Miavana by Time + Tide vs Kisawa Sanctuary: which one is greatest?


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TodayMiavana by Time + Tide versus Kisawa  Sanctuary – which one is greatest?

I hardly ever evaluate luxurious accommodations on my journey weblog. I’ve solely carried out it as soon as final 12 months, by evaluating the Four Seasons Bora Bora with the St Regis Bora Bora. I did so as a result of most discerning vacationers who need to journey to Bora Bora will likely be confronted with the dilemma of staying at both the Four Seasons or the St Regis, the 2 most unique 5-star accommodations on the island. Today, I’m including one other lodge comparability to my weblog: Miavana by Time + Tida in Madagascar (which debuted in 2017; learn my overview right here) versus Kisawa Sanctuary in Mozambique (which debuted 2019; learn my overview right here). Both ultra-luxe properties rank among the many world’s greatest seashore resorts and so they share numerous similarities (spectacular seashore setting, huge personal villas, nature-focused excursions, top-notch service, and many others …). Moreover, each resorts are considered the final word seashore getaway after a safari in Southern Africa and they’re in the identical worth vary (we’re speaking right here about room charges that begin at 5000 euros per evening, though that features all meals, drinks in addition to a collection of actions. The query is: which one is greatest, Miavana or Kisawa? So, right here’s my detailed comparability of each resorts.

Have you ever stayed at Miavana and Kisawa? If so, what was your expertise and which resort did you favor? Leave a remark.

For ease of navigation, I’ll evaluate the next features of Miavana and Kisawa (saying a winner in every class):

  1. Location
  2. Getting there
  3. Villas
  4. Style & design
  5. Communal areas
  6. Spa
  7. Food 
  8. Beach
  9. Excursions
  10. Weather


Miavana by Time + Tide calls the Indian Ocean island of Madagscar its house. Mysterious and shrouded in fable, Madagascar is without doubt one of the most unusual, iconic and biodiverse locations on earth. The ultra-luxe property is positioned on the distant island sanctuary of Nosy Ankao, off the north east coast of Madagascar. Nosy Anko is the biggest of 5 islands within the Ankao archipelago, providing turquoise Indian Ocean waters, pristine seashores, and untouched wilderness. Nosy Ankao has an attention-grabbing historical past. A transient location for seasonal fisherman, the island’s one small village misplaced its whole inhabitants (of round 10) after they ate turtle meat which was poisoned by seasonal algae. In the Nineties the island was utilized by ‘pirates’ as a strategy to keep away from police management on the roads in northern Madagascar. Today, the island is the unique house of Miavana (apart from the native village whose inhabitants now work on the resort).

Kisawa Sanctuary is positioned in Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago, a area which broke away from the mainland hundreds of years in the past and now harbors one of many planet’s richest but least explored subtropical ecosystem. The waters that lap the archipelago are stuffed to the brim with an array of reef fish, sea turtles and recreation fish. An assortment of endangered marine life have additionally been documented right here corresponding to whale sharks, manta rays, leatherback turtles, humpback whales and the very uncommon dugong. Declared a National Park in 1971, the Bazaruto Archipelago is made up of 5 islands: Santa Carolina, Bangué, Benguerra Island, Magaruque, and Bazaruto. Kisawa is ready on Benguerra Island, the second largest island within the Bazaruto Archipelago, which extends over a mere 11 km (6.8 mi) in size. With simply two intimate ultra-luxe lodges adorning its shores (Kisawa Sanctuary and &Beyond Benguerra Island), the island affords an invite to flee the cacophony of on a regular basis life.

Winner: Miavana (due to its personal island setting).



Miavana enjoys a distant setting, which is a part of its enchantment. That stated, getting there implies an extended journey: it’s essential take a flight to one of many two airports in Northern Madagascar (Nosy Be or Diego Suarez), that are solely served by a small variety of airways, adopted by a 30 min (from Diego Suarez) or 60 min (from Nosy Be) helicopter flight. The helicopter flight itself affords breathtaking vistas although of the wild landscapes of one of many world’s final wilderness frontiers, together with hen’s eye views of humpback whales within the ocean beneath if you’re fortunate. Miavana has full-time helicopter pilots readily available that use the resorts’ privately owned Robinson R66 helicopters, that are painted turquoise with white stripes to match the resort’s interiors.

Getting to Kisawa Sanctuary is so much simpler as in comparison with Miavana. The resort is accessible by helicopter from the close by airport of Vilankulos, which receives every day industrial flights from Johannesburg (JNB) and Maputo (MPT). After touching down in Vilankulos, a Kisawa airport host meets and assists company by immigration, and introduces them to the third-party helicopter firm. The flight to the resort takes solely about 5 to 10 minutes and affords unbelievable vistas of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Alternatively, company may attain Kisawa from Vilankulos by personal boat, a journey which takes about half-hour and which may also be organized upon reserving.

Winner: Kisawa (as a result of getting there’s much less time consuming). When your journey originates in Johannesburg, it’ll take a 90 min flight to Vilankulos adopted by a ten min helicopter flight to achieve Kisawa in comparison with a 3 hour flight to Nosy Bay, adopted by a 60 min helicopter flight to get to Miavana. Kisawa additionally has the benefit that it may be reached with out backtracking through Johannesburg Airport after a safari since Airlink affords direct flights from Kruger International Airport to Vilankulos on chosen days; attending to Miavana after a South African safari will all the time contain a bit extra planning: Airlink solely flies twice every week to Nosy Be and these flights leaves within the morning (so you should have the spend the evening earlier than the flight in Johannesburg).


Miavana options 14 supremely luxurious seashore villas, providing one, two and three bedrooms. Space isn’t any problem as these palatial villas are huge in dimension. And what’s extra, they’re dotted on the island’s western aspect alongside the magnificent seashore, affording spectacular views of the ocean, mainland Madagascar (on the horizon), and the sundown. Each villa contains a personal pool, lush backyard, fashionable eating and residing space, well-stocked kitchenette, main bedroom with ensuite lavatory, and a classroom which might be transformed right into a youngsters’s bed room. Each villa additionally comes with its personal bicycles and electrical buggy to discover the island.

Kisawa Sanctuary options 12 huge personal residences that are a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom luxurious villas. Some of the residences are positioned on the calmer cove (lagoon) aspect whereas others shelter within the dunes on the ocean aspect, but all are fastidiously positioned inside their very own secluded plot of at the very least one acre of beachfront, sand dunes and forest. Since there’s a lot area between dwelling, most privateness and optimum appreciation of the pure setting are ensured. Each villa contains a lounge, bed room with kingsize mattress, two dressing rooms, an outsized lavatory, and a separate paviolion housing a shaded lounge & eating space, outside kitchen, and personal swimming pool. Each residence has its personal devoted Mini Moke at some point of the visitor’s go to.

Winner: The huge villas at Miavana and Kisawa are equally spectacular, so there’s no clear winner right here (though I did desire Kisawa’s Mini Mokes in comparison with Miavana’s electrical buggies).


Miavana contains a glamorous decor and structure, designed by Johannesburg-based architects Silvio Rech & Lesley Carstens. Literally translating ‘to reconcile’, Miavana’s design blends barefoot seashore luxurious with mid-century modernism, which is a welcome reduction for the heavy Balinese model with thatched pavilions that you just discover at many different tropical seashore resorts. The ethereal and light-weight, Le Corbusier impressed interiors characteristic impartial tones of ivory and light-weight brown, matching the resort’s seashore, rock partitions, and decks. The minimalist magnificence is counterbalanced by just a few sprinkles of turquoise (e.g. curtains, daybeds, deckchairs) that convey a decisive island vibe.

An African impressed design is without doubt one of the pillars of Kisawa. Born out of a need to mix in, fairly than interrupt, Kisawa’s strategy to craftsmanship and design primarily concerned the native individuals from Benguerra and the neighbouring islands. As a end result, the expert work of native weavers, thatchers, carpenters and textile makers is showcased with satisfaction all through the property. Celebrating the wealthy cultural historical past of Africa, distinctive artwork and antiques have been sourced from throughout the continent, guaranteeing the preservation of heritage artefacts and their remaining provenance. These useful works sit alongside regionally made bespoke furnishings, all coming collectively to offer a considerate and genuine sense of place, and a reference to the pure setting.

Winner: Miavana. I most popular the modernist model of Miavana as in comparison with the African design of Kisawa, however that’s only a matter of private style in fact.



Miavana contains a magnificent beachfront public space, known as the ‘village’ or ‘piazza’. The piazza’s central stage is an open-air lounge and eating pavilion underneath an intricate palm-leaf-woven roof. Seemingly floating on a clear-blue water pond, this pavilion is flanked on one aspect by a bar which mimics a ruined fort (with rooftop terrace) and by a wonderful, curved infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean on the opposite aspect. The piazza additionally boasts a seashore pizzeria and a classy indoor restaurant with well-stocked wine cellar. The latter is topped by 4 domes, every pierced with a round glass skylight, permitting celestial beams of sunshine into the area.

Except for a good looking pool space, which is positioned proper subsequent to the spa & fitness center within the dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean, Kisawa doesn’t have a communal visitor space. Most company of Kisawa will keep at their villa throughout their vacation, solely venturing out for dinners, spa therapies and excursions (however that’s additionally the case at Miavana).

Winner: Miavana (as a result of Kisawa doesn’t have a communal space)

6. SPA

Located amongst the dunes on the coronary heart of Kisawa, is a wellness heart devoted to rest and wellbeing. The spa – which fits by the identify Natural Wellness Center – affords particular person therapies or personalised applications rooted in Ayurvedic medication – one of many world’s oldest varieties ofholistic medication, combining therapeutic massage therapies, vitality and sound therapeutic work, meditation, acupressure, yoga, reiki and breath work. For therapies, the spa makes use of 5 signature important therapy and blended therapeutic massage oils which have been developed in collaboration with licensed natural therapeutic oil specialists in Thailand. A cutting-edge Japanese Iyashi dome sauna makes use of mild infrared warmth to advertise therapeutic. Next to the spa is a completely geared up fitness center, the place Pilates reformers can be found for company to make use of alone or with skilled tuition.

Miavana by Time + Tide lacks a spa facility. Spa therapies might be supplied although by expert therapists within the privateness of your villa. The resort does have a fitness center although.

Winner: Kisawa (as a result of Miavana doesn’t have a spa)



As you possibly can count on for a resort of this caliber, meals at Miavana is scrumptious (with all meals and most drinks included within the nightly price). Every day, the resort’s excellent culinary workforce creates beautiful meals that convey collectively the best native substances with world class talent. Dishes vary from mild and contemporary to indulgent and delectable, with flavors pulled from across the globe. Daily menus are designed in keeping with the newest island harvest and particular consideration is given to any dietary necessities you’ll have. Guests can select to dine within the privateness of their villa or underneath the celebs within the resort’s gorgeous important piazza.

All-inclusive Kisawa Sanctuary has 4 on-site eating places, which is insane if you understand that there are solely 12 villas. However, not all eating places are open every evening, though that’s not likely a problem (the workers will suggest a meal plan for every day in keeping with the opening occasions of the eating places). At the 4 culinary places, the ethos stays the identical: a dedication to regionally grown produce, the follow of natural, seasonal gardening strategies, working a zero-waste coverage and utilizing no processed substances. Kisawa has constructed a community of farmers and fishermen from throughout the Inhambane province, guaranteeing contemporary native produce every day. Led by Culinary Director Jospeh Moubayed, the a number of venues supply all kinds of dishes, with a deal with Mozambican and African flavours.

Winner: Miavana. Although Miavana has just one restaurant in comparison with the 4 eating venues at Kisawa, I did desire the meals at Miavana (which is really fantastic eating and complex). While meals at Kisawa is unbelievable good, the resort’s delicacies focuses on wholesome and locally-inspired home-style cooking however I might not describe it as really fine-dining (apart from the primary eating venue, which serves a extra subtle delicacies).



Fringed by an exceptionally lovely white sand seashore, Miavana represents an insanely lovely island haven the place company can take pleasure in distinctive bespoke experiences in final privateness. The countless, untouched, pristine seashore is lined by a background of palm bushes and supply views throughout the Indian Ocean in direction of the mainland of Madagascar. The seashore right here is protected by a sprawling coral reef, so it makes for mild waves and tranquil waters that are good for a swim. The island on which Miavana is positioned is flat, apart from just a few dunes at its heart (which aren’t seen from the seashore).

Set inside a large protected conservation space, Kisawa Sanctuary straddles 5 km (3 mi) of unspoiled shoreline that includes a glamorous white sand seashore that’s lined by big sand dunes. In the japanese, ocean-side a part of the property, the wild seashore contains a highly effective surf and crushing shorebreak, whereas the southern and western lagoon-side a part of the sanctuary contains a extra calm seashore, lapped by mild waves. When strolling on the seashore, solely a handful of Kisawa’s thatched roofs are seen amid the African bush, creating an virtually surreal castaway expertise.

Winner: Kisawa. The seashore at Kisawa ranks among the many most lovely seashores I’ve ever seen at a resort throughout all my years of touring across the globe. The fantastic thing about the property’s dunes, white sands and indigenous forest is jaw-droppingly spectacular.



Nosy Ankao – house of Miavana – varieties a part of almost 15,000 hectares of marine area that together with the adjoining mainland makes up the Loky Manambato Protected Area. It implies that actions on the resort are countless. There are alternatives to snorkel or dive the encircling reef or enterprise out deep-sea fishing past it. Guided boat excursions across the bays, lagoons and seashores present useful perception into this gorgeous and various ecosystem. Dolphin watching is feasible from October to May, whereas humpback whales might be noticed between July and October. Four species of turtle are present in these waters and they are often seen nesting between May and mid-July. Another spotlight to not be missed is a guided trek in Miavana’s native forest looking for the highly-endangered Crowned lemur, a primate often called Madagascar’s most iconic animal.  If you’re feeling the necessity to ‘get off’ the island, then helicopter journeys to the mainland might be organized at an extra payment. This contains excursions round northern Madagascar, which is house to fabulous landscapes and two well-known National Parks.

Set amid a nationwide marine park within the pristine Bazaruto Archipelago, Kisawa has entry to among the most  on this planet. The resort’s schedule of visitor experiences – which adjustments month-to-month to mirror the season and visiting wildlife – ranges from journey and water sports activities to conservation and neighborhood constructing centered actions. For instance, Kisawa affords completely different ranges of PADI licensed personal and group diving experiences that vary from naked pores and skin snorkelling with turtles and reef fish to deep sea diving with black, blue and striped marlin, sail fish, yellowfin tuna, bull and tiger sharks and manta rays. Also from July to October, the Mozambique Channel turns into the best breeding and nursing floor for humpback whales, and company can witness these majestic mammals breaching & rolling in unique expeditions. Another extremely advisable tour at Kisawa Sanctuary is an exploration by personal boat of the Bazaruto Archipelago, which incorporates stops at idyllic seashores and towering sand dunes.

Winner: Miavana. Both Miavana and Kisawa supply a variety of gorgeous excursions, nevertheless it’s arduous to beat Miavana’s personal helicopter excursions (Kisawa additionally supply a restricted vary of helicopter excursions, however these excursions are contracted to a 3rd get together helicopter firm).



Whilst a vacation in Madagascar – house of Miavana – might be loved year-round, the principal moist season is from December by to the month of March. Often involving cyclones, it’s most likely greatest prevented! The greatest time to go to Madagascar is subsequently between the months of April by to November, with July to September thought of the prime months to go to with dry, sunny, albeit typically windy climate.

The greatest time to go to Kisawa Sanctuary and the Bazaruto Archipelago is in the course of the dry season, which runs from April to November. These are the cooler however drier winter months, with sunny climate and nice temperatures in the course of the day (nights can get a bit chilly although in July and August). From December to April, the Bazaruto Archipelago is kind of sizzling, which can make touring uncomfortable. From February to March is hurricane season, so should you do go to throughout this time, be ready for infrequent downpours of rain.

Winner: Miavana and Kisawa take pleasure in the same local weather and seasons, so there’s no clear winner. During the drier and sunnier winter months (June to September), temperatures generally is a bit colder at Kisawa, particularly at evening, whereas Miavana could sometimes endure from extraordinarily windy situations.


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