Azura Quilalea Private Island


Quirimbas Archipelago Marine National Park, Mozambique

+27 11-467-0907

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At a Glance

A small, secluded private island in a protected marine park off the coast of northern Mozambique, Azura Quilalea is understated barefoot luxury at its finest.

Indagare Loves

  • The island’s location in the Quirimbas Archipelago Marine National Park, one of Mozambique’s most remote archipelagos
  • The pristine "house reef," with plentiful and diverse marine life right off of the property’s beach and running along the entire western side of the island–perfect for both snorkeling and scuba diving
  • The island’s ancient baobab trees, some of which are over 2,000 years old


While getting to Quilalea private island requires a slightly longer journey than that of getting to Benguerra Island (about a two-and-a-half-hour flight and a 20-minute helicopter ride), it is absolutely worth it for the remote location and all that comes with it: privacy, untouched beaches, healthy and diverse marine life and peace and quiet.

Upon arrival at this small (less than a quarter square mile) private island, you are whisked from the helipad down a winding pathway, past the island’s 2,000-year-old baobab trees to the breezy bar and pool area. Only then does it begin to sink in, with the Indian Ocean sparkling in the background and fresh coconut water in-hand, just how special this undiscovered island paradise truly is.

The pool and bar area, water sports center, Jellyfish restaurant, dhow boat beach bar and spa treatment room line the property’s main stretch of white-sand beach, with the nine villas fanning out along the island's edge on both sides. The villas are breezy and spacious and hewn from local materials such as makuti thatched roofs, coral stone walls and carved wooden beams. They are tastefully beachy with fresh, white bed linens that contrast with handmade wood furniture, woven straw rugs and vibrantly patterned pillows. They have indoor-outdoor showers, decks with loungers and while only some have their own plunge pools, all have direct beach access.

While there are opportunities to mingle with other guests, the overall experience on the island is private and personalized, with the passionate staff focusing on crafting memorable, romantic experiences on a daily basis. Whether it’s a morning scuba dive, candlelit beach dinner, marine walk during low tide, sunset dhow cruise or a surprise baobab bath (its oil has skin-healing properties) on your villa deck, every experience is executed with care by the Azura team. Food on the island is simple and deliciously fresh; the local fisherman bring their day’s catch to the shore every afternoon and the chef takes his pick. Dinner locales change so that each night feels like a unique set-up.

The island's spa is one small cliffside treatment room, perched directly above the ocean so that during high tide, your soundtrack is the sound of the water crashing against the island. And while the marine sanctuary is a diverse paradise, there are many other activity options such as day or night snorkeling, private beach picnics, wandering the numerous trails, bird watching, kayaking, whale watching (July to October), fishing, turtle sightings (June-July and August-September) scenic helicopter tours, plus the opportunity to kayak the mangroves at Sencar Island or visit Ibo Island's historic ruins.

Who Should Stay

Honeymooners and couples who want a private island experience, as well as scuba and marine life enthusiasts. Quilalea can also work for families during holiday periods, when kids are allowed, but the property recommends 10 years and up.

Indagare Tip: While the island is great almost year-round (although avoid February due to the Madagascar cyclones), the best months for scuba diving and snorkeling are August, September and October, when visibility is typically great.

Written by Rose Allen

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