Track endangered turtles, plant coral, snorkel the reef and learn the secrets of the underwater world
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, a private island hideaway in the secluded Shaviyani Atoll, is making waves in marine conservation – from its Coralarium, an underwater art gallery and coral regeneration project, to its turtle tracking and sustainability initiatives. Now, with the launch of a new Turtle Ranger programme, children can learn the ropes too. Join the marine biologist and monitor critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles, release hatchlings into the ocean, care for nests, plant crucial new coral and snorkel one of the most biodiverse reefs in the world.
Inspiring the next generation of eco-conscious travellers, Fairmont Maldives – known as ‘secret water island’ to locals – offers invaluable insight into conservation of the underwater world. Budding eco warriors can release their inner-Attenborough as they patrol the island’s stretch of sand in search of turtle nests. If a nest is too close to the ocean or at risk of predators, assist the marine biologist in moving the eggs and digging a new, safer nest out of reach of the tide. Should a nest hatch during their stay, Turtle Rangers are first on call to help the marine biologist safely release the baby turtles into the ocean.
The Hawksbill Turtle is one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world and understanding where they travel helps to augment conservation efforts in protecting them. So far, 53 individual turtles have been tracked passing through the reef, with 10 that reside there all year-round. Turtle Rangers can help the marine biologist collect vital ID data from the Hawksbill that float through the reef, a non-invasive way of tracking their migration patterns. If a new turtle is discovered, children can officially name it for formal certification; the perfect way to introduce tiny travellers to the friendly turtles and educate them on the resort’s conservation efforts.
Fairmont Maldives sits within the largest resort lagoon in the archipelago, and when they’re not tracking turtles, children can snorkel the circus of coral, spot tropical schooling fish and rub shoulders with manta rays under the watchful eye of the marine biologist, on family-friendly snorkelling adventures. Due to currents pushing plankton onto the house reef, gliding Manta Rays often feed directly opposite the island’s Sunrise Beach Villas. Head out onto the lagoon and watch the rays visit special cleaning stations peppered across the lagoon, as they are scrubbed and cleaned by tiny fish, before planting coral at the Coralarium that can be re-visited in years to come.awarded a Michelin Star, or indulge in a bespoke treatment at the Armonia Spa, the resort’s soul-nourishing wellbeing retreat.
Back on dry land, families can enjoy a private beach BBQ at their villa, take advantage of the unique activities available at the Kids’ Club or head to the art studio, where they make their own marine inspired masterpiece, from shell jewellery to coconut shell painting, and even their own Turtle Ranger t-shirt. After completion of the programme, each child receives a Turtle Ranger certificate and invaluable tips to help care for the environment long after leaving the resort.
The Turtle Ranger Programme costs from $200 per child (approx. £145) and includes turtle monitoring, snorkelling experience, nesting expedition, art studio experience and Turtle Ranger t-shirt and certificate
Children stay Free* with British Airways: Stay at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi for six-nights from £5,429 per adult, based on two adults and two children staying in a Deluxe Beach Sunrise Villa on an all-inclusive basis. Includes return flights from London Heathrow, seaplane transfers, and a 25% hotel saving, based on travel between 25th July – 1st August 2021 (britishairways.com)