You may have read our previous blog of how we love Zambia – which we do, we really do, I am just relating this blog to my previous one with regards to stunning locations which are completely off the beaten track, or the road less travelled! Madagascar is one of those locations.
Madagascar is the largest island in the world. Almost 2 x larger than the United Kingdom. With a wonderful and vast variety of different landscapes and ecosystems, form lemurs to towering baobabs, colourful rainforests, arid deserts, activities ranging from hiking to diving, Madagascar pretty much has it all and is the perfect destination for outdoors enthusiasts.
With the months of November through to July, the coast of Madagascar is the location you should head to. Not only because we cannot stop talking about this wonderful new lodge from Time & Tide – Miavana is what can only be described as heaven on earth. The environmental team that work alongside Time & Tide monitor and record nest locations for hundreds of rare species of turtles. They monitor the species, the incubation and record the number of hatchlings from all the nests that are situated on Nosy Ankao and nearby Nosy Manampaho. Three primary and very rare species that inhabit these locations are the green turtle, the hawksbill and very occasionally the elusive Olive Ridley turtle.
The sight of hundreds upon hundreds of baby sea turtles flip-flopping their way down the beach to the water’s edge is a wonderful sight to behold and will surely melt the coldest heart. The Time & Tide Team at Miavana help to make sure these small babies have the best chance for survival. As soon as these small creatures hatch, they are fighting for survival: battling through foot craters within the sand, dodging sea birds and crabs ever hopeful to catch a small scampering snack, once they hit the shore, they are battling against bigger dangers which Miavana, along with every guest who stays here, are helping to protect. Habitat change, climate change, ocean pollution, egg collecting, and turtle hunting have all contributed to a vast reduction within the sea turtle population, not just in Madagascar, but world wild.
For the 2019 season, Miavana have located 15 nests on Nosy Ankao – 10 of which are from Green Turtles and 5 nests from the incredibly endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. Many of these nests are located directly in front of some of the guest’s villas along the front of the main beach. Each of these nests will include between 85-200 eggs depending on the age of the mother that laid them. Each mother can lay between 3-5 clutches every year and they will always return to the same beach that she herself hatched from.
If you are interested about becoming involved with the sea turtle conservation project at Miavana, the best time to visit for the laying season is between November & December. For the hatching season visit between early April to early May. Protecting these endangered species as well as protecting the bigger picture, protecting our planet is something we should not be brushing to one side.