Azura Benguerra Island

Imagine an unspoilt island within a Marine National Park. Miles of deserted beaches with soft white sand. Sparkling turquoise seas, crisscrossed by local dhows plying their trade. Swaying palms, gentle breezes. Sunny days and star studded nights. This is Azura Mozambique.

Azura is the area’s first luxury eco-boutique retreat. Built entirely by hand in partnership with the local community, it has just 20 villas, each with their own private pool stretching out to the Indian Ocean beyond, and designed for the ultimate undiscovered getaway. It was the first of several luxury hotels owned and managed by Christopher and Stella Bettany. 

With wonderful cuisine, friendly Mozambican service and a vast range of activities and experiences, including a unique African spa, it’s the perfect island escape. How you spend your time with us is your choice, but getting the small things right that will make the difference is ours.

Our hand-built villas blend modern chic with all that is traditional in Mozambique. Each of our 20 Luxury Beachfront Villas is just footsteps from the beach yet designed with seclusion in mind. Nestled amidst indigenous gardens, we have created your own sanctuary, with a personal infinity swimming pool and spectacular beach-side view. A haven of rest and relaxation, where you can feel at one with the environment.

Red Dune & Crocodile Lakes Drive

Depart on a game viewer vehicle for some local island adventure! Pass through the Island’s many villages where you have the chance to encounter some of our local island communities. Along the way you can taste wild fruits from indigenous trees. Keep an eye out for the rich variety of reptiles, birds, and insects some of which are only found here. There is also the chance to see some of the large Nile crocodiles that live in the 3 lakes. On the “Wild Side” you can walk along the beach with its strong wind and waves coming in from the Mozambique Channel & Indian Ocean. Hike up Red Dune, an easy climb, for amazing views of Benguerra Island.

Southpoint Beach Picnic & Drive

Head towards picturesque Southpoint Beach. En-route our guides will talk to you about the island's flora and fauna, geomorphology and local culture. Southpoint is the most southern tip of Benguerra Island, the eastern side faces the Mozambique Channel/Indian Ocean with crashing waves whereas the west side has calmer more tranquil waters. The location is dramatic especially with the driftwood tree trunks that lie resting on the perfect white sand. Walk through the mini sand dunes and arrive at our swimming and beach picnic spot. We will set up a wonderful picnic lunch for you with refreshments and shade.

Island Hopping by Speedboat

Welcome aboard Azura’s signature activity - a short hop to Bazaruto Island to hike up Bazaruto Dune for unsurpassed 360 degree panoramic views of the Archipelago. From here we often head to Two Mile Reef where there are hundreds of species of tropical fish, coral, rays, invertebrates, as well as the possibility of seeing various species of turtle, or humpback whales during their annual migration. Sightings of dolphin are common and if you are lucky, the highly endangered gentle giants, the dugong, may make an appearance too. After snorkelling, arrive at North Point for a tantalising picnic, and swim in the cool clear waters.

Paradise Island by Speedboat

Depart Azura by speedboat for the 1 hour trip to Paradise Island in the far north of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Look out for dolphins and dugongs on the way. This island is home to a ruined hotel from the days of Portuguese rule and was named Paradise Island for its beautiful white beaches and fantastic snorkeling. The ruins of the old hotel and church are fascinating and your guide will recount you the tales of yesteryear. Then settle down on deserted white beaches for a picnic lunch. Relax for a few hours here, the snorkeling is amazing, but different to the reefs closer to Azura.

Deep Sea Fishing

The Bazaruto Archipelago has some of the best big game, reef and bill fishing in the Indian Ocean. Species include: Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna/Bonito, King/Queen Mackerel, Prodigal Son, Wahoo, Dorado, and Barracuda. Giant Trevally (GT’s), the local specialty, often top the scales above 25kg. Azura caters for beginner and experienced fishermen/woman alike and operates a strict tag and release policy on protected species. You can choose to go trolling, popping or jigging with one of Azura’s guides, or with an independent guide who offers fly fishing, jigging and popping. Fishing is extremely popular and should be booked well in advance.

Scuba Diving

Our marine life and corals are often cited as the best off the East Coast of Africa. We have seasonal visits from whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales and their calves, and we regularly see loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, devil rays and moray eels as well as a variety of reef fish such as grouper, bat fish, surgeons, puffers, moorish idols, parrot fish, clown fish, trigger fish and chocolate dip fish. Hard and soft corals are in abundance, with Christmas tree anemones and nudibranchs for those who like to spot the smaller stuff!

PADI 5 Star Dive Centre

Azura has a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre with top of the range Scubapro equipment. Our training pool is perfect for refreshing your diving skills or even trying out snorkelling before you head off to the reefs. The Bazaruto Archipelago offers a range of depths and reef topography to suit beginner and experienced divers alike. For training we offer a full range of courses and have a PADI Instructor. Azura is also a DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) Business Member which entitles all divers doing entry level courses to basic dive insurance coverage. If you are interested in learning to dive, or would like to try it out first, please get in touch with our watersports team.

Horse Riding

For those who like to ride, a trek along the water’s 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! There is also an option to go swimming with the horses following the ride. There are 9 horses available to suit all levels, from complete beginner upwards. Please note that this activity is conducted by Mozambique Horse Safaris and is a third party company.

Island Soccer

The whole of Africa is soccer mad. Here on Benguerra Island we have an Island League made up of teams from the lodges and local island teams. This is a really important event amongst the local community and great pride is at stake. Come and support Azura’s soccer team at one of their matches on the weekend, normally on a Sunday afternoon. We will set up a tent with refreshments, and if you fancy it you can even join in the game! It’s great entertainment for all.

Private Beach Dinners

Azura Staff are creative souls. Your host will set up a private dinner on the beach in front of your villa, surrounded by candles arranged in the sand. Alternatively, you can choose to have this candle-lit dinner on your deck or beneath your sala. They normally like to do it on guests last night at Azura but if you would prefer to do it another day please discuss this with your host. We offer the first of these included with your stay, but for a small additional cost you can do it again or upgrade to a seafood barbecue and we’ll cook fresh seafood in front of you while you sit under African skies!

Other Activities

Experience a sunset dhow cruise or have one of our guides lead you on a dune climb. Island hop and visit Pansy Island for lunch or be dropped on the sandpit at Benguerra North point with a picnic lunch. Alternatively take to the water for a guided snorkeling safari or go out whale watching in season. All activities are subject to weather and tidal conditions as well as boat, Land Rover and guide availability.

Children and teens at Azura will be spoiled for choice when it comes to spending time here with us. We offer a host of activities for kiddies to participate in, supervised by Azura’s guides, hosts and activity coordinators. Children can enjoy seeing interesting marine life above and below the water, search for pansy shells on an island that appears at low tide, experience cultural encounters, climb dunes, look for crocodiles (from a safe distance), taste the island’s fruits and learn a new skill or two.

There are flights on Airlink and LAM from Johannesburg International airport (OR Tambo) to the newly modernized Vilanculos International Airport (VNX). The flying time from Johannesburg is approximately 1½ hours. These flights are designed to connect well with the major international flights to and from Europe. There are also regular flights from Maputo (MPM) on LAM. Both Airlink and LAM offer daily flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos.

There is a state of the art helicopter operated by Archipelago Charters for the transfers from Vilanculos to Benguerra Island. The flying time is approx.. 10 minutes, and will connect with your arriving/departing flight. This should be booked at the same time as your accommodation.

Benguerra Island does have a short grass strip which can accommodate smaller private aircraft. You should check conditions in advance as the runway lies in a wetland area and conditions are not always suitable for take off and landing.

Pack for a Purpose
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you'll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. https://www.packforapurpose.org/destinations/africa/mozambique/azura/

African Safari & Island Romance
Combine sea and safari for a romantic escape to one of South Africa’s best-known game reserves and the sandy beaches of Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago. Track the Big Five in &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, a place of extraordinary adventure, where myriad possibilities create breath-taking thrills around every bend.

After your wildlife adventure, pamper yourself with some rest and relaxation in the tropical climate and sunshine of &Beyond Benguerra Island. Explore the warm waters and marvel at the marine life of the island’s coral reefs on scuba diving expeditions, enjoy the thrill of deep-sea fishing or simply explore the magical setting and soaring dunes of Benguerra.

3 nights Ngala Private Game Reserve + 4 nights Benguerra Island

Days 1-3: Ngala Private Game Reserve (inside the Kruger National Park)
Enjoy a 3-night stay at &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge in a cottage with ensuite bathroom and intimate veranda. Encounter the Big Five on twice-daily safari game drives in the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Strap on your boots and feel the wild grasses crush beneath your boots on an interpretive guided bush walk. If booked in advance, at an additional cost, you can experience a life-changing rhino notching conservation activity. Also, at an additional cost, enjoy a Photographic Safari with Specialist guide Andrew Schoeman in a fulled kitted Photographic vehicle

Days 4-7: Benguerra Island
Arrive in Vilanculos and board a helicopter to the secluded Benguerra Island. As the second largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra offers exceptional opportunities to witness a slice of the very best of Mozambique’s exceptional marine life. (Approximately 10 minutes)

Put your feet up at for your 4-night stay in a casinha with ensuite bathroom and outdoor shower. Choose to spend your day either scuba diving, snorkeling, on a castaway picnic, dhow cruise, island drive or a horseback riding safari – all included during your stay.

Activities offered at additional cost include fishing and helicopter sightseeing

Day 8: Benguerra Island
After a mouth-watering breakfast, we wave a fond farewell as you board a helicopter for your flight back to Vilanculos International Airport. Here, you will catch a scheduled flight to O.R Tambo International Airport.

Rates: from $8485 per person, double occupancy

For more information on Azura Benguerra Island click HERE

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