At Azura Benguerra Island you can enjoy a remote beach picnic.

Azura Benguerra Island | Bazaruto Archipelago Luxury Mozambique Beach Lodge

Truly escape from it all at Azura Benguerra Island, a luxury Mozambican beach lodge set in a marine national park on the Bazaruto Archipelago. With your own private butler and sparkling plunge pool, your days will be spent relaxing on white-sand beaches, enjoying lantern-lit beach dinners, island hopping and snorkelling unspoiled coral reefs.

The place

We feel like celebrities as we climb into the helicopter that’s to take us from Vilanculos to our island getaway on Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago. As we fly above the islands – some, streaks of pure white sand as if painted on with an artist’s brush – we can see the blue-green colour of the water from which Azura Benguerra Island gets its name.We descend just off a white-sand beach dotted with villas, touching down on the private helipad moments later. Pedro, our private Mozambican butler, is there to welcome us to Benguerra Island, the second largest of six on the Bazaruto Archipelago, he tells us. We follow him along seashell-laden walkways to the main lodge, bar and dining area. Here, with fun welcoming mocktails, we get a short introduction to Azura and all the activities available to us before kicking off our shoes and walking barefoot to our villa, just 10 steps away from the beach.

We feel like celebrities as we climb into the helicopter that’s to take us from Vilanculos to our island getaway on Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago. As we fly above the islands – some, streaks of pure white sand as if painted on with an artist’s brush – we can see the blue-green colour of the water from which Azura Benguerra Island gets its name.

We descend just off a white-sand beach dotted with villas, touching down on the private helipad moments later. Pedro, our private Mozambican butler, is there to welcome us to Benguerra Island, the second largest of six on the Bazaruto Archipelago, he tells us. We follow him along seashell-laden walkways to the main lodge, bar and dining area. Here, with fun welcoming mocktails, we get a short introduction to Azura and all the activities available to us before kicking off our shoes and walking barefoot to our villa, just 10 steps away from the beach.

The room

Our villa is draped in a traditional Mozambican shaggy-thatch roof, with its front completely open to let in the cool sea breezes (and there’s aircon if that’s not refreshing enough). Its simple exterior completely belies its interior, which is ultra chic with a king-sized bed, handmade furnishings and original artwork. Outside, the open lounging deck overlooks our private infinity pool and a stretch of idyllic beach.While deciding whether to lounge by the pool or at our private beachside sala, I pep myself up from the trip with a quick espresso from the room’s coffee machine. We want to get a feel for everything, so we swim out in placid ocean waters – marvelling at how clear they are – before leaping into the pool and then rinsing off in the his-and-hers outdoor shower. While we’re lying on our pool loungers, watching the dhows drift by as the sun starts to set in an explosion of colour, Pedro arrives with sundowners – perfect timing!

Our villa is draped in a traditional Mozambican shaggy-thatch roof, with its front completely open to let in the cool sea breezes (and there’s aircon if that’s not refreshing enough). Its simple exterior completely belies its interior, which is ultra chic with a king-sized bed, handmade furnishings and original artwork. Outside, the open lounging deck overlooks our private infinity pool and a stretch of idyllic beach.

While deciding whether to lounge by the pool or at our private beachside sala, I pep myself up from the trip with a quick espresso from the room’s coffee machine. We want to get a feel for everything, so we swim out in placid ocean waters – marvelling at how clear they are – before leaping into the pool and then rinsing off in the his-and-hers outdoor shower. While we’re lying on our pool loungers, watching the dhows drift by as the sun starts to set in an explosion of colour, Pedro arrives with sundowners – perfect timing!

What sets it apart

Sprawled across its postcard-perfect beaches, Azura Benguerra Island combines the best of it all: world-class service that manages to seem laid-back, elegant yet functional design and superb yet authentic snorkelling and diving.Having your own private butler makes everything effortless. We enjoyed private barefoot dining on impossibly soft beach sand, sunset cocktails brought to us daily and lively games of bao (a traditional African board game), where we prevailed upon Pedro’s endless stores of patient explanations. We also had the most amazing picnic out on a sandbar, where we were dropped off and later collected as the tide started coming in!This sense of thoughtfulness is what makes Azura stand out; 90% of the staff employed are from the islands, and all employees are taught English and the skills they need to work in tourism. When building the lodge, rather than bring in outside contractors, locals were taught building skills that enabled them to find employment after completion.Particular highlights were a community visit, where we visited the local school and village (and pledged to get involved), seeing one of only 250-odd remaining dugong in the Bazaruto Archipelago and a lantern-lit dinner of just-caught seafood with warm seawater lapping at our ankles.

Sprawled across its postcard-perfect beaches, Azura Benguerra Island combines the best of it all: world-class service that manages to seem laid-back, elegant yet functional design and superb yet authentic snorkelling and diving.

Having your own private butler makes everything effortless. We enjoyed private barefoot dining on impossibly soft beach sand, sunset cocktails brought to us daily and lively games of bao (a traditional African board game), where we prevailed upon Pedro’s endless stores of patient explanations. We also had the most amazing picnic out on a sandbar, where we were dropped off and later collected as the tide started coming in!

This sense of thoughtfulness is what makes Azura stand out; 90% of the staff employed are from the islands, and all employees are taught English and the skills they need to work in tourism. When building the lodge, rather than bring in outside contractors, locals were taught building skills that enabled them to find employment after completion.

Particular highlights were a community visit, where we visited the local school and village (and pledged to get involved), seeing one of only 250-odd remaining dugong in the Bazaruto Archipelago and a lantern-lit dinner of just-caught seafood with warm seawater lapping at our ankles.

At a glance

  • Exclusive boutique island resort with 20 villas, each with private plunge pool. The lodge has a restaurant, spa, library and curio shop.
  • Private island on the Bazaruto Archipelago in a marine national park, personal butler and private dining available. The presidential suite comes with private chef and host.
  • Scuba diving and Padi certified diving course (additional cost), snorkelling, island hopping (additional cost), boating (additional cost), deep-sea and shore-based fishing (additional cost), dhow sailing and sunset cruises, paddle boarding, kayaking, island tours, horse riding, marine walks, beach and sandbar picnics (some with additional costs), beach cycling, stargazing, cultural visits, spa treatments (additional cost), Vilanculos excursion (additional cost) and helicopter flights (additional cost).
  • Children welcome, with Villa Amizade and the Presidential Villa being particularly suited for families. Babysitting and kids’ activities available (some additional costs).

  • Exclusive boutique island resort with 20 villas, each with private plunge pool. The lodge has a restaurant, spa, library and curio shop.
  • Private island on the Bazaruto Archipelago in a marine national park, personal butler and private dining available. The presidential suite comes with private chef and host.
  • Scuba diving and Padi certified diving course (additional cost), snorkelling, island hopping (additional cost), boating (additional cost), deep-sea and shore-based fishing (additional cost), dhow sailing and sunset cruises, paddle boarding, kayaking, island tours, horse riding, marine walks, beach and sandbar picnics (some with additional costs), beach cycling, stargazing, cultural visits, spa treatments (additional cost), Vilanculos excursion (additional cost) and helicopter flights (additional cost).
  • Children welcome, with Villa Amizade and the Presidential Villa being particularly suited for families. Babysitting and kids’ activities available (some additional costs).

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

Mozambique has a tropical climate, with year-round warm temperatures. The cooler, dry winter season is the best time for visiting the Bazaruto Archipelago, as the temperatures average a comfortable 27ºC. It’s sunny and the water is still pleasantly warm. Sailfish are found in these waters from May to September while humpback whales migrate through from June to September. There’s good marlin fishing from September to November. Towards the end of this period (from October to December), you’ll also have a good chance of seeing whale sharks.

This is the hot and wet summer season. The average coastal temperature is 31ºC and the rainfall is generally heaviest between December and March, with especially steamy and humid months in December and January. February to March is also hurricane season, so if you go at this time, be prepared for dramatically stormy skies and downpours. On the plus side, the air is filled with migrant birds and you can see whale sharks in early summer (October to December). There’s also good marlin fishing in December and January.

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