Imagine an unspoilt island within a Marine National Park, deserted beaches of pure white sand that extend for miles, sparkling turquoise seas criss-crossed by local dhows plying their trade, sunny days and star-studded nights.
This is the enchanting island escape you always imagined. Azura Benguerra, the first eco-friendly resort in Mozambique, was hand-built by the local community and is operated in partnership with it.
Just 20 villas are nestled along one of the last undiscovered stretches of beach in the world, with all the creature comforts you could wish for, sparkling private pools, Mozambican butler-hosts to look after your every need, fish and seafood fresh from the ocean, a fantastic range of activities and experiences, an African spa to relax in, all at a community based project where the local islanders benefit as much as you. Azura Benguerra Island is paradise found.
Experience the island as it is meant to be, always at its very best. Azura Benguerra Island, Mozambique, has been included in the 2020 Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards Survey.
We are really pleased with the recognition. We’re also incredibly excited to be participating in the 2020 World Luxury Hotel Awards! Thank you to our loyal guests for the nomination.
Azura Benguerra Island’s public areas are right on the beach and open to the sea. We have created several different zones for your enjoyment and relaxation, from the comfortable lounge area, to the vibey Star Bar, and our fabulous wine cellar offering a selection of the owner’s wines, especially flown in from their Chateau in France.
The Jellyfish Restaurant offers breakfast and more formal dining. There is a media room for those needing TV and internet access, a boutique at reception, and our Padi 5 Star dive centre with top of the range Scubapro equipment.
Azura on Benguerra Island is blessed with hot and sunny weather year round. Temperatures are generally in the upper 20′s to low 30′s celsius, and rarely fall below 20 degrees even at night.
The water temperature is gloriously warm, and ranges from 24-30 degrees plus. Benguerra Island tends to receive on average a quarter of the rainfall that the mainland does, and there can be several months of the year when there is no rain at all.
This makes our landscape very arid, and challenges our indigenous gardens and water supply, but usually makes our guests very happy!
Luxury Beachfront Villas
Our hand-built villas blend modern chic with all that is traditional in Mozambique. Each of our 20 villas is just footsteps from the beach, yet designed with seclusion in mind.
Nestled amidst indigenous gardens, we have created your own sanctuary, with a personal infinity swimming pool and spectacular beach-side view. A haven of rest and relaxation, where you can feel at one with the environment.
Epitome of Style and Luxury
The Presidential Villa at Azura has been described as one of the best villas anywhere in the Indian Ocean. It has a very secluded private location, some 150m down the beach from main Azura, and comes with its own butler-host and private chef.
It is the beach house of your dreams. The epitome of style and luxury, with its own unique décor, there are 3 en-suite bedrooms, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, a media room, sitting/dining area with ‘wine bar’, and huge infinity pool spanning the front of the villa.
It is located just footsteps from the beach at the end of our property to ensure maximum privacy, with a fantastic treehouse to catch the afternoon breezes and panoramic views to Bazaruto Island and the Indian Ocean beyond.
Perfect for Families
Villa Amizade means friendship villa in our native Portuguese. This 2 bedroom en-suite villa is located at the western end of the property, with fantastic views out to sea and towards the setting sun. It is perfect for families or couples requiring more space and facilities.
It offers a sitting area with flat screen TV, DVD, Sound Dock and selection of games, opening onto extensive decking, dining and relaxation areas, including a ‘wine bar’. You can opt for a private chef service, available at a supplement.
All the normal Azura design touches and finishes. Maximum occupancy 5 people including children.
ROYAL BEACH VILLAS
Utmost Privacy and Uninterrupted Views
Azura has 2 Royal Beach Villas, they feature infinity edge pools and magnificent sea views. They are 172 square metres, making them the largest and most lavish of all the villas, with 30 metres of picturesque beach frontage on a large beautifully landscaped plot.
They are located at the northern end of the property, ensuring the utmost privacy and uninterrupted views. They offer the next level of comfort for the discerning Azura guest to enjoy.
The main bedroom and bathroom area is similar to the existing Infinity Beach Villas and guests can now delight in the luxury of their own lounge area connected together via a walkway with glass sliding doors.
The lounge comprises of comfortable sofas around a flat screen television, and has its own bathroom, as well as a tea/coffee area with minibar and nespresso. The sofas can be converted to two beds for any children that may want to share.
Outdoor areas are astounding, offering a 10m rim flow pool with a Jacuzzi on the one end, and a poolside sitting pavilion on the other, from which guests have access straight into the pool.
The villa also has a double daybed under latte roof, as well as a single daybed on the deck, a dining area, and beachside sala, all of which are perfect for relaxing and enjoying your own private space.
Your Azura Hosts
At Azura we care about making your stay special. That starts with providing hosts to look after you during your stay. They’ll take care of you during your time with us, including serving your meals, setting up your lunch table at the water’s edge, or serving the cocktail of the day to your beachside sala as the sun goes down.
Our hosts have a genuine warmth and are friendly, and will delight in looking after you. They have big smiles and even bigger stories to share with you.
Azura Benguerra Island Facilities
Our public areas are open to the beach and sea with amazing vistas across calm blue waters to the Indian Ocean beyond. Furnished with cool contemporary cottons and the textures of Africa, they are open to the breezes, in harmony with nature.
Comfortable, simple, spacious and chic. Wander in and out as you please. Find a quiet corner to read a book, or a place to share the stories of your day with others. Sip the cocktail of the day on the beach with your feet in the sand, or relax in the Star Bar over a game of Bau.
The mod cons are there too if you need them, with TV and internet discreetly tucked away in our library.
Family Holidays at Azura
Azura Benguerra Island is a wonderful place for a family holiday, with Villa Amizade and the Presidential Villa being the best choice. Children and teens will be spoilt for choice when it comes to spending time here with us.
Whilst we don’t have the traditional kids and activity clubs you find in larger hotels, we offer a host of activities for children and families to participate in.
We do ask that younger children should dine ‘in villa’ to respect the privacy of our other guests, and our chef will meet with you on arrival to discuss any particular dietary needs you may have.
Azura African Spa
Azura’s spa signature treatments are based on local ingredients and traditions, the treatments take their inspiration from the very heart of Africa.
Try a ‘Butter me up’ wrap using a unique blend of African body butters and oils, including the highly prized Mongongo Nut Oil. Follow that up with a relaxing massage using the new beauty miracle, Marula Oil.
Or try something different with our Tribal Traditions massage, where olive and shea butter is poured all over the body, and massage strokes mimic the beating of African drums. Nothing is hurried at the Azura Spa. Relax, lie back and be pampered.
Never Eat in the Same Place Twice
Our aim is for you to never eat in the same place twice. At Azura, dining is all part of the experience, from breakfast at the water’s edge, to a picnic on a remote sand island, to dining on a candle lit beach beneath the stars and romantic private dinners at your villa.
Our hosts take huge pride in their innovative dining set-ups, and little touches to make your stay special. We have a fabulous wine cellar for special wine tasting events and themed dinners, and even offer a selection of the owner’s wines, especially flown in from their Chateau in the Loire Valley, France.
PERI-PERI BEACH CLUB
Azura Retreats introduces the new Peri-Peri Beach Club, encouraging guests to spend days lounging at the beach bar or pool, enjoying their favourite Mozambican cuisine, magnums of French Rosé wine, or creating their own cocktails through the specially designed mixology menu.
The new beach club and bar incorporates a range of activities including an ocean facing swimming pool, personal grills where guests can sizzle their own seafood and on selected nights an open-air cinema.
The beach club also has a Spa pavilion for African-themed massages. It’s a great spot for our guests to have lunch or spend the day in a sociable beach club environment.
Relaxed, Stylish, Sociable
Azura Peri-Peri Beach celebrates Mozambique’s Portuguese history and Portuguese influences can be seen in both the décor and on the menu.
We’ve always loved the famous beach clubs like Club 55 in the South of France and so wanted to create a similar space at Azura for people to enjoy our beautiful stretch of beach in style.
It has a relaxed yet sociable feel so guests can spend the day just enjoying the space, with great cocktails and magnums of Rosé from our Chateau in France or dine on Mozambican specialities like Crab Casquinhas and Piri-Piri Chicken and Prawns.
The tables open up to reveal personal charcoal grills for sizzling Steak and Prawns and we’ve also added a pizza oven for serving gourmet pizzas Azura style.
Subtle Azura Beach Elegance
Peri-Peri Beach Club is located about a kilometre along the beach from Azura Benguerra Island, Mozambique’s leading luxury beach hotel.
It was built from the ground up which involved redeveloping the entire infrastructure, creating new facilities including a bar, rest-rooms, a new kitchen in which to recreate Azura’s renowned five star cuisine, pizza oven, lounging pavilions and raised sala areas – similar to those we have at each of the 20 Villas.
The bar has been beautifully designed in that subtle yet stunning Azura way; with Portuguese tiles, natural furnishings and pure African elegance, and an alluring swimming pool and breath-taking views over the Indian Ocean.
Impeccable Service & Cuisine
Azura’s attentive staff that have been one of the main attributes to Azura’s success work very closely with management and the kitchen brigade to ensure that guests continue to receive the notoriously impeccable service and cuisine.
The mixology cocktail concept is a first for Mozambique, with 5 steps to creating everyone’s perfect cocktail: spirit, mixer, fruitiness, style and décor. Azura’s management is in place to ensure everything runs as smoothly as the rest of our operations.
Hottest Spot on the Islands!
Peri-Peri Beach Club will be open to the public with prior arrangements as in-house guests always take first preference. There are daily packages available which include access to the bar and pool, meals and beverages.
There are also fly-in helicopter packages available for guests in the surrounding area to enjoy the Club and Azura’s world renowned hospitality. Private use for parties and celebrations can be arranged on request.
Azura Retreats and Peri-Peri Beach Bar look forward to welcoming guests to the hottest spot this side of Two-Mile Reef.
Location of Azura Benguerra Island
Azura is located on Benguerra Island within the Bazaruto Marine National Park. Benguerra Island lies 14km north east of Vilanculos, the nearest town and site of the international airport. Co-ordinates: 21o51’12.83”S 35o26’ 18.79”E
There are flights on Airlink and LAM from Johannesburg International airport (OR Tambo) to the newly modernised Vilanculos International Airport (VNX). The flying time from Johannesburg is approximately 1½ hours.
These flights are designed to connect well with the major international flights to and from Europe. There are also regular flights from Maputo (MPM) on LAM. Both Airlink and LAM offer daily flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculos.
Excellent Travel Combination
Azura Benguerra can be easily combined with a Kruger or Sabi Sands Safari; Airlink is flying from Nelspruit (KMIA) airport to Vilanculos daily.
You will be able to enjoy a game drive in the morning and sip your cocktail on the Azura beach in the afternoon. Have a look at our Promotions to check out the offers for this excellent combination.
Visas are available on arrival (currently US$50 but note this is subject to frequent change). US Dollars, South African Rands and Mozambican Meticals are accepted in Mozambique. Please have cash for your visa available on arrival.
Where possible please obtain your visa in advance to speed your arrival through the airport.
Transferring to Benguerra Island
There is a state of the art helicopter operated by Archipelago Charters for the transfers from Vilanculos to Benguerra Island. The flying time is approx 10 minutes, and will connect with your arriving/departing flight. This should be booked at the same time as your accommodation.
Benguerra Island does have a short grass strip which can accommodate smaller private aircraft. You should check conditions in advance as the runway lies in a wetland area and conditions are not always suitable for take off and landing.
Red Dune & Crocodile Lakes Drive
Depart on a game viewer vehicle for some local island adventure! Pass through the Island’s many villages where you have the chance to encounter some of our local island communities. Along the way you can taste wild fruits from indigenous trees.
Keep an eye out for the rich variety of reptiles, birds, and insects some of which are only found here. There is also the chance to see some of the large Nile crocodiles that live in the 3 lakes.
On the “Wild Side” you can walk along the beach with its strong wind and waves coming in from the Mozambique Channel & Indian Ocean. Hike up Red Dune, an easy climb, for amazing views of Benguerra Island.
Southpoint Beach Picnic & Drive
Head towards picturesque Southpoint Beach. En-route our guides will talk to you about the island’s flora and fauna, geomorphology and local culture.
Southpoint is the most southern tip of Benguerra Island, the eastern side faces the Mozambique Channel/Indian Ocean with crashing waves whereas the west side has calmer more tranquil waters.
The location is dramatic especially with the driftwood tree trunks that lie resting on the perfect white sand. Walk through the mini sand dunes and arrive at our swimming and beach picnic spot. We will set up a wonderful picnic lunch for you with refreshments and shade.
Island Hopping by Speedboat
Welcome aboard Azura’s signature activity – a short hop to Bazaruto Island to hike up Bazaruto Dune for unsurpassed 360 degree panoramic views of the Archipelago.
From here we often head to Two Mile Reef where there are hundreds of species of tropical fish, coral, rays, invertebrates, as well as the possibility of seeing various species of turtle, or humpback whales during their annual migration.
Sightings of dolphin are common and if you are lucky, the highly endangered gentle giants, the dugong, may make an appearance too. After snorkelling, arrive at North Point for a tantalising picnic, and swim in the cool clear waters.
Paradise Island by Speedboat
Depart Azura by speedboat for the 1 hour trip to Paradise Island in the far north of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Look out for dolphins and dugongs on the way.
This island is home to a ruined hotel from the days of Portuguese rule, and was named Paradise Island for its beautiful white beaches and fantastic snorkelling.
The ruins of the old hotel and church are fascinating and your guide will recount you the tales of yesteryear. Then settle down on deserted white beaches for a picnic lunch. Relax for a few hours here, the snorkelling is amazing, but different to the reefs closer to Azura.
Deep Sea Fishing
The Bazaruto Archipelago has some of the best big game, reef and bill fishing in the Indian Ocean. Species include: Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna/Bonito, King/Queen Mackerel, Prodigal Son, Wahoo, Dorado, and Barracuda.
Giant Trevally (GT’s), the local specialty, often top the scales above 25kg. Azura caters for beginner and experienced fishermen/woman alike, and operates a strict tag and release policy on protected species.
You can choose to go trolling, popping or jigging with one of Azura’s guides, or with an independent guide who offers fly fishing, jigging and popping. Fishing is extremely popular and should be booked well in advance.
Our marine life and corals are often cited as the best off the East Coast of Africa.
We have seasonal visits from whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales and their calves, and we regularly see loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, stingrays, devil rays and moray eels as well as a variety of reef fish such as grouper, bat fish, surgeons, puffers, moorish idols, parrot fish, clown fish, trigger fish and chocolate dip fish.
Hard and soft corals are in abundance, with Christmas tree anemones and nudibranchs for those who like to spot the smaller stuff!
PADI 5 Star Dive Centre
Azura has a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre with top of the range Scubapro equipment. Our training pool is perfect for refreshing your diving skills or even trying out snorkelling before you head off to the reefs.
The Bazaruto Archipelago offers a range of depths and reef topography to suit beginner and experienced divers alike. For training we offer a full range of courses and have a PADI Instructor. We highly recommend that you complete the theory portion of your course at home, before your holiday.
That way, you’re ready to start diving as soon as you arrive and will get to spend more time exploring the waters around the island. Azura is also a DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) Business Member which entitles all divers doing entry level courses to basic dive insurance coverage.
For those who like to ride, a trek along the water’s edge on the horses based on Benguerra Island and back along some of the island’s tracks and trails is an experience never to forget!
There is also an option to go swimming with the horses following the ride. There are 9 horses available to suit all levels, from complete beginner upwards. Please note that this activity is conducted by Mozambique Horse Safaris and is a third party company.
The whole of Africa is soccer mad. Here on Benguerra Island we have an Island League made up of teams from the lodges and local island teams. This is a really important event amongst the local community and great pride is at stake.
Come and support Azura’s soccer team at one of their matches on the weekend, normally on a Sunday afternoon. We will set up a tent with refreshments, and if you fancy it you can even join in the game! It’s great entertainment for all.
Private Beach Dinners
Azura Staff are creative souls. Your host will set up a private dinner on the beach in front of your villa, surrounded by candles arranged in the sand. Alternatively you can choose to have this candle-lit dinner on your deck or beneath your sala.
They normally like to do it on guests last night at Azura but if you would prefer to do it another day please discuss this with your host.
We offer the first of these included with your stay, but for a small additional cost you can do it again or upgrade to a seafood barbecue and we’ll cook fresh seafood in front of you while you sit under African skies!
Experience a sunset dhow cruise, or have one of our guides lead you on a dune climb. Island hop and visit Pansy Island for lunch, or be dropped on the sandpit at Benguerra North point with a picnic lunch.
Alternatively take to the water for a guided snorkeling safari, or go out whale watching in season. All activities are subject to weather and tidal conditions as well as boat, Land Rover and guide availability.
Children & Teens
Children and teens at Azura will be spoilt for choice when it comes to spending time here with us. We offer a host of activities for kiddies to participate in, supervised by Azura’s guides, hosts and activity coordinators.
Children can enjoy seeing interesting marine life above and below the water, search for pansy shells on an island that appears at low tide, experience cultural encounters, climb dunes, look for crocodiles (from a safe distance), taste the island’s fruits and learn a new skill or two.