Azura Benguerra Island – Mozambique
Blessed with warm temperatures all year round and set along a seemingly endless stretch of powdery white sand, Azura Benguerra Island comes pretty close to perfect. This is tropical luxury with all the creature comforts you could possibly wish for – all facing the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean. Traditional thatched villas, with cool, contemporary interiors peek out from amongst the palms, with guests never more than a few steps from the beach.
The island itself is ripe for exploring, with dunes, grasslands and freshwater lakes, full of endemic wildlife. Sitting in a marine park, the waters around Benguerra are teeming with marine life, and a few rare species not found elsewhere. This is a place to kick off your shoes, be looked after by your personal butler and enjoy tropical island life.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its idyllic location and effortless barefoot luxury.
Style:Tropical beach hut chic.
Location:On the west coast of Benguerra Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago – a 10 minute helicopter ride from Vilanculos.
Rooms:20 airy beach villas with gardens and plunge pools.
Swimming:Private pools & the crystal clear Indian Ocean.
Children:Families are welcomed with open arms, with a host of children’s activities.
Accessibility:There are no facilities for guests with limited mobility.
Open From:All year round.
Strung along the beach, secluded within their own gardens and with private infinity plunge pools, the open fronted villas all face the ocean. Hand built, with thatched roofs, inside they are little havens of contemporary chic. They are perfect for couples, whilst the two bedroom Villa Amizade and the three bedroom Presidential Villa are both tropical sanctuaries for families.
Dining at Azura is all part of the experience, where the focus is very much on fresh seafood and local produce. It’s entirely possible to eat somewhere different everyday – from breakfast by the water’s edge to a picnic lunch on a remote sand spit and candle lit dinner under the stars. Ocean facing, the main restaurant serves the catch of the day, and the Star Bar has dreamy views and a great cocktail menu. Couple all this with wine from the owner’s estate in the Loire Valley.
Each activity takes advantage of Azura’s stunning location, with a spectacular array of water-based adventures to keep you occupied. That is of course, if you can peel yourself away from the beach! The lodge has its own 5 star PADI dive centre with a training pool. Learn to dive or refresh your skills and head out to the exceptional surrounding reefs. For those who prefer to remain nearer the surface, Azura has guided snorkeling tours.
The protected waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Marine Park are home to some of the ocean’s more endangered species, including the elusive dugong, not to mention over 2000 species of fish. Depending on the season, you may see whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales, as well as loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. A deep sea fishing trip is always fun, and if you’re lucky you might catch a barracuda, a marlin or a sailfish – all on a catch and release basis. The resort has its own speedboat to take guests island hopping – a highlight of your stay here and a chance to spot all manner of marine life on the way. First stop is Bazaruto Island where you can hike up the dunes for a panoramic view of the archipelago. Then head to Two Mile Reef for some snorkeling, then head to North Point for a beach picnic, or Paradise Island, where you’ll find ruins of an old Portuguese settlement and sublime deserted beaches. Guests can explore the island by 4×4, on horseback or on foot, taking a picnic. Then end the day with a gentle sunset dhow cruise and after dark gazing at the Milky Way.
For families looking for total freedom, Benguerra Island definitely comes very high on the list. Far from anywhere, and with gentle, warm waters, it’s a family haven. Whilst there’s no kid’s club, the resort has plenty of activities for the entire family. Younger children are requested to dine ‘in villa’ rather than in the restaurants – the chefs will discuss any dietary requirements with you.
The entire resort was built by hand by the local community using sustainable materials, equipping them with the skills and experience for further employment. Many of the furnishings are handmade, with a number of items from disadvantaged groups in Southern Africa. Showers are powered by solar energy and water is recycled for irrigation.
A donation from each guest’s stay goes to the Rainbow Fund, benefitting the local community, and guests are encouraged to “Pack for a Purpose” – and bring essential items with them to make a lasting impact on local schools and medical clinics.
Benguerra Island, Mozambique
On the west coast of Benguerra Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago – a 10 minute helicopter ride from Vilanculos