At a Glance
Azura Benguerra is a relaxed beachfront resort with a community focus, making for a lovely beach getaway with warm service, a lively, social vibe and Mozambican sense of place.
- The attentive staff comprised of people from the local community; upon arrival, you are introduced to your host who will look after you for the entirety of your stay.
- The private decks, plunge pools and tropical gardens that sit between each of the resort’s 20 villas and beautiful white-sand beach.
- The island-hopping adventure; highlights of which are snorkeling Two Mile Reef, climbing a sand dune on Bazaruto Island and a castaway beach picnic.
- The fact that the resort is eco-friendly and operated in partnership with the local community.
Just a little over a half-mile down the fine white-sand beach from andBeyond Bengerra Island, sits its distant neighbor and partner in the island’s community development work, Azura Benguerra Island. Upon arrival, guests are ushered up a wide, raised wooden rampway over a bubbling pond and into reception through large wooden doors–but it’s the sparkling turquoise Indian Ocean straight ahead that catches your eye and steals the show–and it won’t be the last time during a stay at Azura.
The main lodge, Jellyfish restaurant and atmospheric Star Bar are all open-air and sit right on the beach at the center of the resort from which Azura’s 20 villas fan out on either side. All buildings have thatched roofs and the décor is light and airy, with a mix of both cream and caramel woods, light cowhide rugs and white linens with subdued pops of greens, blues and pinks. There is a barefoot African beach vibe with beautiful shells, driftwood sculptures, carved wooden masks and fish, beaded bowls, black-and-white photography and local Mozambican patterns, all of which add to the resort’s charming sense of place.
All villas have a deck, personal pool and lounge chairs and most have a little tropical garden brimming with local plants and animals (such as vibrant-colored birds cooling down in the birdbath and squirrels scurrying from tree to tree). Depending upon the time of day and the tide, the water may be lapping on the shore just steps from your palapa, while at other times it’s a half-mile walk to get to a foot of water. But the tides change quickly, and this is all a part of the magic of Benguerra Island.
Meals are enjoyed in various beachside locations throughout the resort and your dedicated butler/host will endeavor that you get to experience a couple of different locales. Most dinners are toes-in-the-sand, while breakfast and lunch can be enjoyed in the restaurant, while out on an activity or privately on your villa’s deck if you wish. And while Azura keeps the menu interesting, the fresh seafood is the highlight, as it’s most often caught the same day it is served.
While many choose to spend their time resting and relaxing, a variety of activities are offered during your stay. Highlights include a sunset dhow cruise, snorkeling Two Mile Reef, Azura’s signature island-hopping excursion, horse-back riding and an island tour. The daily island tour is a great way to get the lay of the land and some beautiful scenic views, but also to visit the island’s new primary school (which as of October 2019 employs seven teachers and serves 384 children), hospital and church, all of which have been funded by Azura’s Rainbow Fund, thanks to generous donations from Azura guests, and andBeyond’s community development projects. Various ocean water sports, deep-sea fishing and scuba diving are also available.
The tranquil spa has two treatment rooms, one of which is in a raised treehouse and accessed by a series of wooden walkways suspended above a pond, and features talented and attentive therapists.
Who Should Stay
Honeymooners, families wanting a very relaxed family-friendly option and groups of friends wanting to socialize with others.
Indagare Tip: The four- to five-hour island-hopping adventure is an absolute must for an active day of exploring and very worth the additional cost. If you’re lucky, you might even see one of the elusive endangered dugongs or a flock of flamingos.
Written by Rose Allen