Benguerra Island Lodge
Located in Mozambique, Southern Africa
Benguerra, an exquisite piece of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is a magical destination where time stands still and legends come to life.
The second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra Island offers pristine beaches, unspoiled coral reefs teeming with marine life and excellent fishing opportunities.
This idyllic island getaway lies sheltered within a canopy of indigenous casuarina pine forest, which protects it from offshore winds while opening up to panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
Here, authentic African character and charm blend with echoes of distant history in a lodge that cherishes the simplicity of tradition, while celebrating the Arabic influence of its past.
The lodge entrance and welcome area offer spectacular ocean views. The lodge looks out onto the calm waters of a secluded bay with soft shimmering beach sands. The deep channel that cuts straight out to sea allows for swimming right off the beach, even at low tide, and permits direct boat access.
The elegant interior of Benguerra Island Lodge reflects the island's Portuguese heritage. The guest rooms offer views directly onto the beach. Together with its exceptional location, alongside a permanent deep water channel, it is a premier Mozambique island lodge.
The welcoming guest areas reflect a fresh island feel and offer views of the lush tropical garden and the ocean beyond. Comfortable loungers are set deep in patches of shade around the rim flow swimming pool looking out onto the waves.
A light and airy colour scheme combines tropical chic with a distinct African feel and reminders of the area’s Portuguese heritage.
Vast wooden verandas flow from outdoor dining areas ideal for starlit dinners to cool plunge pools that mimic the glimmer of the sea. A few short steps down a sandy path, shaded sun loungers on the open beach invite you to while the hours away.
Closer to the water’s edge, a colourfull traditional wooden dhow found its final resting place on the beach, offering the ideal spot to indulge in an ice cold cocktail or a delicious meal of fresh, fragrant seafood.
Lodge facilities include a Dive Centre, Beach Shop, catamaran, dive boat, a vehicle for island drives, a rim flow swimming pool off the main area, dining and cocktail areas in the Dhow Bar situated right on the beach.
The casinhas (formely known as casitas) and cabanas - decorated with an island colour scheme - feature elegant furniture, bathrooms, flooring and air conditioning. Larger private swimming pools and refreshed beach bandas for each casinha and cabana.
The Casa Familia, a private villa, offers three bedrooms each with its own ensuite bathroom and a private swimming pool set on the sheltered wooden veranda. Ideal for families or groups.
Light and airy, spacious casinhas and cabanas combine tropical chic with a distinct touch of Africa and the Portuguese heritage of the Mozambican coastlines. Wide doors and windows allow for magnificent ocean views. Spread out along warm, golden sands, every room opens out onto a spectacle of sparkling ocean waters.
Set among a lush island forest, the ten casinhas and two cabanas admit cooling sea breezes through dark wooden shutters that fold open to endless ocean views. Generous spaces topped with thatched roofs are decorated in rich earthy colours with vibrant accents that range from wooden floor inlays to billowing white mosquito nets suspended from colourfully beaded wires.
Both casinhas and cabanas have elegant four-poster beds with white linen canopies and comfortable day beds. Spacious bathrooms feature generous bathtubs big enough for two, while outdoor showers decorated with hand-painted tiles offer an opportunity to enjoy your ablutions while listening to the nearby whisper of the waves. Casinhas also offer a generous private lounge.
Private decks and private rim flow pools set on wide wooden decks provide a cool refuge.
Delicious meals of fresh, fragrant seafood are served on your private veranda, directly on the sandy beach or in the elegant main dining area.
A Day at Benguerra Island
Days at AndBeyond Benguerra Island can be as active or as leisurely as you want them to be. This secluded island, with its white beaches and balmy Indian Ocean waters, invites you to lose all track of time.
Activities and meals can be tailor-made to your wishes and there are many ways to spend each ideal, sun-washed day.
If you’re not joining the crew of our state-of-the-art catamaran on a fishing or diving expedition in search of the denizens of the deep, you can sleep in as late as you want, lulled by the sound of the waves washing the ocean’s shore.
Take a gentle stroll to the welcoming dining area, where you can feast on a selection of fruits and cheeses, as well as toast, jam and hot dishes cooked to order.
Set off on an expedition to explore the fascinating interior of Benguerra Island, venturing deep into the forest and scouring the shores of the freshwater lakes in search of crocodile. There is time to stop at a local village to get a glimpse of traditional life.
Enjoy a delicious castaway picnic, set up in the middle of the soaring sand dunes, where it’s easy to believe that you’re the only people on this magical island getaway. Return to the shade of your casinha for a lazy afternoon siesta on your private deck.
Paddle gently offshore in a sea kayak, keeping a sharp eye out the rare and mysterious dugong. If you’re lucky, you may be joined by a friendly pod of dolphin. If you’re feeling energetic, end the afternoon with a sprightly canter along the beach with the island’s horseriding instructor. If you’re not, opt to go for a sunset dhow cruise and enjoy the shimmering sight of the sun slipping beneath the ocean waves.
There’s just enough time to relax before a succulent seafood dinner, served right on the beach, with your toes in the sand. Indulge in a final nightcap at the beach bar before retiring to your comfortable bed, where the gentle sounds of the surf will quickly lull you to sleep.
Wildlife at Benguerra Island
The warm Indian Ocean waters of Benguerra are host to an exotic array of colourful marine life and there are a number of pristine coral reefs within easy reach of the island. Divers may encounter devil rays or sting rays gliding along the sea bottom, while leatherback, loggerhead and green turtles are all found here.
The second largest of the islands that make up the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra is situated in the Bazaruto National Marine Park. Its warm Indian Ocean waters are host to an exotic array of colourful marine life and there are a number of pristine coral reefs within easy reach of the island. Guests will often spot a resident pod of common or humpback dolphin, just two of the five dolphin species found in these waters.
Divers may encounter devil rays or sting rays gliding along the sea bottom, while leatherback, loggerhead and green turtles are all found here. White-tip, black-tip, grey reef or giant sleeping sharks are also frequently encountered along the reefs.
The deep waters of the Mozambique Channel lie off the eastern coast of Benguerra and are a haven for game fish. Known for their speed and magnificent leaps, kingfish are found in the area throughout the year, while king and queen mackerel are frequent visitors. The torpedo-shaped bonito and the formidable giant trevally also thrive here.
In some months, the waters are also home to spectacular sailfish, with their magnificent dorsal fins, as well as exceptional numbers of black, blue and striped marlin. Fishing activities at Benguerra Island are on a strict catch-and-release basis in order to preserve this thriving marine habitat.
A rare marine mammal related to the manatee, the dugong is undoubtedly the most endangered animal found in the waters off Benguerra. Hunted by humans for thousands of years, they have also become vulnerable due to habitat loss and many populations are close to extinction. Typically occurring in wide, shallow protected areas such as bays, the largest numbers of dugong in Africa are believe to live off the Bazaruto Archipelago. While the animal’s semi-nomadic nature makes it even more notoriously difficult to see, dugong have been spotted at Benguerra from time to time. Often considered the inspiration for tales of mermaids spun by ancient marines, the mysterious dugong appear in various legends around the world.
A tiny, deserted patch of land near Benguerra, Pansy Island is the breeding ground for a beautiful and delicate species of sea urchin locally known as a pansy shell but also often referred to as a sand dollar. This beautifully patterned shell also has a link to the legend of mermaids, sometimes said to represent coins lost by these fabled inhabitants of the deep.
Benguerra Island itself also hosts a variety of wildlife, from small bird species found in the indigenous forests to the flamboyant flamingos of its freshwater lakes, which are also inhabited by crocodile.
Commitment to community and conservation
Working with our community development partner, Africa Foundation, and engaging with island elders, AndBeyond has committed to the building of a multi-purpose centre to serve as a focal point for local initiatives. The lodge also serves as the base for the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Dugong Emergency Protection Project.
Rate Inclusions & Exclusions
Three meals daily
Soft drinks, house wines
Local brand spirits and beers
Teas and coffees
Activities included: One per day: sea kayaking, sunset dhow cruise and scheduled snorkelling trip. One per stay: castaway picnic, island expedition & local village tour.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance
Transfers to and from the lodge airstrip
Safari shop purchases
All items of a personal nature
Premium brand spirits and cigars
Landing fees and airport taxes
Accommodation rates are per person per night sharing, except for the Casa Familia which are per unit per night.
Single Supplement: A single supplement of 50% applies from the first single room.
Children under the age of 16 sharing with 1 or 2 adult are charged 50% of the adult rate. This is subject to the availability of triple rooms.
All pricing is indicative and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. AndBeyond Trading Terms apply.
The Casa de Familia is a private villa ideal for families. A master bedroom is flanked by two interleading bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom.
Two of the Casinhas can also be converted into triple rooms. A triple configuration means an additional bed is set up in the parents’ room for children up to the age of 12. Please note that age limits may apply for some of the activities offered at the lodge.
Activities at Benguerra Island
One activity per day (eaither sea kayaking, sunset dhow cruise or scheduled snorkelling trip) and one activity per stay (either a castaway picnic, island expedition or local village tour) are included in the rates.
Additional costs apply to addional activities.
If you have previous diving experience then you can enjoy a fantastic excursion to the Bazaruto Archipelago, accompanied by the lodge guide. Those with limited or no diving experience can enjoy a guided introduction to a whole new world of mystery, wonder and beauty!
Dives sites vary according to experience and requests.
Spend an afternoon indulging on a mouth-watering “Cast-Away” picnic and explore the highest dune in the Bazaruto Archipelago.
You will have the opportunity to simply put your feet up and enjoy the breathtaking, 360 degree views of South Point – bring your camera along for excellent photographic opportunities and keep a look out for frolicking dolphins at play.
Horse Riding Safaris
Horseback riding is the perfect activity to take in the exceptional beauty of Benguerra Island. Enjoy a different perspective of this piece of paradise, at a pace that is comfortable for you.
Nine horses and a dedicated guide, based at Benguerra Lodge, are on hand to introduce you to fantastic trails (suitable for all riding levels from first time to experienced riders).
This adventure is ideal for those who do not wish to do a scuba diving accreditation but who want to confidently explore the shallower coral reefs, situated off Benguerra Island, with the help of a snorkel.
Saltwater Flyfishing/Deep Sea Fishing
The Bazaruto Archipelago is a world-renowned fishing destination. The shallow flats between the islands and the mainland provide an excellent breeding ground for baitfish, which in turn provides sustenance for the numerous species of abundant game fish in the Archipelago.Fishing is on a catch and release basis.
Hop aboard a helicopter and fly along the coastline of Benguerra Island and marvel at the crystal clear water and pristine white beaches with a bird’s eye view.
Hop aboard a traditional dhow (a wooden sailing vessel owned by one of the local people of the island and mostly used for fishing). A friendly fisherman will fetch you from your Casinha or Cabana in the late afternoon, where you will board his dhow for an unforgettable cruise around the bay.
The adventure can be tailored and varies from a 30 minute trip to the school or 2 hours around the Island. The journey will take you past the lakes and dunes on the northern side of the island, past the school, the church and through the village so you can interact with some of the local people and find out more about the community projects that are run on the island.
Access to the VIP area at Vilanculos Airport for arriving guests, speeding up the customs process on arrival and departure (at an additional charge).