Off the coast of Mozambique lies an archipelago that was surely designed in some make-the-perfect-tropical-getaway kit.
Crystal clear, still waters and extensive white sandbanks fringe the islands on their landward side, while from their eastern edges the warm Indian Ocean stretches away to the horizon.
The Bazaruto archipelago has long been a place of romance and adventure, and on one of its larger islands, Benguerra, sits a lodge that is perfectly designed to wring every last bit of delight out of this special corner of the world.
Azura Benguerra is appropriately named – we doubt you will ever see a sea as blue as the one you will encounter here.
The days start early; as the sun rises above the ocean to the east, the gently lapping water is too tempting not to walk down into to wake you up in the most refreshing way possible.
Sheltered reefs brimming with tropical fish life wait for you to explore their nooks and crannies by snorkel, while for those looking for a proper underwater experience, the scuba diving in this part of the roof is second to none. Manta rays are often encountered and during the humpback whale migration over the second half of the year, these leviathans’ songs are a constant accompaniment underwater.
Days are spent lounging by the pool or exploring the islands interior, and for those who want to play a part in providing dinner, offshore fishing excursions are offered. Tuna, mackerel and dorado feature regularly on the menu, and fresh-caught sashimi may well be the order of the day.
Evening cocktails on the white sand beach (made up of millions of years of coral erosion) will have you watching a sunset so vividly exquisite, no photograph will do it justice.
Just 20 villas are nestled along a totally unspoilt stretch of beach. Open plan rooms flow so seamlessly with their exteriors that it can be hard to work out where the beach begins and your chalet ends.
This is the enchanting island escape you always imagined. Azura Benguerra, the first eco-friendly resort in Mozambique, was hand-built by the local community and is operated in partnership with it.
Although to some international visitors Mozambique may seem like a little off the beaten track, the opposite is the case. Luxury island resorts are well-established on the coast here, and Benguerra in particular is readily accessible; a short flight from Johannesburg to Vilankulos and then a brief helicopter flip across the lagoon will have you there in the space of a morning. From the air you will gaze down over crystal clear waters with the local dhows plying their fishing trade, and if you are really lucky you might catch sight of the rare dugong – a marine mammal that has a stronghold in the Bazaruto archipelago.
Azura Benguerra is perfect for families looking for an exciting coastal adventure as well as couples who want a romantic escape. Its proximity to the prime safari areas of South Africa and its accessibility from the Kruger National Park airport make it an ideal option to tag on to the end of a bush getaway.
Get in touch to find out about the specials we are currently running for South African residents…