Imagine an unspoilt island within a National Park, deserted beaches of pure white sand, sparkling turquoise seas crisscrossed by local dhows plying their trade, swaying palms, sunny days and star studded nights...and you have Azura.
Azura Benguerra Island is Mozambique's first luxury 'eco' boutique retreat. Built entirely by hand by the local community and operated in partnership with them, it has just 14 villas, each with their own infinity pool and designed for both pampering and barefoot escapism. There is also a spa, with 2 double treatment rooms located right on the beach and open to the breezes.
A kaleidoscope of colour greets you above and below the ocean. There are magnificent reefs for diving and snorkelling, which are also home to the turtles that nest on the island's outer shores. Migrating whales, dolphins, and the elusive and protected dugong ply these waters, along with marlin, sailfish and tuna to tempt the sportsfishermen. On land, towering sand dunes give way to indigenous bush abundant with local flora and fauna, an interesting variety of birdlife, as well as the odd crocodile or two at the lakes. The island's local people make for fascinating cultural encounters, and the starry night sky is quite magnificent to behold.
The villas blend modern chic with all that is traditional in Mozambique. Each is just footsteps from the beach, yet designed with seclusion in mind. Nestled amidst indigenous gardens, the villas are a haven of rest and relaxation.
Wander down to the pristine white beach and welcoming azure sea beyond. Lounge around on plump cushions on your daybed, or tan in private and cool off in your sparkling plunge pool. Dine on your deck, or sip champagne in your beachside Sala as the sun goes down. Lie in your bath and gaze at the view, or shower beneath the stars.
Meals including main beach dinners and special menu events; local beers/spirits, selection of house wines, soft drinks, tea/coffee, water, and sunset cocktail of the day served to Sala; Mozambican butler/host service; a laundry service; and the Bazaruto NP conservation fee are included. Guests staying more than 3 nights will also receive a free Land Rover island drive, a sunset dhow cruise and 30 minute head & shoulder massage (subject to availability).
Children of any age are welcome. Rates available on request.
Mozambique's finest beach retreat has launched a programme that will spoil children for choice with such amazing adventures that even adults will be jealous. The exciting activities include the PADI Bubblemaker course, big fish fishing (and cooking afterwards if they're hungry!), star-gazing, a trip to magical Pansy Island and searching for crocodiles.
For kids wanting to try scuba diving in a safe and secure environment, there is the PADI Bubblemaker course. Children aged eight years old and upwards will be taught how to breathe underwater and when ready, they will practice swimming in the dedicated dive training pool (max depth two meters). Kids can learn some impressive underwater tricks and will be awarded with an official PADI certificate to take home. Azura also offers the PADI Discover Scuba course for children 10 years and older, which includes a shallow dive out to the spectacular reefs, where turtles and dolphins are often seen, or even humpback whales on their seasonal migration.
For the budding fishermen in the family, Azura's local fishing guides are on hand to take children out to the reefs to catch a variety of fish. The braver kids can go out further to the deep seas where they will be tasked with catching supper for the whole family! Azura also offers fishing at the nearby island lakes where a catch is almost guaranteed for children of all ages. The kids can then have the excitement of releasing the fish in the Azura pond when they return to the retreat.
Back to the ocean, and the resident biologist has a trip for children to Pansy Island, a fascinating island that only appears at low tide, giving the illusion that it disappears. There is also a marine life walk where the kids will come face to face with crabs, starfish, sea anemones and many other types of creepy crawlies along the way!
The skies in the Southern Hemisphere are spectacular and Azura's resident astronomy expert is on hand to teach the children about all the bright stars and planets that can clearly be seen from the beach at night. During some months of the year, constellations such as Orion and the Southern Cross can be seen and are explained in a clear and fun way through Azura's eight inch reflecting telescope and a 3.5 kilometre laser pointer.
The children's holiday wouldn't be complete without a visit to the local school so they can compare it with their own and tell all their classmates about it back home! The school on Benguerra Island has been built solely by Azura from their nationally accredited 'Rainbow Fund' charity, which was formed for the benefit of the Island's local community and environment. Children can meet local kids to talk about their best (or worst!) subjects and be part of a cultural exchange that will last way beyond the holiday. They can also take part in or support the island's local soccer game on Sundays for a fun way to interact with the local community.
The activities at Azura are mainly focused on the exciting environment that surrounds the retreat but there are also some fun activities to be enjoyed in the comfort of the hotel. Azura's African Spa offers a range of treatments for children such as face painting and pamper parties. For the teenagers there are manicures and facials and massages available too. Culinary kids can try their hand in the kitchen with one of the chefs and learn how to bake delicious cookies – and eat them too of course!
Families have the luxury of being able to stay in Villa Amizade, or experience their own private home away from home at the Presidential Villa. Each comes with separate rooms for the kids, large private pool, child friendly meals, TV, DVD players and board games. With each day designed to leave the children feeling invigorated from all the fresh air, exercise and education, a good night's sleep is guaranteed for all!
All of the holidays we prepare are tailor-made, but this might give you an idea of how Azura Benguerra Island can be included in you own dream holiday.
Luxury Madikwe and Mozambique Island Escape
Madikwe Game Reserve
InterContinental Joburg Airport
Azura Benguerra Island
Destination: South Africa and Mozambique.
Palatial suites, private plunge pools, extraordinary game viewing and deserted beaches of pure white sand that extend for miles lapped by sparkling turquoise seas criss-crossed by local dhows. This is the enchanting beach and bush combination that you have always imagined.
This is a 10 night itinerary including Madikwe Game Reserve, Johannesburg and Bazaruto Archipelago.
Based on 5 Star Accommodation:
3 Nights at Madikwe Hills
1 Night at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport
*Prices are per person and are based on today's exchange rates. Exchange rates are subject to change and are updated daily.
Prices exclude international flights - ask us if you would like to include these.
Azura Benguerra Island Location.
General Information For Guests
All villas have air conditioning and fans, a hair dryer, a mini bar, mosquito nets, room safe, outside shower, tea/coffee making facilities, and a private pool and verandah.
The Beach Villas are set in a fantastic location at the end of the property next to the Spa, and are wonderfully private and perfect for honeymooners. The Beach Villa is the smallest of the villas, but still offers all of the creature comforts.
The Luxury Beach Villas are furnished in contemporary style and just steps from the beach.
The Infinity Beach Villas are furnished in afro-contemporary style and look out over a stunning infinity pool towards the beach and sea beyond. They have the best of the beachfront locations.
The Royal Beach Villas feature infinity edge pools and magnificent sea views.
Villa Amizade has 2 bedrooms with fantastic views out to sea and towards the setting sun.
The 3 bedroom Presidential Villa at Azura Benguerra has been described as one of the best villas anywhere in the Indian Ocean. It has a very secluded private location, some 150m down the beach from main Azura, and comes with its own butler-host and private chef.
Azura Benguerra focus on fresh local produce such as fish and seafood with irresistible signature dishes. Dining locations range from informal and 'foot in the sand' dining to feasting in the comfort and intimacy of your own villa as well as dinners in the Jellyfish restaurant. There is a special, more formal, 7 course tasting menu at least once a week as well as a Mozambican evening. For the wine connoisseur, the wine cellar is always stocked with fine wines from the owner's vineyards, flown in from France's Loire Valley.
Azura has a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre with new top of the range Scubapro equipment. The training pool is perfect for refreshing your diving skills or even trying out snorkelling before you head off to the reefs, and for training they offer a full range of courses and have a PADI Instructor. If you are qualified, please bring along any diving certification cards or log books to prove your certification.
A Sunset dhow cruise is a beautiful ending to a day on the water, with views over the archipelago and a chance to experience the local mode of water transport.
Your transfer to the island ie either by helicopter (approximately 10 minutes flying time) or speedboat (the transfer time is 15 minutes by minibus to the port, then 25-45 minutes by boat depending on sea conditions - guests choosing to transfer by speedboat should be prepared for a knee deep walk through the sea).
For those who like to ride, a trek along the waters edge on the horses based on Benguerra Island and back along some of the island's tracks and trails is an experience never to forget!
A laundry service is available. There is internet access (complimentary) and mobile phone service.
American Express and Diners are not used in Mozambique, so if you are likely to pay for any extras using a credit card, please ensure you have a Visa or Mastercard. The lodge cannot accept debit cards and traveller cheques, nor small head USD notes or notes printed before 2006.
After clearing customs, a representative will meet you in the Arrivals Hall. Please note this is likely to be a local person with English as a foreign language. They assist guests at the airport every day and are familiar with the procedures so they will ensure you do the right thing. Kindly have patience when communicating with them and know that you are in good hands. And please be aware that procedures may not be as speedy as you may be used to elsewhere! Also, be prepared for your luggage to be searched upon arrival in Vilanculos - this might include your hand luggage. Your luggage will also be searched upon departure to check that you have not removed any protected items from the Park, such as shells.
Popular Alternatives to Azura Benguerra Island
These are the top properties booked by people who considered staying at Azura Benguerra Island, but for one reason or another booked a different property. It may have been that Azura Benguerra Island was not available on the nights they wanted to stay, or they decided that somewhere else was better suited to their budget or itinerary.
If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.