Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Photographer of the Year 2021

Written by: Carrie Hampton of Safari Tart

At just 1km long and barely 300 metres wide, with just 12 villas stretched out along the beach with a lighthouse at the tip and an airstrip down the centre, you feel like you have landed on a deserted island when you arrive at Anantara Medjumbe. In reality it’s only a 45-minute light aircraft flight from Pemba on the mainland over the archipelago and coastal mangrove swamps to get to the island.


Medjumbe is one of 32 islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago – designated a site of outstanding universal value – off the north coast of Mozambique. It’s here that the south equatorial current meets the African coast, and this deliciously warm 28°C ocean is an important feeding ground for turtles and a nursery for bottlenose and humpback dolphins and whales.


That’s why I was took advantage of Medjumbe’s diving and snorkelling trips to the nearby reefs. My snorkelling adventure amongst colourful fish was followed by being deposited on an uninhabited island with nothing but a lobster barbeque and piña coladas to sustain me. The staff to guest ratio was so high that I wanted for nothing, and service always came with a broad Mozambican smile.


Fresh seafood is, of course, a strong feature of the cuisine on the island, with local fishermen offloading their catch of the day from the dhows. When I had enough crayfish, prawns, calamari and line fish, there were meat and vegetable options.


To offset all the barefoot indulgence, you may want to know that Anantara Medjumbe is doing its environmental best, with a desalination plant to provide potable water and its own waste treatment. And the dive school has instigated a programme of local education on marine conservation and sustainable fishing.


There are many more things to wax lyrical about on Medjumbe; from the private plunge pool on my villa deck, to the sunset cruises, sea kayaking and other watersports, big game fishing and the gym-in-a-basket with dumbbells, resistance bands, skipping rope and yoga mat in my room. There were spa treatments too, and a deep-tissue massage left me as relaxed as is humanly possible while still being conscious.


But it was the simple act of allowing myself to truly unwind and regain perspective that was the gift Medjumbe bestowed upon me. For full absorption, stay as long as you can and, as you head back to the ‘real world’, use this gift wisely.


How to get there:

Airlink offers a wide network of regional and domestic flights within Southern Africa and operates as a franchisee to SAA. Airlink offers direct scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Pemba in northern Mozambique.


You could win 5 nights at Mozambique’s Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort with the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2016 competition in a Beach Pool Villa for two people sharing, inclusive of return flights for two people from Johannesburg to Pemba (provided by Airlink), return island transfers from Pemba, all meals and a selection of beverages, non-motorised water sports plus a dhow sailing activity and spa treatment. To find out more about the competition or to enter click here.

Africa Geographic Travel
Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year

The Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Competition is brought to you by Land Rover and Canon, in association with At Close Quarters, Airlink, Klaserie Sands River Camp, Hideaways, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thule and Rhino Tears. The competition will run from December 2016 to May 2017 and entrants can submit images via the online entry form or via Africa Geographic's Instagram channel. This profile will be used to showcase photographic tips from experts as well as blogs from our sponsors to set you on your way to becoming our Photographer of the Year!