It is hard to imagine islands more ‘Robinson Crusoe’ – white sandy beaches, lush vegetation and an azure blue sea.
All year around
The Benguerra Archipelago comprises the larger Bazaruto Island, Benguerra island, plus several smaller ones. It lies just off the Mozambique coast near the town of Vilanculos with its daily flights from the Kruger and Johannesburg. Empty white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, superb dive sites and an azure blue sea are the story of the day here. These idyllic island retreats are laid-back, romantic and peaceful. Enjoy swimming and snorkeling amongst the rich coral life. Indeed the focus is on enjoying the unspoiled marine environment.
Bazaruto Island or Benguerra island offer a relaxing romantic holiday or honeymoon. Alternatively the mainland beach resorts also offer a glimpse into a slower, less commercially pressured way of life.
The moon and tides measure the time here. And happiness is a good catch! Dazzling soft coral reefs protect the islands from the sea. The protected reefs support dolphin, game fish and giant lobster. And the shallow, crystal-clear waters offer spectacular snorkeling and diving.
Both Benguerra and Bazaruto Islands have a mosaic of forest, savanna and saltwater lakes. And this variety sustains a diversity of flora and fauna. Birders are rewarded with over 125 species recorded. This includes the rare crab plover, olive bee-eater, green coucal, narina trogan and Paradise flycatchers.
There are no shops, no real roads and very few vehicles on Benguerra or Bazaruto Island. Only a couple of fishing villages surrounded by wild cashew nut and orange trees. So if you want a cosmopolitan bustling resort experience, then these islands are not for you! (You may prefer Mauritius with its glitzy beach resorts.)
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We stayed at Azura Benguerra for two short days and nights. On arrival we were allocated a private butler to tend to our every need, Mozambican style – ie not overly obsequious, but always around when you needed something. Azura Retreat is on a daylight saving programme which is one hour ahead of the other lodges on Benguerra Island and the rest of Mozambique. They decided to do this so that they could maximize the daylight hours. On the first evening sun downer drinks were offered to us on on our private deck.
The staff at Azura were very friendly, helpful and informative and the lodge has a really stunning beach setting.
Rooms have inside bath and shower, enclosed toilet, outside shower. The inside bath and shower look out onto the beach.
The food at Azura was excellent! Dinner was really nice - on the beach at candle light with little fires and lanterns all over the beach. Highly recommended if you have the budget!