Sprinkled gently just 30km off Mozambique’s striking coast, lies the Bazaruto Archipelago. At 12 000 hectares of tropical beauty, Bazaruto is the largest island and home to Anantara‘s Bazaruto Island Resort and Spa.
Just a short 40 minute boat trip from the beach at Vilanculos, across the most beautiful blue hues of the ocean, we arrived at our destination, greeted enthusiastically by a group of local drummers and dancers. We stepped off the boat into ankle deep water and were handed a glass of exotic fruit drinks, telling us that we were in for a truly magical time.
As we strolled along wooden walkways to our beach villa, the palm trees overhead seemed to be welcoming us with open arms. Our villa was everything you would expect from a five star beach resort, with incredible views stretching out across an endless ocean, fringed only by palm leaves hanging over the wooden deck just outside our bedroom.
I looked around at the large spacious villa that was to become our home for the next few days. The king size bed was perfectly positioned with views of the ocean, and the rest of the villa flowed effortlessly through an open plan living area, dressing room and en-suite bathroom where one could see the azure ocean just a few meters away. The outdoor shower was a special treat and with a supply of island scented toiletries you always felt relaxed.
An easy stroll along the pristine beach led my husband and I to Clube Naval – a place where guests can sample delicious light lunches or design their own pizzas. Clube Naval is a popular venue to take in the beautiful sunsets and meet new friends.
Breakfasts and some dinners were enjoyed in the Gholfinho restaurant which is steeped in rich Mozambican history – the original walls from early Portuguese traders still stand boldly in the dining room. The restaurant blended into the tropical garden with stunning views overlooking the infinity pool. The inspiring breakfast buffet was a feast with the scent of fresh muffins and pancakes filling the air, and dinners were an array of sumptuous delights with a different theme each night. Grilled crayfish and prawns were that day’s catch and there was plenty for red meat lovers and vegetarians alike. An excellent selection of wines matched the food, and desserts were sinful sensations.
Bazaruto has year round warm water and is one of the world’s top diving, fishing and snorkeling destinations. There were many other water sports available including water skiing, sailing and wake boarding for the more adventurous. After much persuasion from my hubby, I thought I’d have a go at snorkeling as I’d always wanted to discover the world beneath the ocean and I was thrilled that my wish was about to come true. My heart was racing as we headed out to Neptune’s Nursery by boat and with trepidation I slipped into the clear blue water and took a deep breath.
Clutching anxiously to my hubby’s hand, and trying to get to grips with the mask and snorkel, we swam away from the boat and as I slowly dipped my face into the crystal clear water, the most spectacular scene greeted me. The stunning array of colours as the fish flitted around the coral reefs made me feel like I was in a world far removed from anything I had ever seen.
More adventure was to be had on dry land with a 4×4 tour of the island where we discovered exotic flora and fauna and met the locals. For beginner birders like myself, the local guides are extremely knowledgeable and can help you tick off close to 180 different species of birds. If you are lucky, you may also see the brightly coloured pink flamingoes and pelicans that frequent the coast looking for their catch of the day.
The Anantara Spa was where we found nirvana. We decided on the Rhassoul treatment which is a traditional Arabian body treatment involving steam and mineral-rich mud. It’s not only deeply relaxing, but getting muddy from head to toe greatly improves your skin and hair, and it’s a lot of fun so a “must-do” on any couple’s list. After that complete pampering, we slowly glided back to our beach villa, our bodies feeling completely rejuvenated.
Our stay was coming to an end, and on our last evening we set sail on a traditional dhow, its huge sail stretching endlessly to the sky as a gentle breeze nudged us along. The twinkling lights of the beach villas faded into the distance and as we looked across at the burning sun, gently dipping its toe into the ocean, I honestly believed that this very day, could make everyone live off its beauty forever.
How to get there
Airlink offers a wide network of regional and domestic flights within southern Africa and operates as a franchisee to SAA. Direct scheduled flights are available between Johannesburg and Vilanculos as well as from Nelspruit to Vilanculos, where you can enjoy both the bush and beach experience. Through Airlink’s alliance with SAA travellers can connect conveniently with SAA, their partner airlines and other carriers throughout Southern Africa and the world. Airlink is a member of South African Airways Loyalty programme – Voyager. Flight Bookings can be made online, through a booking agent or by calling SAA Central Reservations +27 11 978 1111.