We take you to Madagascar through the eyes and lens of photographer, Andrew Macdonald.
Andrew had the opportunity to travel to and live on private island Nosy Ankao at the stunning new luxury island holiday resort of Miavana in Madagascar by Time + Tide.
Q: What is special about Miavana from a photography perspective?
A: The lodges and main area boast awesome design from every angle. Everywhere you look you can see another moment you want to capture. It’s the different light too. At luxury Miavana, things look different especially in the main areas. You have got archways everywhere, you’ve got waterways, palm trees in the sand and intricate stonework. Also in Madagascar you’re privileged to be able to photograph a lot of stuff that you’re never going to see anywhere else in the world, like certain types of chameleons, baobab trees, most things you see there are endemic to the island which is special for anyone not just photographers!
Q: Do you have some tips for Miavana holiday photographers?
A: Expect the unexpected. I had no idea that I would desire to have a macro lens whilst I was there. I thought I would be focusing on big seascape photography. Instead, when I was off on bush walks, I’d find tiny shells with spider residents, minute chameleons and geckos and they’re all climbing in the trees so you get some nice close-ups with a macro lens. I would also advise people to bring some sort of housing if you can or an underwater camera because you’ll regret not having something to take when you’re diving or even when you’re snorkelling right out the front of Miavana. The marine life is abundant and beautiful.
Q: What were your top 5 experiences at Miavana?
A: Every day was magical. So it has been really tricky to choose just five experiences out of a month of living in Madagascar.
- The first one was flying over the island and out to the ocean in a helicopter to capture aerial footage of Nosy Ankao as a remote island and its surrounding beauty. Along the way we were blessed with a whale watching opportunity, spotting a mother and her calf happily playing. We hovered for a while to capture this wonderful moment with whales on film.
- Another favourite would be deep sea diving and snorkelling, even just off the shore infront of the resort’s bar. Right on your door step the water offers an abundance of fish and it’s not uncommon to have hundreds swimming all around you. This was awesome for me.
- I did about 5 or 6 dives at Miavana and I enjoyed every one. I managed to do some underwater video work which I love. The most poignant dive was just off the side of the boat with a mother humpback whale and her calf who were playing on the surface. Imagine putting on your fins, snorkel and go pro camera, diving into the waters with these enormous and serene creatures just 7 metres away? There were some nice shots as the mother whale was like an iceberg, just popping through the surface and then this colossal beautiful animal could be seen below. You certainly get a sense of vulnerability and you can hear them communicating underwater – it’s so loud and resonates right through your chest.
- Seeing my first ever lemur was also a massive moment for me. They are such fascinating creatures and I was surprised how relaxed they were around people. The lemurs we were with one day in this beautiful forest were fascinated and would come up and investigate you, truly awesome.
- Fifth, certainly not last has to be a day trip to Manamphao. There were thousands of Turins that nest there and you can sit in amongst them. Tens of thousands of Turins fly around you, even the chicks running around on the ground get quite close. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience.
What’s all the hype?
If you have not heard about Miavana or certainly seen photos of it, you won’t really have any concept of its unique offering and thus all the hype. So here are some photographs Andrew took during his stay. We hope it captures some of the beauty of the Madagascar island it resides on and then Miavana – the ultimate Madagascar island resort with a casual elegance and uber luxury style.
Are you Madagascar holiday ready?
So have we sold you on the idea of a Madagascar holiday that may or may not include Madagascar island resort Miavana? That will come down to your interest, time and budget.
Or if you love the sound of a photographic safari, be it in Madagascar or on safari we can get you there. So the question is, are you safari ready?