Slowing the pace in Madagascar

If there’s ever an occasion to really push the boat out, it’s a honeymoon. And when your day job is a private guide, the pressure’s on ;) 

When Hen and I tied the knot last year, we were after a honeymoon destination that had a laid-back beachy vibe - we were shattered - but also offered stacks of activities and opportunities for coastal adventures. And so we chose Miavana, a remote private island off the coast of Madagascar. 

Raised in Watamu, Kenya I’ve spent much of my life at the coast and had the privilege of experiencing some truly exceptional beach destinations. But Miavana genuinely tops them all - a wild, romantic corner of Madagascar where quiet luxury meets epic adventure. This extraordinary and unspoilt island exceeded our expectations in every way imaginable.

So here’s why Miavana deserves a spot on your bucket list. From secluded beaches and remarkable wildlife to thrilling activities and unparalleled service, Miavana isn't just a destination—it's an experience to treasure.

Head out in a kayak and view the island from a different perspective.

1. Secluded pristine wilderness

Imagine a place so remote and untouched that the hustle and bustle of everyday life feels like a distant memory. Miavana is nestled on the secluded island of Nosy Anko, surrounded by pristine beaches and natural beauty. Here, you'll find yourself immersed in a world where the only sounds are the gentle lapping of waves and the rustle of palm trees in the breeze. 

Paolo’s top tip: to best explore the picture-perfect secluded beaches on the island head out for a five kilometre walk along the ‘Skeleton Coast’ to Kite Beach. Or take a quad bike to the island’s lighthouse. From there you’ll have incredible panoramic views over the entire island  Head home via the small picturesque fishing village and enjoy a cold local beer.

The most stunning beaches, Islands and coral reefs surround Miavana and the best way to see it all is from the air!

2. Thrilling activities

For the adventure-seekers and thrill enthusiasts, Miavana is a playground of exciting activities. Take to the skies on a helicopter excursion to see the lemurs on mainland Madagascar or head out on a deep-sea fishing adventure. With a dedicated water sports centre offering kites, boards, SUPs, canoes and kayaks , and a sheltered inlet  where the water is always perfectly calm for skiing and wake-boarding, Miavana is ideal for those who love playing on the water. Back on terra firma, there’s some great walking  (an ideal way to track down the island’s crowned lemurs) and an impressive wellness offering - yoga classes, spa treatments and a general barefoot ease that sets the tone for your stay at Miavana.

The South of the Island has an epic, remote kitting spot! It's incredible to have the ocean all to yourselves.

Paolo’s top tip: As an avid fisherman I highly recommend the fishing experience at Miavana. As it was my honeymoon I wasn’t able to fish as much as I would have liked to (!) but I highly recommend opting for GT fishing with your own heli. That way you can reach the most epic unreachable GT spots: a must for any keen fisherman.We went for a scenic heli ride and could even see the biggest fish from the air! 

Squeezing in a bit of fishing between all of the other activities.

3. Exceptional service and food:

From the moment you arrive, you'll be greeted with friendly smiles and a level of service that goes above and beyond: attentive would be an understatement. Nothing is too much trouble for the Miavana team.Whether it's arranging bespoke experiences or having the knack to anticipate your every need, the service at Miavana is second to none. We had our own butler who stocked our fridge every day, helped arrange all our activities, ran bubble baths and even offered to unpack our bags. All you need to do is relax and enjoy being pampered.

Paolo’s top tip: Make the most of all the different sundowner and supper locations. From private suppers at your villa under the stars, to picnic beach breakfasts after an awesome morning kite, these guys know how to think outside the box when it comes to food and service.

Watching the sun go down from your private villa with your very own butler making delicious cocktails.

4. Unique wildlife and flora:

Step into a world teeming with extraordinary wildlife and flora, unlike anywhere else on earth. From the iconic crowned lemurs to vibrant coral reefs beneath the azure waters, Miavana is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Explore lush forests, pristine beaches and hidden lagoons: each offering a glimpse into Madagascar's rich biodiversity. We took a morning heli trip to Black Lemur Camp and hiked for a couple of hours, spotting a variety of different lemur breeds! 

Visit the Crowned Lemurs on the Island or go to the Black Lemur Camp with a heli to see more different species.

Paolo’s top tip: Don’t forget to take a guided tour of the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’: Miavana’s little museum which is home to an impressive collection of historical artefacts and travel treasures.

Fascinating artefacts in The Cabinet of Curiosities.

5. The beautiful lodge Itself:

Last but by no means least, let's talk about the lodge itself. Miavana isn't just a place to rest your head—it's a masterpiece of design and castaway luxury, in the heart of paradise. From spacious, beautifully-appointed ocean-front villas to the main piazza area offering various dining options, a well-stocked wine cellar / bar, boutique and a glittering infinity pool, every corner of Miavana exudes elegance and charm. It's a genuine sanctuary where comfort meets style, ensuring your stay is nothing short of extraordinary.

Lounge in your villa has a comfortable seating area, television and lots of games to keep you entertained.

Paolo’s top tip: With so much to do here, you can easily forget to just kick back and spend time enjoying the comfort of your own villa! Make sure that you have enough time to slow the pace a little and read a book or catch forty winks alongside your private plunge pool.

The is no lack of places to chill in your private villa!

So there you have it, five seriously compelling reasons to add Miavana to your bucket list. Whether you're seeking secluded wilderness, thrilling adventures, exceptional service, unique wildlife encounters, or simply a beautiful lodge to call home, Miavana promises an unforgettable escape unlike any other. To find out more and to combine Miavana with an Africa Born safari experience, do get in touch.

Looks amazing, right?

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