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Mozambique Safari

Benguerra Lodge

Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

Sunset at Benguerra Lodge
Return to Map of Mozambique          © Benguerra Lodge

View images of Benguerra Lodge: Benguerra Images

BENGUERRA LODGE RATES: Benguerra Lodge Rates


BENGUERRA LODGE - BENGUERRA ISLAND, BAZARUTO ARCHIPELAGO, MOZAMBIQUE

Once part of the mainland, the Bazaruto Archipelago broke away 25,000 years ago to form a chain of five islands.  These islands, jewels in a turquoise sea, are made up of Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque and Santa Carolina.  They lie opposite the coastal town of Vilanculos, which is the staging point for visitors departing to the islands for their vacations.

Benguerra Island is the second biggest island in the chain and is approximately 55 square kilometres in extent.  This ensures that guests enjoy ample privacy within an idyllic unspoiled island paradise surrounded by magnificent beaches and, further out, pristine coral reefs.  The island, in the Bazaruto National Park, sustains a varied array of fauna and flora including natural forest, savannah, dunes and wetland eco-systems.   The unique freshwater lakes on the island are indeed a reminder of ancient times when the island was part of the mainland and still hosts a population of freshwater crocodiles.

Benguerra is a unique, African island paradise – washed by the turquoise waters of the warm Moçambique channel. Here we offer an individual experience, infused with personal style and the standards and service levels of a bygone safari era. The Lodge is small and intimate and has a rich East African/Arabic feel – evinced in both the décor, and the unique and delectable food, comprised largely of freshly caught seafood.

All Honeymooners receive a small gift and sparkling wine on arrival, and a private dinner for 2 on the beach one evening.

The Lodge is small and intimate and has a rich East African/Arabic feel – evinced in both the décor, and the unique and delectable food, comprised largely of freshly caught seafood.  The 2 new Cabana Suites (each with it’s own private deck and dip pool/jacuzzi) and the 10 private en-suite chalets merge naturally into the surrounding indigenous forest and are only a moment’s walk from the gorgeous white half-moon beach of Benguerra Bay.

The lodge staff offer genuine hospitality, personalized service and an intimate knowledge of the natural environment.  They are passionate about conservation and dedicated to the involvement of the local community in sharing and conserving the spirit of Africa.

Benguerra Lodge is a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers.  The lodge has a fully equipped dive centre and access to some of the most pristine reefs in the world.  There is also excellent saltwater fly and deep sea fishing to be had.

Indulge yourself in countless hours of relaxation under coconut palms, delight in the diversity of birdlife (more than 150 species), visit the historic freshwater lakes (and their crocodiles), sail in a traditional Dhow and search the seas for the legendary dugongs...

You can choose to do as much, or as little, as you like.

Accommodation            For images of Benguerra Lodge, click Benguerra Images
Benguerra Lodge provides a true African beach holiday in a remote wilderness area of Africa, reflecting individuality, personal style, standards and service of a bygone era – without sacrificing modern comforts and conveniences.

The main lodge area was completely rebuilt in 2005 and Benguerra now offers an incomparable experience. There is a stylish Lounge, Dining Room and Library – all with large, sunny decks dedicated to comfort. There are also a new Reception area and Gift Shop.

The Lodge nestles within Benguerra Bay on the protected north-west side of the island. The thatched main building and the chalets that flank it merge naturally into indigenous milkwood and acacia trees.

For those wanting unsurpassed luxury and privacy – we have an exclusive Villa, set apart from the rest of the Lodge, with 2 double bedrooms and its own private lounge/dining area with personal chef, and its own private swimming pool.

The Lodge consists of 2 Cabanasare intimate, romantic and elegant and entice guests to indulge in island style luxury, each with its own private deck and dip pool. 10 Casitas, each with its own 100m² private wooden deck, comfortable lounge area, plunge pool and outdoor dining area for romantic starlit dinners. All the rooms are only a step away from the gorgeous white half-moon beach of Benguerra Bay.

  • 2 Cabanas
    - 2 x Doubles
    - Luxury room built on stilts with beautiful sea views, private wooden deck and plunge pool
    - Overhead fan and mosquito net
    - En-suite bathroom with bath and shower
    - Outdoor shower with beautiful mosaic inlays
    - Mini bar with tea & coffee facilities
    - Direct beach access from the deck
  • 10 Casitas
    - 6 Doubles, 4 Twins (Twin beds may be converted into doubles)
    - Spacious, luxurious and very private, with beautiful sea views (80m² under thatch)
    - Comfortable lounge area, tastefully appointed to relax in
    - 100 m² of private timber deck, with plunge pool and outdoor Gazebo for starlit dinners or private lunches
    - Plantation shutter windows and doors
    - Fans and mosquito net
    - En-suite bathroom with exquisite copper bath
    - Outdoor shower with beautiful mosaic art work
    - Mini bar with tea & coffee facilities
    - Direct beach access from the deck
  • 1 Villa Chibuene
    - Very exclusive, private Villa
    - 2 bedrooms (twin or double, dependant on requirements)
    - En-suite bathrooms with outdoor shower & bath
    - Private kitchen/ dining area/lounge with personal chef
    - Private pool and sun deck with private garden area
    - 10 meters from beach

Facilities:
The main lodge consists of a large reception area and gift Shop, an expansive lounge and bar, a dining room and library – all with large wooden decks and indoor and outdoor seating areas. There is also a swimming pool and a small spa.

The lodge has a gorgeous, big beach and is sheltered from bad weather. There is also a deep channel running out to sea, so there is always ocean access.

Dining
Meals at Benguerra are comprised largely of freshly caught seafood – with delicacies such as prawns, crab and crayfish. Traditional Moçambican cuisine, Portuguese flavours and a variety of delicious dishes make up the daily menus. Breakfast and lunch are buffet affairs, while dinner is a set menu.  Guests with special dietary requirements can be individually catered for.

The island and the lodge provide a variety of settings for lunches and dinners which contribute to the magic and romance of the island experience. Guests can enjoy sundowners in the lounge prior to dining and there they can plan with lodge staff their activities for the following day.

Activities
The term "barefoot luxury" is not without good meaning at Benguerra. Relaxation, whether under the shade of the beach palm trees or a sunrise walk along a receding tide-line, is the name of the game.

Diving
To encourage visitors to enjoy pristine reefs where no coral bleaching has taken place, a fully equipped dive school with Dive Instructor has been set up. There are numerous dive sites available, including the well-known Two-Mile Reef, where ample opportunities exist to see many species of game and reef fish – and to view untouched corals. After the dive a trip to Pansy Island to collect a few rarely seen pansy shells or to visit the South Point of Bazaruto to climb the dune and view Two-Mile Reef from another angle. A discussion of the day’s dive rounds off an unforgettable experience. For the more adventurous, there‘s the thrill of a night or wreck dive!

One of the most striking aspects of diving the reefs off Benguerra Island is the sheer unspoilt beauty and the variety and abundance of marine life.  While kitting up on the boat, before you even begin your dive, you could see batfish surfacing, a turtle rising to take a breath before diving again, a curious whale shark turning towards the boat (inspiring you to momentarily abandon your dive gear to snorkel with the biggest fish in the ocean).

Once under water exotic reef fish abound – schooling bannerfish, moorish idols, butterfly fish, blue striped snappers, oriental and barred sweetlips, boxfish, goldies, trigger fish and numerous others provide movement among the diverse beautifully coloured corals and sponges.  Your dive buddy could be obscured for a few moments by hundreds of fusiliers shoaling through the coral crevices.  Or it might take a while for you to recognise a giant moray, due to sheer size.  Ribbontail rays try to hide on the sandy bottom; Devil rays glide effortlessly along, swooping down occasionally to rub their undersides on the sand.  Schools of kingfish are attracted to the reef's food supply and circle divers bubbles before moving off on their hunt.  Turtles can be seen sleeping under a ledge or feeding on a sponge, ignoring divers in favour of indulging in a tasty meal.  White-tip, black-tip, gray reef or giant sleeping sharks may be seen in a cave or patrolling the perimeter of the reef.  Hearing a whip like crack indicates that a grouper has seen the divers and has made a hasty retreat through the wall of slender sweepers surrounding its hideout.  At the safety stop, you may have a batfish keeping you company.

On the surface, a pod of common or humpback dolphins may be seen hunting mullet.  The sight of a humpback whale breaching in deeper waters is a sight never forgotten.  After the dive a trip to Pansy Island to collect a few rarely seen pansy shells and a discussion of the day’s dive rounds off an unforgettable experience.

Dive Facts
Visibility:
10m to 30m
Water Temperature: Summer approx. 28-30° C, Winter Lowest 22° C
Best Diving Time: All year round
Boats: Dedicated twin hull dive boat
Compressor: On site
Scuba Hire: Included in price
Dive Centre: Part of the resort – only guests may use facilities
Instructor: PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with 14 Specialities; NAUI Instructor; SAUU Instructor; CMAS Instructor. No DM – Instructor takes all dives.
Oxygen: Available on the Island – Medical use only – NO Nitrox
Dolphin/Whale Encounters: Dolphin seen regularly on dive/snorkel trips. Migrating Humpback whales seen mainly September to November.
Dive Equipment: 12 B.C; 12 Tanks; 12 Regulators; wetsuits; masks; fins; torches; etc.
Dive sites: Approx 25 minutes by boat from the lodge – depth is max 20 meters with deeper dives 1 hour away – max 35 meters.
To Be Seen: Abundant reef fish, Turtle (Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley), Moray, Reef shark (White tip, Black tip, Grey Reef) Devil ray, Sting Rays (Ribbon tail, Blue spotted) Bass (Potato, Brindle)
Trip to Pansy Island, Bazaruto South Point or Benguerra North Point included in rates.

Snorkeling
Superb, safe snorkeling can be indulged in, on the inside of the reef, at a site aptly called "The Aquarium". The wide variety of bejeweled fish and extraordinarily shaped corals is breathtaking. After snorkeling, clients are treated to a trip to Pansy Island for shell collecting or to Bazaruto's South Point for dune climbing.  (For those of you who don’t know how to snorkel – we can teach you).

Dhow Cruises/Sea Kayaking
Sail silently in a traditional Arab dhow along the coastline in search of the island’s flamingos or glide peacefully in the late afternoon with sundowners in hand, to witness one of Africa's marvels - the magnificent sunsets.

Deep Sea Fishing
The Lodge owns four 22-foot Acecat boats ready to do battle with a bounty of game fish and the monsters of the deep - such as marlin and sailfish. They are fully equipped with fighting chairs, outriggers, safety equipment, radios, and 20-lb. fishing rods for four fishermen. An experienced skipper and ghillie who know the waters intimately host each boat. King- queen- and spanish mackerel, kawakawa, many different types of kingfish and queenfish can be caught. A policy of "Catch and Release" is encouraged and all boats have the necessary equipment on board for tagging.

Saltwater Fly Fishing
The waters around Benguerra boast some of the finest saltwater fly fishing on the continent. Even newcomers to fly fishing can enjoy a session out on the water learning something new, while avid fly fishers will revel in pursue all the above game species and sailfish.

At Benguerra Lodge, specific attention is paid to the needs of the angler, no matter whether he or she is experienced or trying their hand for the first time – nor whether the objective is shallow water flyfishing or deep sea patrolling.

A variety of sought-after game species is available throughout the year and flyfishers, in particular, can enjoy fast action at times, battling it out with a variety of Kingfish (trevally), King- and Queen Mackerel, Kawakawa, Queenfish and Springer.

There is also the possibility of the much sought-after Bonefish, but they are elusive and to date have only been hooked in deeper water. Another recent development is the capture and release of sailfish on fly.

There are currently two flyfishing boats, High Flyer” and “Ahab”, with experienced guides as well as four 22 ft. fully equipped Acecats for anglers in search of marlin and sailfish.

Angling for Kingfish is good throughout the year, though the Giant Kingfish is more prevalent during September to April. The King- and Queen mackerel appear in the cooler months from March through to August. Kawakawa fishing picks up in late Spring through Summer (November to June) and for any would-be bonefishers, April to July, presents the possibility to secure an unusual yet celebrated bonus.  The same months also provide opportunities for flyfishers to try for the almost-uncatchable milkfish (April – July). Springer are present all year round.

From April onwards, sailfish become more numerous and the hot months of October to December see an increase in the number of marlin strikes. Catch-and-release of all species is encouraged.

Visiting flyfishers are encouraged to bring their own gear and outfits of 8/9 weight are recommended for most species. When targeting the GT (Giant trevally) and sailfish on fly, a 12-weight outfit, competent reel with good drag and plenty of backing (300m) is required.

Very fast sinking lines or shooting heads are standard issue for all species, but there are times when floaters and intermediates are preferred. Favoured fly patterns include Clouser Minnows and Lefty’s Deceivers, especially in chartreuse.

Picnics
Have your own castaway picnic under the island’s casuarinas, the South Point of Bazaruto, on Pansy Island or Santa Carolina - or perhaps even a secret rendezvous. There you can explore or simply comb the deserted beaches in solitude.

Bird watching
Because of the diversity of habitats – coastal dunes, open grasslands, freshwater lakes, savannah and acacia woodlands - over 125 species of birds, including all the sea birds, visit Benguerra Island.  On a walk or land rover trip around the island see if you can spy the elusive crab plover…

Non-Motorized Watersports
For the energetic and adventurous, the lodge offers kayaking, windsurfing and hobie cat sailing, at no extra cost.

Just Plain Relaxation
It is not, of course, necessary to do anything if you feel the need to catch up with the soul, except lie under a beach umbrella, sipping at an exotic beverage. Without doubt, peace, solitude and serenity are still regarded by us as an integral part of our own island getaway.

Climate
Information on Benguerra Island weather can be found on the Mozambique Info page.

Conservation
To maintain the ecology and social integrity of the Bazaruto National Park, a long-term "Multiple Resource Use" project for the Archipelago is under way. Benguerra Lodge subscribes to the wise and sustainable use of the resources and contributes financially to the project.

The lodge staff work very closely with WWF and EWT to ensure that the National Marine Park that surrounds us is well maintained and remains unspoiled. Many people enjoy the sport of fishing and so they have introduced a ‘Catch and Release’ policy, whereby all fish caught are released back into the ocean. Some specimens are tagged for research purposes.

Community Commitment
Benguerra Lodge recognizes their responsibility to the local community and so have established Khani Kwedo – which is essentially a Trust Fund for the community. With those funds the community has already built a School and a Community Hall. A Clinic is next on the plans. One of our major shareholders has just donated a Dhow to the community – so that they can freely transport themselves and their goods for barter to and from the mainland.

Travel to Benguerra Lodge
Regular scheduled flights to Vilanculos are available from Johannesburg International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International and Durban.   It is also possible to drive to Vilanculos. Vehicles are left in safekeeping in Vilanculos, and guests are transferred to the island. 
The island is a mere 8 minute flight from Vilanculos – transfers operated by Pelican Air (weather dependent).  The Lodge is 20 minutes drive from the airstrip.


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