Year round sunshine, warm lapping ocean, diving dolphins, rare dugongs and turtles against the backdrop music of rustling palm trees. It’s idyllic, and it’s everyday life at andBeyond Benguerra Island. Located in the protected marine reserve of Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, just off the coast of Mozambique, days here are beautiful, calm and easy. It’s the ultimate island holiday away from the world. What world, you may wonder. Because everything you need is right here.
A five-minute helicopter flip from Vilanculos and you are on Benguerra Island. Days often start with coffee at the landmark dhow beach bar, and they mostly wind down here too as you watch the sun sink into the ocean. But what happens in between is also thoroughly enchanting.
Imagine stepping out of your cabana or casinha onto the beach and enjoying a swim in tepid, turquoise waters. Or you could go scuba diving or horseriding on the beach and even take a swim with your horse. These island horses love the ocean because it’s part of their home environment. The snorkelling is excellent too, and all you need to do is walk into the ocean to do so. Plus, there are excursions around the island where you can see daily life in action, or you may choose to escape everyone with a castaway picnic on a remote, white sandy beach. Of course, there’s always the option to nothing at all and kick back at your suite and lounge in and around your pool.
Cabanas are cosy and quaint and a favourite of honeymooners and couples; casinhas have an added lounge area. Both have romantic baths in the open-plan bedroom, as well as private plunge pools, and are set in gardens with waving palm trees. For families, the casa familia is ideal with three bedrooms and plenty of private space. But no matter where you choose to stay, you step out of your dwelling and onto the beach directly.
There’s a hint of Portuguese heritage in the décor, with splashes of blue and patterns reminiscent of the traditional tiles. But cuisine has a definite Portuguese twist and there is plenty of fresh seafood on the menu. If you prefer a hamburger or simply spaghetti bolognaise, that’s also there. Whatever you choose, the food is phenomenal and the staff will delight you. They’re local, happy and proud of this beautiful island they call home – and you can too for a while.
What we love!
- the delightfully warm ocean
- walks along the endless soft, sand beach
- that there are no crowds
- so many exciting activities to choose from
- that no plastic, only glass is used
- seeing flamingos on the inland lake
- direct beach access
- the relaxing dhow cruise
Need to know…
- children of all ages are welcome at casa familia. There is also a kiddie’s club and carers for small babies
- the lodge is not wheelchair friendly
- there is wifi in the lodge and suites
- air-conditioning in all suites
- a massage sala for relaxing treatments
- malaria precautions should be taken, as it’s a low risk area
- lodge staff have been vaccinated
- Airlink and LAM operate direct flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos, while LAM also runs flights between Maputo and Vilanculos. Then it’s a short helicopter transfer to the lodge.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey