A green corner of Baa Goidhoo, by Rubi Amir
Island Zephyr is nestled comfortably in a green corner of Baa Goidhoo, recently opening its doors to revellers seeking refuge from the humdrum of everyday life.
Goidhoo is topographically situated in a unique mini atoll separated by an open 10 km channel from Baa Atoll, the administrative atoll it belongs to. The island is the capital of the three islands that comprise the admirable, distinctive nature of the atoll. It ticks off the tropical utopia must-haves; endless soft sand beaches, mangroves, a rich ecosystem that is home to birds, seagrass, house reefs and riveting marine life.
A visitor can expect freshwater lakes in Goidhoo, a rarity in the Maldives, surrounded by a fringing mangrove ecosystem. This is a type of mangrove that grows alongside the coast, being exposed to the elements of the sea. The eco-rich marine diversity of the Goidhoo atoll is signified by the various reef animals, corals, reef-associated fish species, Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and marine turtles.
Wake up to have breakfast in Goidhoo, hop on a boat to experience lunch at Fulhadhoo, or dinner at Fehendhoo, simply a day’s experience to be had with Island Zephyr. The family-friendly boutique guesthouse offers an inviting package where both locals and international guests can enjoy the ‘ Atoll Villa Experience’.
The six villas of Island Zephyr can be privately booked with a private chef gratifying palates with dishes made from home-grown ingredients. The villas are cosy, with a look of contemporary comfort, spaciously designed with feel-good aesthetics. Two guides will help in steering the holiday towards fun-filled adventures with the ‘Atoll Villa Experience’ package.
Mornings can be occupied with adrenaline-filled activities like jungle biking, kite surfing or snorkelling at vantage points. Bicycles are readily available to explore the island’s every nook and cranny. The impressive local forest crabs known as the ‘ Kadoofa Kakuni’ can be seen doing their crabby dance in large groups; a shot not to be missed for social media. Evenings can be occupied with crab dinners on the beach or high tea or mingling with the locals to get to know the culture and thought-provoking history.
Goidhoo traces back to the 19th century when the then local king released an African female slave. After her liberation, Salaamaa settled down in Goidhoo, ultimately procreating her own family there. Thus the descendants of Goidhoo can trace their families back to Salaama. A high degree of communal activities, sharing, coupled with nurturing one another, can be reflected off of the islanders’ principles.
Upon request, jovial locals will be more than happy to offer you free cooking sessions on how to conjure up simple local meals like the famous ‘ Mashuni and Roshi’ or tea-time local delights. The experiencing of the isle in the comfort of Island Zephyr is up to the imagination of the visitor guided by the warm hospitality of the crew.