Situated underneath indigenous casuarina pine forest on the second largest island in the paradisiacal Bazuruto Archipelego off Mozambique, &Beyond Benguerra Island offers barefoot beach luxury in a protected marine area that boasts spectacular scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing. Appointed with comprehensive amenities, the lodge is an idyllic island destination for everyone from honeymooners to families with young children.
The lodge is surrounded by protected reefs that are an underwater wonderland for divers, while the pristine beach and calm lagoon are perfect for safe swimming and fun-filled activities. The well-appointed rooms and large private villa all feature views of the picture-postcard surrounds. At the water’s edge, a traditional dhow has been transformed into a delightful dining area that will add a unique romance to your stay. Be sure to take part in a decadent ‘castaway’ picnic, take a horse ride along the beach or view the archipelago from the seat of a helicopter.
Benguerra Island is the second largest island within the Bazaruto National Park, one of the largest marine parks in Africa. The islands’ turquoise waters teem with marine life, including Africa’s only breeding population of Dugongs, while the mainland changes from golden beaches to a patchwork of forests, wetlands and lakes as one goes inland.
Guests can explore the island on horseback, foot or by vehicle, traversing large sand dunes and stumbling across local villages brimming with culture.
The deep Mozambique Channel, which runs alongside the island, is renowned for its game fish and Benguerra Island offers some of the world’s best catch-and-release deep sea fishing and fly fishing opportunities. Over 160 species of birds make the archipelago a haven for serious twitchers, while wildlife enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Samango monkeys, small antelope and otters.
But for most visitors the archipelago is somewhere to relax, to wander the empty beaches, to watch the spectacular sunsets and sunrises and to enjoy the spoils of a luxury resort at a true Robinson Crusoe-style destination.
Shaded by the swaying casuarina pines and palm trees, the thatched lodge is set on sandy patches of ground, allowing guests to kick off their shoes, slip into something comfortable and enjoy pampered relaxation.
Facilities include a dining area, lounge and furnished outdoor decks. A light and airy colour scheme combines tropical chic with a distinct African feel and reminders of the area’s Portuguese heritage. The large rimflow pool overlooks the sea, while a few short steps will lead guests to loungers on the beach.
Each sleeping two guests, the ten casinhas and two cabanas are set in lush forest looking out to sea, featuring wide windows and folding doors that frame the spectacular views. The private decks are very spacious and come with their own plunge pool to take advantage of the balmy tropical weather. Other comforts include four-poster beds with white linen canopies and comfortable day beds, along with en-suite bathrooms with two-person bathtubs and indoor and outdoor showers.
The three-bedroomed villa is the perfect choice for families who appreciate comfort, and children of all ages are welcome. Rates at Benguerra include three meals per day. Delicious fresh seafood dishes are a speciality, but the menu is varied enough to accommodate all tastes.
To complement the comfortable accommodation, guests can choose to go on daily sea kayaking and snorkelling trips, or on romantic sunset dhow cruises, all of which are included in the rates. To ensure a rounded experience, the lodge also sets up a complimentary castaway picnic on a sand spit jutting out into the ocean or on top of a large sand dune with panoramic views.
An exciting island expedition and local village tour are also included in the rates for the stay. With horse riding, fishing, helicopter trips and gorgeous beaches all easily accessible, guests will be more than satisfied at the amount there is to do on the island.
To unwind between activities, head to the massage sala or laze around the swimming pool with a refreshing cocktail. Dining set-ups vary, from candlelit dinners on the beach, to elegant indoor gatherings, adding more variety to the experience.
Overall, Benguerra Island is a place to revel in the wonders of a tropical paradise, whether it be with leisurely relaxation or adventurous exploration.