Barefoot luxury paradise.
You can tell the Vilankulo Airport has been upgraded, as it is large and modern.
Americans will need to have a visa to enter Mozambique but it could be obtained upon arrival. It took me less than 10 minutes to get my visa and the cost is USD$75.00.
Once the officer stamped the visa in my passport, the &Beyond representative and Marc, the pilot of the helicopter, greeted me with all smiles and informed me that I will make the last 10-minute stretch of my journey by helicopter and that it was waiting for me at the tarmac. Marc is a South African pilot who served in several missions in Afghanistan and Iran, so I felt very safe.
I’ve never seen water so pristine in all my travels. The colors were incredible, with the tones ranging from deep velvety blue to crisp cornflower blue, deep sapphire to saturated shades of Tiffany turquoise - a translucent panorama of water with light greens.
I could see the white sands of the archipelago shimmering in the distance, and a sense of calm came over me.
I knew I had found paradise.
The closer I got to the lobby, the music and the singing sounded louder and the rhythms were exotic and very pleasant.
A group of staff put on a welcoming show for me with singing and dancing. The sounds of the drums were almost hypnotic, with the singing very gentle, and the welcome was genuine.
Benguerra is both breathtakingly beautiful and completely unspoiled. It is the second largest island in the Bazaruto archipelago, which broke away from the mainland thousands of years ago.
The island is approximately 55 square kilometers (11km long x 5.5 km wide), and lies 14km offshore.
The lodge’s thirteen bay-front guest bungalows are spread out from the main lodge, and the rooms all merge naturally into the surrounding forests which consists of a lush canopy of leafy coconut palms, cassia trees, banyan trees, potato bush, and tangled beach shrubbery.
The décor inside my Casinha had a rich East African/Arabic feel, with deep-blue fabrics and a tasteful mix of antiques, with the four-poster bed with white mosquito drapes billowing in the breeze.
The room also had a luxurious day bed and a massive bathtub facing a large window.
Everything opens up to the view of Benguerra Bay, which is one of the world’s best beaches, looking at the glittering and translucent jade and opal waters of the ocean.
The glamorous outside bathroom is ample and decorated with hand-painted Portuguese tiles. Taking a refreshing shower there was a pleasure, listening to a symphony of birds.
These are fantastic villas with private plunge pools, ideal for private sunbathing. There is also an expansive deck with a gazebo with day beds and a suspended sun lounger for two in front of the ocean, so you can indulge in the tranquil atmosphere of these paradise-like surroundings.
My butler, Castigo, was just perfect - always around when I needed him. He quickly introduced me to the villa and prepared my table for lunch in the gazebo overlooking the ocean.
Castigo immediately showed understanding of how I wanted to pace my stay. I told him I would like a late breakfast around the pool and lunch in the gazebo.
The food is mainly freshly caught seafood, mixed with a fusion of Creole, influenced by Arabic, and Indian cuisine.
The warm tropical sun filtering through the coconut leaves instantly put me at ease.
You can easily spend moments or hours of leisurely solitude with your eyes fixed on the incredible beautiful scenery - looking at the magical waters of the Indian Ocean, with its small waves and shimmering white sand, without worries in your mind, or if you wish, &Beyond offers a great range of activities.
I was able to view breathtaking assortments of colorful fish.
Also, scuba diving, traditional dhow cruises, castaway picnics, catamaran cruises, kayaking, fishing, horse riding, an island expedition with culture interaction, and go for relaxing barefoot walks exploring the beaches and savanna-grassland.
The whole experience is fantastic!
I understand why the resort is full of honeymooning couples, and this is the perfect place for a romantic holiday.
The key is your butler, who focuses on making sure the pace and relaxation of your stay is tuned to exactly how you feel and what you want to do.
Each evening you can organize activities for the next day depending on your mood and wants.
The lodge truly offers an extraordinary guest experience, with its great local hospitality, situated in the most spectacular place surrounded by sublime nature, and above all, lots of smiling faces.