Recently we ran an article about Gaspare Greco, the new chef at Anantara Kihavah Villas. This prompted us to delve a little deeper into what this wonderful slice of paradise has to offer to potential visitors.
One thing that we uncovered and thought was inspirational is the efforts that Anantara Kihavah Villas is putting in to ensure that when you visit you get to experience the incredible marine life and stunning coral gardens at their best. The seas surrounding the resort are home to a variety of marine ecosystems that vary from planktonic organisms to sharks, crustaceans and sponges. Here dolphins, turtles, mantas and even whale sharks may be seen thriving in their natural habitat. To keep the marine life in tip-top shape, the resort has instigated their own Coral Adoption Programme.
Before we look in more detail at the conservation program, let us look at the marine based activities available. ‘Elements Kihavah’, Anantara Kihavah Villas’ experience club, is a bespoke and exhilarating journey of adventures taking guests under, on and alongside the turquoise Indian Ocean. Also known as ‘Ratnakara’ in the ancient Sanskrit literature and meaning ‘the creator of gems’. Guests are encouraged to descend into the ocean’s dazzling depths and discover the magical underwater world that lies below. Whether scuba diving or snorkelling, experienced instructors, first class rental equipment, comfortable dhonis (traditional Maldivian boat) and reef dive sites cater for both beginner and experienced explorers.
A resident Marine Biologist is on hand to suggest sites to explore and share valuable marine ecosystem information. Dolphin discovery, turtle quest and manta and whale shark snorkelling excursions are offered. Guests can even join the Marine Biologist on essential research snorkelling adventures to take identification photos of large animals such as whale sharks, mantas and turtles, or participate in reef creation and contribute to the on-going conservation effort at Anantara Kihavah Villas by adopting a coral frame. Many excursions are preceded by a short educational presentation.
In its commitment to protect the environment, Anantara Kihavah Villas has initiated the Coral Adoption Programme, this is a long-term plan designed to share learning experiences with guests, accelerate the regeneration of coral growth in the atoll reef, and ultimately ensure the future of this unique Maldivian destination. During the construction of Anantara Kihavah Villas, the resident Marine Biologist created coral gardens and attached coral to iron frames in the middle of the Over-Water Pool Villas, joining an arrangement that will resemble the ‘A’ in Anantara. Environmentally friendly and designed to promote the flow of water and nutrients, the frames are covered in sand to encourage coral to grow faster than it would naturally. This was done to prevent more damage to the Baa Atoll’s fragile marine ecosystem.
Evelyne Chavent is a base leader and marine biologist for Elements Kihavah, Anantara Kihavah Villas’ experience club which takes guests on adventures above, below and beside the Indian Ocean. Holding two master’s degrees in marine biology and fish farming from France, Evelyne worked in French Polynesia as a marine biologist on a fish farm, where she captured fish post larvae and sold these to aquarium companies. Later she moved to the Maldives to commence her employment with Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, where she took care of the onsite aquarium, captured post larvae and worked on the clownfish breeding programme. It was at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru where Evelyn learnt about coral transplantation and monitoring.