The Sandbank Affaire Makunudu Maldives is a special experience devised by the Management of the Makunudu Island Resort. This is a private evening excursion to a distant mini-island (the Sandbank). You are accompanied by just your waiter and a chef, and are treated to a Lobster BBQ with a bottle of wine.
Since this was our last evening on the island, we decided to try what promised to be a truly unique experience.
Reaching the Sandbank
We set out at at 6 pm from the jetty in a small motorboat. We were accompanied by Ibrahim (our assigned waiter), one of the local chefs, and 2 of the boat staff to take care of transport. The speedboat was fast, and we quickly covered a considerable distance out into the Indian Ocean.
After around half an hour we spotted our destination: A thin sliver of white sand on the horizon.
We approached from the opposite, shallow side of the Sandbank. Our boat handlers moored the boat about 30 meters out, and we hopped out into the shallows and waded ashore.
Our venue for the evening comprised a thin strip of sand, around 150 meters long by 30 meters wide, rising maybe half a meter above sea-level. This used to be an actual island, but like everywhere else in the Maldives it’s gradually being reclaimed by the sea.
Sandbank Affaire Makunudu Maldives
We did a detailed reconnoitre, looking for any interesting flotsam and jetsom. In the meantime, Ibrahim and the other guys carefully brought ashore 2 large boxes and assorted goodies. It was still light enough to set up the barbecue and table area.
Of course, we could choose to sit wherever we wanted 😉
As we stood alone on the tip of the Sandbank, we felt a gentle early evening breeze. The ocean around us was calm, and lapped peacefully onto the sandy shoreline.
We scanned the panorama around us, and could just make out the tiny silhouettes of 2 islands on the extreme horizon. If ever you really want to get away from it all, this is the place.
We didn’t want to risk running out of booze, so in addition to the red we took along a bottle of sparkling white wine. I chatted with the guys from the island as they were setting up. Ibrahim turned out to be one of the senior staff members: He had been working on Makunudu since the early 1990’s. Like many Maldivians, who work for long fixed periods on the resort islands, he didn’t get back home to his family very often.
If time allows, it is well worth the effort to visit some of the non-resort islands in the Maldives. It is the only way to appreciate the genuine nature of the place and the people.
The barbecue was kindled as the light started to fade. Soon after, we could smell the aroma of barbecued steak and lobster. Yes, a proper surf-and-turf menu with baked potatoes and roasted vegetables to compliment our venue.
Taking into account where we were, our dinner was prepared and served impeccably, with a nice assortment of side dishes and deserts.
As night fell, Ibrahim lit up the candles in the sand holes he had prepared around our table. We were then left alone to enjoy the peace and solitude of the Indian Ocean, just meters from our feet.
We eventually got back to Makunudu Island around 9:30 pm.
The cost for our Sandbank Affaire came to $220 (€190) for two, including the complimentary bottle of wine. Considering the uniqueness of the experience, this was excellent value of money and an unforgettable way to end a trip to the Maldives.
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