East African Islands
A tropical island paradise in every sense of the word, Mnemba Island is a beautiful piece of heaven located just off the northern tip of Zanzibar surrounded by the crisp blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Here the simplest of pleasures turn into magical luxuries where the finer things in life are the sounds of gentle waves lapping the coral pearly white sands so fine along the shoreline, miles of ocean to gaze across whilst it changes shades of blue, green and turquoise as the sun emits dancing rays over its glistening surface, and the blissful quiet enabling you to enjoy paradise just as you wish.
Mnemba is a small tiny island that will leave you feeling like it is almost entirely and exclusively yours. A haven for no more than 20 guests at a time, as well as a team of warm hospitable staff that inhabit this luxurious island, Mnemba is a private island with this very sole purpose – to make you feel as if you have fallen off the edge of the world and landed in your very own paradise. Here luxury is defined by the paradise you wish to create.
Whether your perfect island getaway is beautiful solitude soaking up the sun or curling up beneath a thatch umbrella reading one of the lodge’s library books, diving with dolphins, snorkeling around the Mnemba reef, massages in your very own beach day bed, sleeping in until the fresh ocean air lures you out onto the impossibly luxurious coral beach sands or sailing in a dhow sipping delicious cocktails, Mnemba has a little inspiration in every corner to tempt you to create your very own Robinson Crusoe paradise island story. Whether as a relaxing end to an exhilarating safari through the wilderness of Tanzania or an island getaway all on its own, it’s your world here at Mnemba island
Scuba Diving There are dive sites all the way around the island but the Mnemba Atoll, which lies off the northern tip of the island and in the channel that separates Zanzibar from Pemba island, attracts the majority of divers. While most dives are relaxing, easy and shallow, there are also a couple of very deep wall dives suitable for advanced divers.
Snokerling The deep water around Zanzibar attracts some of the giant of the Indian Ocean like the humpback whale that comes closer to the beaches. Another visitor is the friendly whale shark that sometimes allow snorkelers and dives to come close
Coral Reefs The reef atoll serves as the remains of a once larger volcanic island. Experience the wonders of the world beneath during the day the Mnemba reef are a fascinating experience during which you can discover the oceanic life hidden during the day as it comes out to play after hours.. Along the powdery sands of Mnemba Island, look out for hyperactive ghost crabs, plough snail or washed up jellyfish, as well as the world’s largest land crab, indigenous to the island, the coconut crab.
Marine life wandering birdlife frequents the surf Zone of Mnemba Island, feeding on sand-shrimps, sea-lice and other small invertebrates. Birding enthusiasts can look forward to watching the daily movements of whimbrel, sand plovers, curlew sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, dimorphic egrets, lesser crested terns, common terns and white-tailed tropicbirds, are Inhabitants here
One of the most interesting things to do in Maldives is to indulge in the many excursions of Maldives. There are a lot of places to see around Maldives. It will be an ultimate experience to visit the fishing village and see the Maldivians way of life. And it can be said that if you do not explore Male, the capital city of Maldives, your trip is incomplete.
You don’t need to ponder as to how to enjoy in Maldives, because there are a number of fun options available to suit the needs of every person’s enthusiasm level and his budget. There are different kinds of excursions available here consisting of diving, sailing, safari fishing trips, discovering the beauty of resort islands and uninhabited islands etc. If you want to have some thrill, then you can choose to opt for aerial excursions by helicopter or seaplane. It will also give you an opportunity to view the clear blue skies. Some of the resorts also provide for moonlight excursions.
Visiting Malé Male is the capital of the Republic of Maldives and is built on an island which is just four sq kms. Over one third of the 300,000 population of Maldives live in Malé. Very unlike the resort islands where life is laid back and unhurried, Malé is a busy modern city dominated by high-rise buildings, paved roadways, shops, cultural sites, and cafes. Visit Malé to get to know the people of Maldives, their cultural heritage and sumptuous local cuisine.
Given that the Maldives comprises small islands scattered across the ocean, perhaps the best way to experience this unique archipelago is on a cruise boat. Cruising will allow the opportunity to explore many of the 1190 islands and also the chance to dive at some of the greatest sites in the world.
The many live aboard cruise boats registered and operating in the country vary in size from 3 cabin sailing boats to much larger ones and offer facilities and services ranging from modest to exclusive. However, one thing common to all these vessels is that they are staffed by highly experienced professionals who know the Maldivian waters like the backs of their hands.
In addition to taking you to some world renowned dive sites, these cruise boats also offer you activities such as fishing trips and excursions to uninhabited islands as well as inhabited ones to see the local ways of life.
It is not without good reason that the Maldives has acquired a reputation as one of the most enchanting dive destinations in the world.
The unique beauty of the Maldivian underwater world is doubly appreciated by divers world over due to the high visibility (sometimes even at depths of 50 meters), the multitude of exotic marine fauna and flora and the warm temperatures (25 – 30 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.
All resorts and most cruise boats operating in the Maldives have well equipped dive centers, staffed by multilingual, experienced professionals. Also, all resorts have dive schools where, although the facilities may vary depending of the resort’s size, location and clientele; a variety of dive courses ranging from beginners’ to expert PADI certification are offered. In terms of equipment, all have the basics such as compressors, tanks, BCDs, wetsuits, weights and weight belts in addition to (a limited number of) other accessories such as lamps and dive computers. Underwater cameras and video processing facilities are also available in some of the bigger dive schools. All resorts conduct daily dive boat trips to dive sites around the island throughout the year and sometimes even to famous sites further away. Furthermore, although specialized dives (including night dives) are not daily events, many resorts arrange these also on a frequent basis.
For those who would love to see the underwater but hesitate to take the deep plunge, snorkeling is a wonderful alternative.
Since the lagoons of Maldives are so clear that with just a snorkel mask and fin you can be witness to the activities of the many different species of fish and fauna on the unique Maldivian reefs. You are guaranteed to encounter playful fish and rare corals even on the resorts’ house reefs and perhaps a turtle or some other curious creatures too if you are lucky.
Though surfing is relatively new in the Maldives, compared to activities such as diving and snorkeling, the Maldives is now acknowledged for some world recognized surf spots and has been host to the renowned O’Neil Deep Blue competition for two consecutive years.
The best time to surf in the Maldives is from April to October, with the biggest swells likely to occur in June-September. Due to the monsoonal winds from the Indian subcontinent and the swell generated from the south, the conditions during these months are predominantly off-shore all day. The surf generally ranges in size from 3 – 8 feet although bigger ones are experienced occasionally. A great variety of breaks can be found in the Maldives ranging in intensity from the quite mellow shreddable walls to gnarlier hollow pits.
There are two major surf areas in the Maldives – the North Malé Atoll (April – October) and the Outer Atolls (February – April). The North Malé Atoll sports the most popular breaks and the outer atolls’ breaks (approximately 300 miles to the south of the capital Malé) contain at least a dozen potential world class breaks that are rarely surfed.
All resorts without exception have water sports centers that provide a range of water sports and fun activities. The most popular among these are snorkeling, windsurfing and catamaran sailing. The water sports centers are equipped with boards and sails of different sizes and some offer courses for beginners and advanced windsurfers and sailors.
Among other popular water sports activities are parasailing,
kayaking, kite-surfing, water-skiing and jet skiing. Some resorts even offer you the opportunity to try out your sailing skills on a local dhoni.
An ‘island-hopping’ excursion would take you to another resort, an uninhabited island and an inhabited island all in a day-tour designed to give you a taste of the country.
You would also get the opportunity to snorkel in the clear waters of a desert island and experience a barbecue on the beach. Some resorts take this a step further by conducting the excursion by sea
The sea plane companies operating in the Maldives offers spectacular flights over the atolls – perfect for photo trips, sightseeing or just plain enjoyment.
These flights provide a range for service flights such as airport-to-resort shuttles, island-hopping and short sight-seeing trips which provide breathtaking views of the coral reefs, islands and the crystalline lagoons.
The flight companies also offer their seaplanes for aerial photography that allows one the chance to capture the natural beauty of the Maldives as seen from above; the view of the small islands dotting the vast ocean at regular intervals like gems on a necklace – the perfect souvenir.
The breeze and the wind movement and the large lagoons that surround most of the islands are ideal for windsurfing. A majority of resorts have windsurfing schools where you could take instructions and lessons and even be certified. Like the diving schools the surfing schools are well-equipped. Most of the time the condition is suitable for beginners.
Many resorts have their own speed boats and skis for rent on per hour basis. Some even have instructors available to give you lessons. Prices vary form resort to resort.
Equipment and service (boat and sail, and guide) for this adventurous pastime is offered by the more luxurious resorts. This would be ideal for those adventurous enough to go through the challenge. It will give you a fantastic Arial view of your resort and the surroundings.
This is a very relaxing and refreshing sports enjoyed by the visitors. It is always possible to embark on a new adventure sailing on the beautiful blue waters of the Maldives. Endless stretches of deep blue Indian Ocean waters awaits you, and the lush green islands dotting the horizon in thousands would tempt you to continue sailing forever.
Big Game Fishing
The resorts offer you the chance to experience night fishing using the traditional local style fishing line with weights. Some resorts have arrangements for Big Game Fishing on fast boats. It is advisable to bring your rod and lures for this type of fishing. Fishing in the Maldivian waters can be an adventure of a lifetime for keen fishermen and first-timers alike. The Maldivian seas are azure blue and deep, the fish numerous and varied. Sailfish, huge tuna, wahoo, barracuda and jack fish are common games.
At 155km², Mahé is the largest island in Seychelles and home to the bijou capital city, Victoria, as well as the international airport and around 80,000 people: some 90% of the country’s total population. It’s a lush, mountainous and scores of gorgeous beaches. Many plants, including the so-called Jellyfish Tree and several rare orchids, are unique to Mahe’s shores. The Seychelles Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens and the Codevar Craft Centre, all in Victoria, are not to be missed. Whether hiking or in search of beach solitude, it’s not difficult to find space and privacy. Self-driving is easy, with relatively short distances, good maps, easy signposting and a good network of tarmac roads on the island.
As a direct result of its dramatic topography, Mahé has more rain than the low-lying private islands, but this also accounts for its rich vegetation – and a tropical downpour is often a spectacular event. For Island hopping by sea most journeys originate a short distance from the Centre of Victoria’ at Marine charter harbor and a little further away you can connect with the cat coco high speed inter island ferry service to praslin.Mahé is an extraordinary treasure house of flora that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation.
Beyond the attractive frangipani, hibiscus, bougainvillea and tropical fruit trees that adorn the flat coastal plateau, there are rare endemic jewels such as the Jellyfish tree which inhabit Mahé’s verdant mountainous forests.
Beau Vallon Beach
Beau Vallon may well be Mahé’s most popular beach, and with almost 2km of golden, palm-fringed sand, a curved mountain backdrop and shallow sparkling waters, it is easy to understand why. Along with a good number of local-style and smarter hotel restaurants and bars, there are aquatic activities aplenty and several places to stay. Although it’s relatively busy by Seychellois standards, there is enough beach space to ensure that finding a nice quiet spot is easy.
Organised activities are fairly limited here, as most come to enjoy the lovely beach and do very little – but diving, fishing and boat excursions can be arranged. If you are there in the right season (best August – October) book a trip out to snorkel with the whale sharks with the professionally run Underwater Dive Centre situated on Beau Vallon beach.
For some gentle land-based distraction, there are a number of small artists studios and some pleasant gardens to explore at Le Jardin du Roi in the mountains.
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