- travel with carlo
resort review | azura benguerra | mozambique - golden hour tidal times
a laid-back luxury island hangout
as i awoke at sunrise in my private thatched beachfront villa, i took a few steps off the veranda to the warm waters of the bay. with the sand between my toes, it took a few a few moments to realize that i was not dreaming, it was the feeling that i had though-out my stay at the phenomenal ultra-luxury resort that is; azura benguerra.
sheltered from the swells of the indian ocean on the west coast in the stunningly beautiful bazaruto archipelago national park lies the island of benguerra. the second largest island in the archipelago is home to locals that still fish in dhows 'traditional sailing vessels' as their ancestors once did. rare & elusive dugongs call this place home along with humpback whales that come here to raise newly born calfs. it is truly an area of extreme natural beauty & wonder.
well, firstly it's not a room. it is a luxury beachfront villa, made in-keeping with traditional methods such as the thatched roof that blends in perfectly with the local flora of the island. the villa comes with a large bedroom, a super comfy bed that looks out over the bay, perfect to view those awesome african sunsets.
the bathroom was huge. tastefully decorated with luxury toiletries, bathrobes & outdoor shower along with a scenic bathtub with views of the bay that will surely make your friends seethe with envy. outside you will find a terrace with chaise lounge, your very own swimming pool that is shaded by local flora teeming with wildlife from birds to tiny deer it is a place of privacy & serenity.
the large main lodge is home to a super comfy lounge area & library where you can while away the days reading a book or watching the boundless tide retreat before returning to the shore.
the bar features a high ceiling & large deck overlooking the bay, it is the perfect place to watch some of the best sunsets africa has to offer. i often found myself here for an evening aperitif before dinner.
adjacent to reception the open-air restaurant mainly features al fresco dining on the deck & on certain nights they set up the tables on the beach where the stargazing is at its best while sipping on a pre-dinner cocktail.
if you are looking for a more intimate experience then the private dining experience on the beach in front of your villa is the way to go, its offered complementary for each stay. your personal butler is sure to make it a once in a lifetime experience.
meals & drinks are all included in the stay. from breakfast to lunch & dinner they were all an absolutely heavenly experience. the quality of the food is near michelin star standards. the menus are sent to you daily with the freshest catch of the day.
-breakfast; fresh coffee & juice served with homemade bread & pastries as a side coupled with a few of my favorites from waffles to eggs benedict & a fresh fruit plate.
-lunch & dinner; i would receive the three-course menu a few hours prior to each meal with a choice of fish, meat, or vegetarian dishes for main along with starter & dessert. this preserves quality & cuts down drastically on the food waste that other resorts have with buffet dining. i truly had some of the tastiest & freshest fish of my life here.
the padi dive center with an activity area is where you can find the free to use kayaks & paddle boards that are perfectly suited to the shallow warm waters of the bay. if you are seeking a little more adventure then the team has you covered with some of the best diving spots in southern africa.
all the ocean based excursions go from here to, from whale watching, sunset dhow trips to snorkeling & isolated beach picnics, you are spoilt for choice.
community & conservation credentials
not only did azura employ locals to build the resort, but they also utilized sustainable materials from the island. many of the furnishings were handmade by the local community, the solar showers & environmentally friendly detergents help keep their environmental impact to a minimum. azura also contribute to improving the education & healthcare on the island by building both the first school & clinic on the island with continued ongoing support for a fund that is supported by guest contributions.
rooms from: ($1400) book here
one last thing...
a short stroll along the white sand beach from the resort you'll come across the peri-peri beach club. a new beach club concept inspired by those in europe, it is the first of its kind in the area. the bar incorporates a range of activities including an ocean facing swimming pool, personal grills where guests can sizzle their own seafood & an open-air cinema. open to the public & guest alike, those wanting an exclusive experience can book a fly-in helicopter package.
- if you travel often get yourself a curve card. it's the best travel card around, i have saved thousands of $$$ using it. get a free card & $/€/£5 in credit here.
- need an international bank account or transfer money at the lowest rates? i use transferwise. i make all my transfers with then and have even opened a remote eur, usa, gbp accounts for free. click here to get your first transfer for free.
country travel tips
atm: most banks offer withdrawals for ($3). don't accept the on-screen conversion.
sim card: vodacom. 5GB is ($15) for 30 days. got an e-sim enabled phone, try airalo.
transport: hotel transfers & tours companies are the safest.
taxi: uber? use promo: carlm5078ue for free ride.
accommodation: get ($20) off your first booking.com reservation here