From her arrival via helicopter to coming face to face with the rare and wonderful dugong, Journey Specialist Diana recently had a thoroughly fantastic visit to Benguerra Island, Mozambique. Not just another pretty beach retreat – though it does have beautiful white sand, crystalline turquoise waters, brilliantly sunny days and star-studded nights – it’s also a place to be active with diving, snorkeling, island exploring, dhow boat cruises, and more! She shares her top experiences below.
Imagine arriving to your island retreat by helicopter, where you find white sand beaches, sunset dhow cruises, pristine coral snorkeling, and the chance to see the rare dugong. All this and more was waiting for me at Azura Benguerra – an eco-friendly resort located on Benguerra Island in Mozambique.
First, I absolutely loved my 20-minute helicopter transfer from Mozambique’s Vilanculos Airport to Azura Benguerra’s private helicopter landing pad. I had vistas full of clear sky-blue water dotted with dhows, great white sand dunes, and a fantastic pilot narrating the journey. I couldn’t ask for a better introduction to my upcoming beach retreat!
Next on my list of top experiences at Benguerra Island was snorkeling at 2 Mile Reef – no doubt the best snorkeling I have ever experienced. One of my friends who was travelling with me and who has snorkeled all over the world but never really liked it, explained she had officially fallen in love with snorkeling after our time there! That is how beautiful and alive the coral is near Benguerra Island, with so many colorful fish, and the opportunity to see a sea turtle or the rare dugong! It’s a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. We were lucky enough to see whales breach the water and even saw a dugong en route to 2 Mile Reef. How lucky is that?
I loved my traditional dhow cruise. From learning how to board the dhow by walking knee-deep into the water, to the beautiful sunset behind me with no other boats in sight, it was magic. The staff knew exactly how to maneuver the dhow and get us going using only the sail and wind, while we all enjoyed delicious finger food and of course a cold gin and tonic in hand. I was the selfie queen on this dhow cruise with the amazing sunset as my backdrop. I could have sailed forever!
North Point on the island was such a fantastic place to spend a few hours soaking up the sun and sights of the beautiful blue water and white sand dunes around me. The Azura Benguerra team surprised our group with a brunch setup on the sand dunes upon arrival. I will forever remember my time on those sand dunes, mimosa in hand, toes in sand and some of the best seafood I have ever tasted in my life.
Finally, Azura Benguerra itself was unforgettable. Each beautiful villa has views of the phenomenal beach and a plunge pool. The staff is so attentive, and the fact that you can spend your entire time on the island with no shoes was just the cherry on top. I also really appreciated that the management team trains and employs local people living on the island and have opened the Rainbow Fund. It supports a variety of social and environmental projects like the local school, and a clinic that is currently being built. Azura Retreats is a fantastic eco-friendly resort. I think that everyone should plan a trip there!