I had the great pleasure of visiting Azura Benguerra and it reminded me of how much beauty and wonder we have within easy reach of South Africa. Especially in Mozambique. Lucky for us Airlink have direct and convenient flights to get us there. Here is a little look at my time there as written for Responsible Traveller.
An activity on offer from Azura Benguerra Island is a full day of island hopping with lunch on a private beach, followed by an hour of snorkelling in the most pristine waters along the Two Mile Reef.
Signing up to do just this, my day started with a visit to Bazaruto Island and a hike up Bazaruto Dune for the unsurpassed 360-degree views of the Archipelago. From there we hopped back in the speedboat and headed to North Point for a tantalising picnic and swimming in the cool clear waters.
It was an incredible feeling approaching the white strip of sand to find a team from Azura that had been there before us. A couple of white loungers with blue towels and a table were set up under a big white umbrella just for me, with the Azura team waiting to serve the most delicious meal of assorted salads, freshly baked bread and cut fruit, with drinks on tap. After indulging I took a long walk along the shoreline and settled under the umbrella to take in the beauty of the setting and the quiet – except for the gently lapping waves.
The ocean surrounding Benguerra Island forms part of a National Park, with coral reefs and clear, warm water offering phenomenal scuba diving and snorkelling and white strips of sand jutting out from the waters at low tide. Slipping into the water along the Two Mile Reef in the Marine Reserve introduced me to a literal aquarium with numerous types of coral, rocks, boulders and overhangs to play in. In the water with my guide Paulo, we spotted and stayed with a large lazy green turtle, saw two reef sharks, a moray eel, pufferfish, ray and countless others from Parrot to Angel and Butterflyfish, as well as hundreds of others in the brightest and boldest of colours.
The Two Mile Reef is faultless in its beauty, guaranteeing unforgettable snorkelling, and the unspoilt beauty of the reef and the kaleidoscopic colours of the tropical fish that move in droves along the exposed coral are an ocean lover’s gift.
The most delicious meal of assorted salads, freshly baked bread and cut fruit, with drinks on tap.
Pansy Island, the tiny satellite island off Bazaruto is completely submerged at high tide.
Bazaruto Island and a hike up Bazaruto Dune for the unsurpassed 360-degree views of the Archipelago.
Before the day was done, we stopped at Pansy Island. Aptly named, the tiny satellite island off Bazaruto is completely submerged at high tide. In no time I saw countless Pansy Shells, which are extremely rare, and the remains of many others on the ground. Living creatures and not a shell at all, they feed while burying themselves under the surface of the sand in shallow water. Related to urchins, this little stretch of Mozambique’s coastline is one of the only places in the world they are found.
It was such an ideal way to spend a day out, returning to the resort salty, sated and sun-kissed – absolute perfection. The ocean equates to happiness to me, and when it’s crystal clear and warm with an abundance of marine life, it honestly is paradise found.
We never spotted a dugong, but I believe in leaving something for next time.
Thank you Tessa Buhrmann for allowing me to contribute to your gorgeous mag, and for being the best person to share the island paradise with. Read the full magazine here: Responsible Traveller as well as Tessa’s article on Azura Benguerra Island. With thanks to Andrew Shapland of The Roving Ambassador by Tourism Corporation Africa, to FlyAirlink https://www.flyairlink.com/ for getting me there, to Archipelago Charters for the helicopter transfer and to Azura for the wonderful experience.