Presidential Villa at Azura. Benguerra Island. Mozambique
Why we love it
The Benguerra Archipelago is the quintessential island destination – a place for romance and honeymoons. Azura offers a springboard to explore long white beaches, scuba reefs and inland lakes populated by waterbirds. The Villa has complete privacy with its very own beachfront location, 150m down the beach from main Azura Lodge. The seas here support the last viable population of the elusive dugong and the most southerly coral reefs in Southern Africa. You can watch dhows sailing past from your suite.
What to expect
The villa caters for 6 guests with 2 main beachfront bedrooms that are en suite and a third that has an extra room for two children and can be used for guides and pilots. The master suite has his and hers indoor and outdoor showers. All the room are airconditioned, with wooden walkways and screened by natural indigenous vegetation. The separate lounge has a fireplace, flat screen TV, DVD and surround sound. There is a star bar for lazy evenings, a sala and other lounging areas. The large 26 m infinity edged swimming pool is a great way to cool off.
What to do
Snorkel, scuba dive, saltwater fly-fish or big game fish, watch the sunset as you sail on their dhow, picnic in isolation, or cruise to deserted beaches to look for pansy shells. Visit the island’s lakes on walking tours or game drives, go star gazing, join day trips to Vilanculos. There is a spa at the main lodge with a double treatment room located right on the beach. The lodge has a PADi-dive centre so you can learn to dive on your holiday.
Kids: With warm water, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, boating and shell collecting, long beaches, soccer games with the local kids, star gazing and fishing there are plenty of wonderful activities for kids.
The good news
Azura supports a variety of social and environmental projects and sponsors a local school and housing for teachers, it sponsoring a local football team and supports a no-fishing zone.
When to visit
Apil to September is wonderfully mild in Mozambique but you can be assured of warm weather at any time of the year. In winter from July to October humpbacked whales frequent the coastline. Monsoon season is between February and April.
How to get there
There are daily flights (2 hours) from Johannesburg. Transfer from Vilanculos to Azura is normally by state of the art Eurocopter Helicopter, an exhilarating 10-minute flight. Or a 30 minute speedboat crossing.