Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
of Mozambique © Marlin
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- BENGUERRA ISLAND, BAZARUTO ARCHIPELAGO, MOZAMBIQUE
Bazaruto Archipelago is known as the "Crown Jewels
of the Indian Ocean" and Benguerra Island is
the glittering gem in this chain of islands with
Marlin Lodge a perfect spot for a magical escape. The
island is set amid transluscent waters,
flecked with dhow sails and rich in marine life
- an unspoiled paradise for those seeking a haven
of peace; something extraordinary.
The approach is flagrantly
romantic - your boat glides over a turqoise sea
alive with dolphins; The shallows spangled
with starfish like an underwater sky. You
cleave towards the white sands and swaying palms
of a quintessential island, straight from the pages
of fiction, silhouetted on the horizon.
It beckons, as if
to say "Come and cast yourself away."
At Marlin Lodge there
are opportunities to experience water-skiing, yachting,
knee boarding and water snaking for the adventurous,
plus bird watching excursions or a leisurely cruise
while enjoying the spectacular sunset over the
Indian Ocean. Romantic picnics on deserted
beaches of breathtaking white sand are also very
Then, of course there
are the underwater attractions of this abundantly
populated area of ocean. The Bazaruto Archipelago,
of which Benguerua Island is a part, was declared
a National Marine Park in 1971. On
visiting Marlin Lodge you will no doubt praise those
who had the foresight to protect the area. In
the shallow water, small, nervous fish nibble brightly
colored coral and playful dolphins disturb the occasional
somber dugong. Further out in
the deep channels lurk those creatures that so many
come to this area to see.
For the anglers,
there are Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo and others that
provide an equal challenge. Kingfish,
Queenfish, Dorado and Barracuda come in with the
tide to do provide additional sport.
There are two ways
to closely experience this aquatic beauty: go down
into it - clad in a wetsuit and with a tank on
your back - or bring it up to you
with the help of a sturdy fishing rod. Each
has its own rewards - swimming through coral forests
with dolphins as your companions for instance is
a heady experience. But few
experiences come close to the thrill of hooking a
The fish on the deck
means a proud picture, an epic story for the folks
back home and succulent steaks for dinner. A
sudden slacking of the line, however, means a return
trip to paradise and that, somewhere out of sight,
the symbol and essence of Marlin Lodge live on.
on shore, the wood, Luxury Marlin lodge welcomes
the exhausted explorers. Share
your experiences with other guests and enjoy exquisite
cuisine, before eventually retiring to your room
to enjoy something else you may have forgotten
existed - silence. Drift
into a somber rest with the sound of the waves
lapping gently against the beach.
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Prepare to be embraced by your sanctuary of lush island colours. Each sea-facing suite is furnished in extraordinary elegance, with a four-poster bed, temperature controlled for your comfort and convenience, its own lounge, a private balcony and direct access to the beach.
Covering 60 m², the 14 Luxury Beach Suites are generously proportioned with sea-views and steps which lead you onto the white sands of Flamingo Bay beach. Each Luxury Beach Suite has a large veranda, perfect for a private dinner or sun downer.
Each Luxury Beach Suite features:
- En suite bathroom
- Roof fan
- Four-poster bed with mosquito netting
- His and her basins and vanity area
- Inside & outside showers
- Open-plan bathroom (including shower facility)
- Private lounge
- Private veranda with deck chairs
- Mini bar
- 2 lounges
- Privacy and direct access to the beach
We accommodate a maximum of 2 guests per Private Luxury Suite.
The Superior Beach Suite's sheer size makes it unique. Covering over 80 m² of floor space and a 30 m² veranda, this suite is the perfect haven for the discerning visitor. Similar to the Luxury Beach Suites, the interior has sophisticated finishes with refined furnishings of earthen creams and oceanic blues.
- En suite bathroom
- Open-plan bathroom (including shower)
- Double basins
- Private outside shower
- King size four-poster bed with mosquito netting
- Mini bar
- Coffee & tea making facilities
- 2 seating lounges
- Private veranda with deck-chairs and hammock
- Private walkway to the beach
Maximum accommodation per Superior Beach Suite - 2 guests.
Be captivated by our sunshine food in a setting that is nothing but spectacular
Fresh from the ocean, straight from our garden or sourced somewhere nearby, our chef’s kitchen is constantly brimming with fresh ideas.Served at a casual beach braai or fine inspired dining at our oceanfront restaurant, dining experiences reflect every aspect of Mozambique’s island lifestyle.
Guests can enjoy bespoke dining experiences anywhere on the island. Dinner in the dining room…braais on the beach or at the pool… private candlelight dinners in the privacy of your suite… or a favourite setting of your own discovery.
Our cuisine is defined as Sunshine Food and is characteristic of seafood-abundant Mozambique, infused with the Asian and Portuguese influences of its past. Using seasonal produce and supporting the community, all of our seafood and fish is bought from local islanders. Fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and even grains are bought from the local market in Vilanculos supporting our staff’s family businesses and creating job opportunities.
The Second in Charge
Having grown up on the mainland, Lourenco Rurane started his career at Marlin Lodge in the kitchen scullery and through hard work, in-house training and a lot of passion, he is the wonderful smiling man you will see chatting and entertainign the guests.
Chef for a day
Marlin Lodge is not just about beautiful beaches, luxurious accommodation and turquoise waters… it’s about the life experience you have on an African Island. At Marlin Lodge, we are all for relaxation and taking things slow, even cooking! We are avid supporters of the slow food movement, and invite guests to experience this with us at the lodge.
Come and enjoy a personal Mozambican Chef Experience in three easy steps.
1. A guided tour with our Executive Head Chef of our very own home grown vegetable and herb gardens where an array of fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables are harvested and used in most of our dishes.
2. One will be educated in the various methods of bringing out the best possible flavours in the chosen dish, as well as the most effective way of preparation.
3. Then moving to the kitchen to prepare and cook a three course meal that will entice both friends and family back home. We encourage our guests to request recipes of their favourite Marlin cuisine whilst staying at the lodge, as we want the Marlin Lodge experience to carry on in their own homes.
Experience unique island dining …
We create ambient set-ups for each of the following dining venues:
Private dinner on your suite’s veranda or on the beach under a private beach gazebo, under the stars, or a favourite setting of your own discovery. A unique table set-up is laid out, where you will be served with the evening's delights.
Marlin Lodge beach braai (barbeque) A candle-lit beach dinner, with a fire to set the mood, and a scrumptious selection of fresh seafood and delicious meat served buffet style. This is the most authentic dining experience and has become an instant hit with guests. The rustic beach-side barbecue, elevated by lantern-light and the sound of the ocean, is an unforgettable feast under the stars.
Marlin Lodge pool dinner set around the pool in a relaxed setting open to ocean views and gentle breezes under the stars.
Private lunch set on the veranda of your suite, where a waiter will be on hand to serve the set menu.
Immerse yourself in our island lifestyle
Marlin Lodge is a feast for the senses. From its beaches to its flora, and from its food to its people, the island beckons you to explore it and to fall in love with it. We offer a treasure trove of pursuits that will allow you to do everything… or absolutely nothing.
• Diving and snorkeling
• Dhow Sailing
• Island Touring
DIVING & SNORKELING
Discover a dazzling array of underwater wonders snorkelling in a mesmerising aquatic realm. The Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the safest marine environments and snorkelling over reefs within the archipelago is a truly memorable adventure.
Fully PADI certified scuba diving excursions are available for exploration of the vibrant marine life living in an oasis of coral reefs. Marlin Lodge’s Dive Centre offers various diving courses and certifications, with numerous dive sites suiting all levels of diver, from beginner through to experienced.
The warm topical waters surrounding the Bazaruto Archipelago are home to some of nature's finest marine life with a spectacular variety of fish, coral, marine mammals and plants. Water temperatures range from 28°C in summer (30°C between December and February) to 22°C during the winter months.
The various dive sites can be reached with our 27-ft catamaran Novacat, equipped to accommodate 8 divers and their equipment.
All dives take place at locations as determined by Marlin Lodge's dive instructor.
• 2 Mile Reef: A narrow channel separates Benguerua Island from its northern neighbour, Bazaruto Island. The reef is 2 miles east of the channel and provides a variety of dive locations with abundant hard and soft corals, reef fish, turtle, reef shark, moray eel, grouper, stingray and devil ray. Seasonal whale sharks and manta rays can also be seen. Duration: Three hours. Depth: 10 - 20 metres.
• The Wreck (Home Reef): Marlin Lodge's own manmade reef, (a sunken yacht and tractor) is approximately 800 m from the lodge and ideal for novice divers. A variety of reef and pelagic fish species can be seen here. Duration: One hour. Depth: 7 - 12 metres.
• Aquarium (Low tide only): A pool within 2 Mile Reef, where an amazing variety of fish and spectacular hard and soft coral offer the finest diving for beginners. Duration: Three hours. Depth: 1 - 8 metres.
• 5 Mile Reef: Located five miles from Benguerua Island, this reef provides divers with the opportunity to sight pelagic fish. Nurse sharks have also been spotted there. Duration: Three hours. Depth: 8 - 20 metres.
• Magaruque Express (Drift Dive): Located off the Island of Magaruque, where a strong current provides a brisk drift dive. Duration: Two hours. Depth: 6 - 12 metres.
• Cabo San Sebastio: Ideal for advanced divers, this reef is known for sightings of the seasonal whale shark and manta ray. Schools of pelagic kingfish and barracuda may be seen as well as stingray, shark, potato bass, moray eel and turtles. Duration: Full day (2 dives). Depth: 20 - 40 metres.
• Pipe Reef (House Reef): Approximately a mile from Marlin Lodge, this spot is ideal for novice divers and popular for night dives. The rare Spanish dancer nudibranch and frogfish can be seen here. Duration: Two hours. Depth: 8 - 12 metres.
From the comfort of one of Marlin Lodge’s stylish, fully equipped fishing vessels, both expert and novice fishermen can enjoy the excitement of deep-sea fishing in one of the world’s richest fishing grounds. The Bazaruto Archipelago is famed as one of the greatest game fishing sites in the Indian Ocean. Reel in sailfish, blue and black marlin and king fish. Once you've landed your catch, your chef can prepare it for you, just the way you like it, back at your suite or on the beach
All our fishing boats have twin engines and communicate with each other and our shore base via a repeater VHF marine radio system that has a network circumference coverage of approximately 80 km from our base station. Each boat carries all Department of Transport-approved safety equipment. All our boats, skippers and deck hands are registered and licensed with the Maritime Department in Mozambique.
We have 4 boats in our fishing fleet at the lodge: 4 x 27 ft. Novacats (Marlin 1, 2, 3, 4).
These are fitted with 2 x 115 HP/ 200 HP Yamaha outboard motors, Schaffer outriggers, Marlin fighting chairs and Furuno fish finders and GPS. Suitable for both game and bill fishing.
Crews & Skippers
Our skippers and deck hands are from Mozambique and many of them have grown up on the Bazaruto Archipelago islands. They are all well versed in taking out experienced or novice anglers and relish showing anglers how to enjoy the sport.
It is important to inform the skipper of your fishing experience and how much you want to be involved in the initial setting up of baits and striking of fish. This is an acquired skill and the crew will happily accept your decision, as long as you bear in mind that fish strikes happen very fast - so there is no time for casual conversation on the matter when the big fish are crashing around the baits.
The boat crew will be happy to clean and prepare your fish to be cooked by our chefs.
Tipping is not compulsory. However, tipping boat crew directly is accepted with thanks. Please note that this should be done only be for excellent service.
Marlin Lodge has a comprehensive Fishing Centre which is stocked with fishing tackle to cater for all the disciplines of fishing.
All our fishing rods are manufactured by Purglass and Fenwick and fitted with lever drag Pen International and Shimano Tiagra reels. We carry a full range of Halco, C Lever, Rapala and Williamson Lures.
For catching marlin, each boat has a range of 50, 80 & 130 lb. rods. For game and sailfish, we use 30 lb. rods. We also have a range of spinning rods for use on boats and shore angling. We stock a basic range of saltwater fly-fishing rods, reels and flies.
Anglers are more than welcome to bring their own fishing gear, especially light tackle, as we know anglers are more comfortable using their own equipment.
Marlin Lodge is open for fishing throughout the year. The Bazaruto Archipelago is ranked as the best black marlin destination in this part of the Indian Ocean.
The main black marlin season runs from early October through to the end of January.
These fish venture into the shallow waters around the Islands and can often be found feeding around the shoals of various species of tuna that frequent our waters during this time of the year.
The average size caught is around 700 lbs. Numerous marlin over 1000 lbs have been caught to date, including the 1298-lbs all-Africa record marlin, caught in November 1998 off the north point of Bazaruto.
Blue and striped marlin are found between September and January. These fish are usually found in the deep waters off the islands targeting the yellow fin and other tuna shoals.
A jumping blue marlin is the ultimate thrill as the power and fury of these fish under full throttle is simply awesome.
A blue marlin of approximately 650 lbs was caught and released in June 2002.
The main sailfish season starts at the beginning of June till the end of September, although it is not uncommon for these aerobatic gladiators to appear around the Islands during the middle of April.
The average weight is 90 lbs and for the light tackle enthusiast this fish provides an awesome thrill. It is quite normal for a boat to tag and release up to four fish per day.
Finicky and sometimes skittish or playful, they can make a fool of the best of anglers and this makes them sought-after billfish.
Marlin Lodge supports the practice of the tag and release of billfish and we award certificates to anglers who do so.
The waters off the Bazaruto Archipelago islands are world-renowned for the diversity of game fish species that occur there.
This is truly a paradise for light tackle anglers, as the following species occur throughout the year:
Giant kingfish, bluefin kingfish, brassy kingfish, yellowtail, kingfish & bigeye kingfish
Longfin kingfish, shortfin kingfish, ferdy kingfish, yellow spotted kingfish, bludger
Largemouth queenfish, needlescaled queenfish
Trachinotus africanus family
Acanthocybium solandri family
Kawakawa or little eastern tuna
King mackerel, queen mackerel
Yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna
Great barracuda, pickhandle barracuda
A variety of shark species that occur offshore are mainly from the carcharhinus family. Examples of these are: silvertip, Zambezi, blacktip, dusky, blackspot and tiger shark.
Skim across tranquil turquoise lagoons, bays and inlets of the captivating Bazaruto Archipelago. The local way of travel for any Mozambican is done via the colourful dhow, a traditional handmade craft used for fishing and island travel.
Marlin Lodge supports the local island people by hiring these dhows and their experienced crew, thereby introducing their culture to guests and providing a livelihood to locals.
Dhow sunset cruises around Flamingo Bay in front of Marlin Lodge are extremely popular and for guests who stay two nights or more, the dhow cruise is a gift from Marlin Lodge.
Benguerua Island was originally named "Sao Antonio" by Portuguese explorers and was later named "Benguerua" after a local tribal chief. The island is approximately 11 km in length and 5,5 km wide and lies 14 km offshore from the mainland and the town of Vilanculos.
On the southern point of the Island you will find casuarina trees planted by convicts from penal colonies during Portuguese reign. The trees are not indigenous and were planted to prevent erosion on the island.
A guided island tour in a 9-seater Land Cruiser will take you to both the northern and southern points. You can opt to climb the Benguerua dune for a breathtaking view of the island.
For birding enthusiasts, approximately 78 different species of birds have been identified in habitats varying from the coastal dunes, open grasslands and fresh water lakes, to savannah and acacia woodlands. A few of the more unusual birds to be seen are the green coucals, green pigeons, purple-banded and black sunbirds, lilac-breasted rollers, olive bee-eaters, mannikins, paradise flycatchers, fish eagles, flamingoes, starlings and various waders such as curlews, bartailed godwits, whimbrels and crab plovers. The two freshwater lakes on the island are ideal for bird watching and also home to indigenous crocodiles.
Animals to be seen are the plentiful red-tailed squirrels, as well as suni and duiker, which have been reintroduced to the island.
The Archipelago is a shell lover's haven. At North Point, Pansy Island and on numerous surrounding sandbanks, the famous pansy shell can be found in abundance. There are two types of pansy shells, one of which is endemic to Mozambique.
Enjoy an island picnic in tropical paradise. Surrounded by a beach of the whitest sand and sparking turquoise water, you have a choice of a number of settings. South Point, North Point and Pansy Island being just a few of these gems, can barely been seen from the lodge and are the ultimate romantic getaways where you can spend the day relaxing, snorkelling and swimming.
Our chefs pack a scrumptious picnic basket filled with small island delights, and a cooler that is packed with soft-drinks and other selected beverages. A choice of a table and umbrella, or blankets and pillows and an umbrella can be included.
Marlin Lodge offers complimentary ocean kayaking. A trained staff member will be on hand to guide where needed. All equipment is state-of-the-art and serviced regularly.
You can also opt to relax in any of the leisure areas at Marlin Lodge, including our two unique gazebos, or spend the day lounging in an around our freshwater pool.
In our air-conditioned reading lounge you'll find an international collection of books as well as local board games
One of the many ways to discover our unique beaches, freshwater lakes and island culture is a guided tour on horseback. Marlin Lodge, in conjunction with our neighbouring lodge, Benguerua
Lodge, offers guided tours to various locations around the island.
Spectacular views of the coast can be seen from high-lying areas and the village can be explored on the way to the dunes of South Point.
Experience levels range from the complete novice to seasoned riders. Helmets and half chaps are provided for your comfort and safety. For more experienced riders, feel free to enjoy a canter along the beach! A total of ten horses are available.
Our Wellness Centre is a Sanctuary Spa and a natural haven of serenity, nestled on the beach with a view to the sea. Celebrating the island's unique surroundings and embracing the traditional elements, our Sanctuary Spa offers superior Vitaderm skincare treatments to restore your body’s natural rhythm and unique Moya body products to rejuvenate body and mind. When the day is done and the sun is setting, come and surrender to our sanctuary where we offer a wide range of massages, reflexology, aromatherapy, facials and hand and foot treatments
Selecting a destination for the first romantic vacation as a newly married couple is one of the more important decisions in your life. Not only your wedding day, but each day thereafter is a celebration of love and commitment. Marlin Lodge is a proud favourite among honeymoon couples, as we offer the utmost in luxury island lodgings and well deserved privacy. The suites are stretched along the beach, each with a private walkway and sea view.
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