildlife, and there are a plethora or spectacles to be seen. Thousands of tern’s land on the adjacent island of Nosy Manampaho, and this seasonal nesting colony is quite a sight to behold so a guided nature walk around the colony is very much recommended. Equally exciting is the arrival of Humpback whales in Nosy Ankao’s waters, where they have come to breed and will exhibit dramatic breaching displays.

How does Miavana Private Island protect and nurture the local environment?

Though only a small private island, they have made and continue to make a huge impact on the island and surrounding mainland. Some of the projects that they are involved with, finance and manage include:

  • Seaweed Farmers and their local island communities. Because of its remoteness, Nosy Ankao is not easy to patrol by local authorities, has little to no support from local authorities and has in many places suffered from overfishing. Conservationists have encouraged Seaweed farming as one way to alleviate and lessen the pressure on fishing.  Farmers are assisted and guided in this and the impact is being felt with a more sustainable alternative to fishing.  Nylon cords have been introduced for the seaweed lines and have built a new primary school, supplied schoolbooks etc and solar power to them.
  • They believe in female empowerment initiatives and because of this they encourage girls to attend school and importantly carry through to completing secondary school. They focus on encouraging self-esteem, literacy, and overall academic performance.
  • Also, and unusually employ a part-time medical doctor and full-time nurse who visit 20 villages in the Loky-Manambato Protected Area. This means that up to 8,800 people now have reliable medical care.
  • They also sponsor medical personnel to receive specific train for conditions that are prevalent in their communities. For example, in 2019, they supported training to one medical doctor and nurse on how to manage cases of obstetric fistula.
  • Miavana is exceptional in that it is an environment that is protected, and they have a team who monitor wildlife – both lemurs and birdlife and manage reforestation projects. They monitor, research and project nesting sea turtles, do marine and terrestrial biodiversity surveys, and proudly are involved in the Crowned Lemur Conservation programme.

 

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


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