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Get up close to the animal world at Time + Tide Miavana – TRAVELING THE WORLD SOLO Solo Travel

Waking up at Miavana is tantamount to emerging in paradise. My first day on the island of Nosy Ankao was a whirlwind and a dream, but it was only the beginning of my Malagasy adventure.

Despite the extreme humidity and the lack of air conditioning, I slept like an absolute tree trunk. The ventilation system that surrounds the beds looked like an absolute charm. I wasn’t exactly cool, but I was definitely more than comfortable.

After showering and caffeinating, it was time for a quick but forgiving brekkie. Perfectly poached eggs on a bed of lightly crushed avocado were served alongside a plate of cream cheese and a carafe of freshly squeezed orange juice.

No sooner had I finished devouring every bite than it was time for the morning’s mission – to find a family of crown lemurs.

Nosy Ankao is home to a variety of wildlife, but it should be noted that these lemurs do not occur naturally on the island. They were moved to the island from the mainland of Madagascar to ensure a small part of the protection. The small family has been doing so well since their arrival on the island that new lemurs had just arrived the day I left Nosy Ankao.

The island is home to a huge amount of dense jungle, so the lemurs are not found by chance. The original arrivals have no tracking devices around their necks and help persecutors and keepers keep track of them. These devices aren’t exactly brand new technologies, so finding them is still a bit of a hassle, but if you can find them, it’s worth the effort.

I quickly realized that this family not only survives, but also thrives – as a certain bush baby with big eyes shows! This new addition has given the program so much promise and positivity, and Miavana employees are confident that one day Nosy Ankao could be a safe haven and home for many more of these beautiful creatures.

My encounter with the lemurs was short-lived – these guys are a lot harder to hold than you think, especially when they’re in such a dense jungle – but it was very special.

I have no idea how, but when I got back to my villa it was time to eat again! Frankly, with all the food, I don’t know how I had time for anything else!

I wasn’t even hungry, but when this lobster salad and the incredible fettuccine were put down in front of me, I had something like a second stomach – everything was way too tasty to waste.

Oh, and don’t even get me to make this dessert slash artwork!

I spent the hottest part of the day floating around in my pool, soaking up some vitamin D, and applying sunscreen with incomparable zeal.

That afternoon, once the heat had started to dissipate, this reprieve was used to explore a little more of the island itself – by quad bike no less. Time + Tide Miavana is certainly the only hotel on Nosy Ankao, but it is certainly not a private island. There is a small population of Malagasy people who call this island home, and what a beautiful home it is!

Nosy Ankao boasts two churches, two villages, a gorgeous lighthouse and even a school and clinic which are funded by Miavana.

For me, the highlight was the primary school. It is small, but the Madagascar inspired murals that adorn it really do add some character.

We arrived to the lighthouse in time to crack open a cold drink and watch the sky turn to a shade of atomic tangerine. However, I wanted to see the sunset from my villa, so after soaking up the stunning panoramic views, we hopped back on our quad and zoomed back to the resort.

This was a decision that I ended up being very happy with!

That evening, I was treated to yet another ridiculously great meal. All courses were amazing, but this Thai inspired soup was truly a dish to remember.

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After a restful nights slumber, I got up early to head down to the central pavillion and take some photographs of the area without anybody else around.

I also decided to make the most of this alone time and fly the drone, which resulted in one of my favourite ever drone shots!

Capturing this perfectly timed diving shot was pure luck – you just gotta love when all the elements of a photograph come together with relative ease.

Once I had (narrowly) avoided an accidental roof landing (blame Droney Boi’s wonky GPS – not me) and finished my morning dip, I arrived back to my villa to find a fresh coconut and delightfully cheesy omelette waiting for me.

This was bliss.

Pure, undeniable and utter bliss.

After brekkie, it was time to go on my first dive since I had been in the Comoros. I felt a little rusty at first, but it didn’t take long to feel right back into it. Not only was the nearby reef absolutely phenomenal (think bommies the size of double storey houses, endless fishies and coral in very healthy condition) but the water was also so warm that it rendered a wetsuit totally unneeded. I ended up diving in just a bikini and thin t-shirt (more for sun protection that anything else) and it honestly felt like I was diving in a bathtub! Even at depths of around 18m I still stayed perfectly comfortable – it was amazing.

We spotted a lot on our dive, but the highlights were a pod of dolphins, a fast moving eagle ray and a gorgeous turtle who at one point swam within a few inches of me!

After our dive, it was time for a quick belly-filling before going in search of another unique Malagasy creature – the chameleon!

Luckily for me, it didn’t take long at all to find this handsome fella!

It was so fricking cool to watch his colours change, to see his strange two-toed feet navigate the branches and to witness his eyes move in every single direction imaginable.

Chameleons are awesome, and seeing this one really put the cherry on top of what had already been an amazing few days. Honestly, at this point of the trip, with just one night left on the island, I thought the awesomeness of my time at Miavana would start to wind down – but if anything, it just ramped up.

Stay tuned!

Getting to Time + Tide Miavana: Flights to the capital of Antananarivo can be booked via Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines), Johannesburg (SAA), Mauritius (Air Mauritius), Moroni (Air Madagascar), Paris (Air France), Nairobi (Kenya Airways) and Istanbul (Turkish Airlines). From Tana you will fly with Tsaradia to either Nosy Be or Diego Suarez where you will then fly via private helicopter to Nosy Ankao
Time + Tide Miavana: For more information about visiting Time + Tide Miavana,
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Kamera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 lenses and a DJI Mavic Pro Drone
Remember: Bring the most heavy duty deet-filled insect repellent if you visit during the more humid seasons, the mosquitoes in Madagascar are fierce!

Disclaimer: I stayed with Time + Tide Miavana on a complimentary basis, however, this post was not commissioned or sponsored and all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest, unbiased and in no way influenced by the Time + Tide brand, their management or affiliates.

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