The Maldives is made up of 26 atolls, which together contain thousands of islands, some fairly large and urban, like the capital city Malé, and others tiny and uninhabited. Located Southwest of India and Sri Lanka, the Maldives is a Muslim country which covers an area of over 90 000 square kilometres, and with an average height above sea level of only 1.5 metres, it’s pretty vulnerable to rising sea levels (Wikipedia). It’s also quite possibly the most beautiful place you will ever see, if tropical islands, white beaches and palm trees are your thing then this is the place for you.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had 2 opportunities to visit the Maldives Islands, this post is about our first visit, to Club Med Kani Island. For some more on the Maldives experience have a look at this post about our visit to Kuredu Island.
Cape Town to Maldives With Emirates
There are plenty of airlines servicing the island, we flew Emirates from Cape Town to Dubai and then caught a connecting flight to Malé, which leg only takes around 4 hours, the less said about the 9 hour flight rom Cape Town to Dubai the better, although flying Emirates Business Class does make it somewhat bearable. The international airport is close to the capital city, actually on a separate island. As you exit the airport you will be at the water taxi marina from where boats take you on your onward journey if going to a nearby island. If going to the Seaplane Terminal, from where you would take an onward flight to a more distant island, a shuttle bus would be waiting. Since Kani Island is only a 20 minute boat ride from the airport we did the trip by boat.
First Impressions of Club Med Kani Island
We chose to stay in the over water villas which are awesomely located at the Southern end of the island. In the centre of the island is the main entertainment area, swimming pool, restaurant, souvenir shop and bars. It’s all really well done with huge indigenous shade trees and thatch roofed buildings. If you want to hire scuba or snorkelling gear or arrange boat trips, parasailing or other activities it’s all done in this part.
The entire island is surrounded by the most awesome white beaches and palm trees. It’s not huge, it only takes an hour or so to walk right around it. It’s really humid, so the warm water will be a welcome way to cool off along the way. One irritation is that at midday every day there are “activities” in the pool when the music is turned up and stuff like “water aerobics” and such like takes place. I can’t think of anything much worse but each to their own, and it only lasts half an hour anyway.
Around The Island
The island is divided into “zones” as far as accommodation goes, when arriving you will be given an arm band, the colour denotes the zone in which you stay and the facilities open to you. All very segregated, but I guess that on a busy island like this some kind of method of managing the guests is needed. We were fortunate to be staying in the over water villas, which are in a somewhat exclusive area of the island with a bar and entertainment area exclusively for guests in the villas. What an awesome experience sitting on the deck sipping a cocktail (included in the all inclusive package that we were on), or sitting in the bath watching the sun set over the ocean.
Plenty Of Activities
In Club Med style there is plenty of active stuff to do on the island, it’s not all about sitting around drinking cocktails, unless of course you want it to be. The activity centre has plenty on offer, some included, some not, and it’s staffed by a vibey bunch of young people from all over the world. We choose to do some parasailing, and what an experience that was, drifting 150 metres above the ocean being towed by a boat it’s possible to see for miles. I expected it to be quite noisy and windy but it was actually really peaceful up there, I can highly recommend it.
Time To Go Home
All good things must come to an end and so it was with this trip. Our route home was via Dubai, we opted to stay a night there in the Le Meridien hotel near the airport. It’s a beautiful spot, with excellent facilities and amazing food nearby. It’s worth breaking the journey I find, although it’s only 4 hours from the Maldives, the flight to Cape Town is almost 9 hours, breaking the trip just makes sense in a place like Dubai with all that it has to offer.