I highly recommend starting or ending a safari trip to South Africa with some leisure time on a beach in Mozambique.
While many clients prefer to relax at the end of a long trip at the beach, I actually started my safari with a visit to Mozambique and it was the perfect antidote to the long flight and a chance to acclimate to Africa. Mozambique is beautiful, raw, natural, and very authentic.
Arriving to Azura is seamless with a 90 minute flight from Johannesburg and a 10 minute helicopter ride from Vilankulos, a small coastal city in the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Azura is one of those special places that really gets under your skin. Not because it is over the top luxury, but because it is so authentic and the local people who take care of you do so with such sincere pride and joy.
A fabulous and again AUTHENTIC sunset cruise on a dhow – these boys rock!
Yes, the individual stand alone bungalows are wonderfully comfortable with enormous bathrooms – indoor/outdoor showers, large soaking tubs, and king-sized beds with lovely linens and mosquito net veils. The highlight of the room product though is your private plunge pool, deck chairs and palm covered lounging sala. There is no shared pool area nor beach loungers at the main lobby area, guests very much enjoy the privacy of their accommodation.
Every guest is assigned a host who serves all dining and they very much delight in surprising you in a unique destination for many of your meals.
Our hosts were Greg and his apprentice Alfonso who were so lovely to us throughout our stay and went out of their way to truly surprise and delight. I was thrilled that two of the pairs of football cleats that I brought from the US fit them – they were beyond thrilled and extremely gracious. (I am collecting your used foot ball cleats please to bring when I return to the region in May so let me know if you would like to send them my way please!)
There are a few ex-pat managers that do an incredible job of insuring the guest experience is exceptional, but it is the local employees that steal your heart at Azura. Barbara the masseuse who does an expert massage on your pool deck, Eddie and Piccardo who serve cocktails and teach guests to play the local game of Chuwa…
…Carlos who takes you a island tour to the local school, the villages, to climb some sand dunes – so uplifting and beautiful. The water sports team who take you for some of the most fantastic snorkeling in the Indian ocean, for a walk on massive sand dunes, and then surprise you with an 3-course luncheon on a private island. This signature experience is a definite must for every guest of the resort.
The topography is extremely unique with daily tidal swings that cause the tide to go out at least a mile exposing vast amount of sand bar. Breakfast is often set up on the wet sand where just the night before the local dhow was anchored.
Azura is the kind of place that will appeal to those that truly want to relax and feel Africa. It is for people that appreciate and love the experience the locals share. Azura’s ideal guest is not hurried and is not going to panic if the internet connection is intermittent. Azura is a place to unwind and relish the local pace and culture.
Guests fly into Vilinculo, a 90 minute flight from Johannesburg…
The property is all-inclusive and the food is excellent with varied options and lots of terrific fresh crab, lobster and fish on the menu. All is served with some care and warmth that each dining experience is a treat.
A visit to the local school supported by the resort Rainbow Fund is a must.
I can’t wait to return this incredible island and hopefully share with many of my best travelers! I am changed for sure. Ahhh Africa!