Picture five kilometres of pristine Mozambique coastline in the Bazaruto Archipelago, 300 hectares of calm sanctuary and coastal forest that’s home to throngs of birds and small mammals, and in all that space just 12 deeply private and magnificently luxurious residences. Some are in coves, others sheltered by dunes, all have magical beachfront and enchanting forest – and so much peaceful breathing space you can hear your heart beat. When here, it feels like Benguerra island is all yours, that you’re in harmony with surrounding nature, and all is well. Which it is, on so many levels.
Kisawa Sanctuary operates hand-in-hand with its sister property, the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies – Africa’s first permanent ocean observatory. Revenue from the Kisawa residences enable ongoing marine conservation, and guests have the privilege of experiencing real time marine conservation efforts, like shark tagging. So by simply enjoying the tropical island holiday of a lifetime, important conservation efforts are being sustained.
But there’s much more to the living philosophy of Kisawa. The local people are paramount. Their hands built the light footprint lodge of 22 natural thatch bungalows. Inside are design elements that use sand and seaweed mortar, others are created using patented 3D sand-printing technology. Each sleeps two, some bungalows stand alone and others are configured for both privacy and communal time with family or friends; all have pools.
Decorated in natural textures and tones, with local weavers, carpenters and textile makers showcasing their heritage and flair, the bungalows are sanctuaries of calm. At all times, culture and nature are respected and blended with integrity into the creation of magical Kisawa. You see it and feel it when you are there.
And then there’s still the beautifully grounded offerings of the Natural Wellness Centre tucked in the dunes, and offering guests individual and personal treatments and programmes to promote glowing wellness. The seven culinary locations at Kisawa follow the natural ethos too, and serve freshly delivered or picked local organic fare infused with Mozambican and African flavours – and delectable cracking fresh seafood.
In between, spend time spotting whales and dugongs, turtles and rays, dolphins and over 150 bird species. Go boating, snorkelling picnicking like castaways, sunning, swimming or simply stay in your residence and nap in the shade. Whatever you choose will be memorable and meaningful, for that is the spirit and essence of Kisawa and it’s very reason for being. The people, the place, the culture and magnificent nature – the full circle of vibrant life, in harmony just as it should be.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love
- enjoying a decadent holiday that has conservation benefits too
- exploring Benguerra island and seeing the sun set from the Kisawa dhow.
- having a dedicated 24/7 personal service team, including a private butler and chef, and an unpacking service on arrival
- so many watersports and different excursions, and the mini moke vehicle for private explorations on the island
- your outdoor kitchen being stocked with all your favourites
- not needing to carry cash for anything during your stay.
Need to know
- there are regular commercial flights to Vilanculos, then a 30-minute private boat transfer to Kisawa – or a 10-minute helicopter flip.
- Mozambique is a malaria area
- there is a fully equipped gym