A little piece of paradise resting quietly just northeast of mainland Madagascar, Miavana resort on Nosy Anko island is an active family’s dream destination.

It’s an adventure from the get-go. Arriving by helicopter transfer from the mainland is not only a thrill but also a great way to orientate yourself and understand just how rugged and remote this destination is.

Offering warm, personalized service, Miavana provides a haven surrounded by the untamed nature of Madagascar.

As a family, we found the best way to enjoy this destination was to make the most of the activities on offer, especially those on water, to take a break from the heat at this time of year. Aside from snorkeling, skiing, wakeboarding and SUP’ing (stand-up paddling), we did a scuba diving course and thoroughly enjoyed three days of deep-sea diving among spectacular coral reefs.

Thanks to the calm, organized and encouraging leadership of our dive instructor, all four of us were able to appreciate diving at sea for the first time. What an incredible family activity! Discovering the underwater world was a highlight for us and doing it in the beautiful waters surrounding Madagascar was an experience we will never forget.

Back on land, tracking lemurs on foot was another highlight. These adorable primates are only found in Madagascar and live in trees. We discovered a turtle nest and watched a snake strangling a gecko, reminding us of the circle of life. We were also lucky to spot a giant chameleon.

Visiting a village and unexpectedly settling into one of the villager’s homes for beer and zebu (ox) snacks was an experience we truly appreciated. The locals were welcoming – we just wished we could speak French or Malagasy to communicate with them. (But between this experience and scuba diving, our sign language has improved!)

The island is peaceful, private, and pristine. Trade winds carry the worries of the real world off to sea. Local fishermen in dugout wooden canoes drift between the odd deep-sea boat, making this part of the world a beautiful blend of traditional and modern.

At Miavana, nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Appreciating a unique, tailor-made schedule at your own pace with many exciting ‘firsts’ is truly all that you, as a guest, are required to do.

Blog written by Bridget Gardiner