It’s around this time each year as the rain settles on the Cape, that I most long for the sun. With a Shop Now desire for sunglasses, sunhats, cotton candy caftans and flip-flops to make my trip to a warmer part of the world more colourful. Mozambique as a coastal favourite for its warm waters and blue skies, always comes to mind.
With its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and protected marine life, this southeast African country beckons wanderlust-seekers from around the globe. Specifically Vilanculos and the Benguerra Islands, where azure waters, sandy beaches, and untouched landscapes await. Situated on the mainland coastline, Vilanculos serves as the gateway to the idyllic Benguerra Islands and Bazaruto Archipelago. Accessible by boat or scheduled flight from Johannesburg and Maputo, it has a laid-back atmosphere and showcases the authentic charm of Mozambique. Meander through its colourful markets and stop in at a pub for a local beer to get a sense of the warmth and hospitality unique to this region.
Activities and Island Exploration
Vilanculos is a haven for water enthusiasts. Embark on thrilling diving and snorkelling excursions to witness the kaleidoscope of marine life thriving beneath the surface. The vibrant coral reefs surrounding the Benguerra Islands are teeming with exotic fish, manta rays, and even the majestic dugongs. Take a traditional dhow boat trip and sail into the sunset, feeling the gentle breeze caress your face. A trip to Vilanculos is incomplete without visiting the Benguerra Islands and Bazaruto Archipelago – a group of six islands offshore that increase and decrease in size with the tide.
The Bazaruto Archipelago, encompassing the Benguerra Islands and Bazaruto Island, is a protected marine reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This sanctuary shelters a diverse array of marine life, making it a dream destination for nature enthusiasts and conservationists. Snorkel or dive alongside graceful whale sharks, humpback whales, and playful dolphins, or go deep-sea fishing and try your luck at catching marlin or sailfish. Stroll along the shorelines, bask in the sun, or enjoy a picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The unspoiled beauty of these islands will leave you in awe. A sailing trip in a traditional dhow at sundown is a must activity.
Where to Stay in the Benguerra & Vilanculos Area
1. Kisawa Sanctuary, Benguerra Island
Set on the pristine shores of Benguerra Island, Kisawa offers an unparalleled luxury experience. This eco-friendly resort combines contemporary design with traditional Mozambican craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in the utmost privacy of your beachfront villa, complete with private pools and direct access to the ocean. Every detail at Kisawa is meticulously curated to create an oasis of tranquillity and indulgence.
2. Azura Benguerra Island, Benguerra Island
Azura Benguerra is an award-winning boutique retreat that celebrates the spirit of Mozambique. Set on a secluded island, the resort offers spacious villas with panoramic views, private plunge pools, and direct beach access. Indulge in delectable seafood cuisine, unwind with a massage at the tranquil spa, or embark on a romantic sunset cruise. The exceptional service and attention to detail at Azura Benguerra ensure an unforgettable stay.
3. &Beyond Benguerra Island, Benguerra Island
Located within a protected national park, &Beyond Benguerra Island invites guests to reconnect with nature. This eco-friendly lodge offers luxurious casinhas and cabanas, blending seamlessly with the surrounding landscapes. Delight in thrilling activities like horseback riding on the beach, island picnics, or exploring the vibrant coral reefs. The lodge’s commitment to sustainability and conservation makes it a top choice for environmentally-conscious travellers.
4. Santorini Mozambique, Vilanculos
Inspired by the renowned Greek island, Santorini Mozambique offers a Mediterranean-inspired retreat on Benguerra Island. The resort’s whitewashed villas with vibrant blue accents provide a tranquil and stylish atmosphere. Unwind in your private plunge pool or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment overlooking the turquoise ocean. Santorini Mozambique perfectly combines luxury and tranquillity.
5. Bahia Mar Beach House, Vilanculos
Situated in Vilanculos itself, Bahia Mar offers a gateway to both the town’s vibrant culture and the surrounding islands. This boutique hotel boasts stylishly designed rooms and a stunning beachfront location. Lounge by the pool, sip cocktails at the beach bar, or embark on a sea safari to witness the incredible marine life. Bahia Mar is an ideal base for exploring Vilanculos and its captivating surroundings.
Mozambique, with its untouched beauty and rich cultural heritage, is a destination that will captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.
Vilanculos and Benguerra Islands offer a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural wonders.
Whether you seek underwater exploration, island adventures, or simply a serene escape from the world, this part of Mozambique will fulfil your desire for sunshine and warmth as you create memories to cherish for a lifetime.
** This post is made possible by Superbalist – who understands the needs of travellers. Mine in particular.
** Pics courtesy of each property listed.