Picture perfect Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort
“I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.” - Annie Leibovitz
As we fly across from the mainland of Mozambique in a small Cessna to Bazaruto Island – the largest of six archipelagos within the Marine National Park – we are struck by the contrasts of the crystal clear teal blue ocean, the white sand dunes and beach and the vibrant greens of the forests and coconut laden palm trees.
It is everything imagined and slightly surreal to watch the website images come to life…flawlessly, picture-perfect.
At only 36km long and 7km wide, Bazaruto Island is home to close to 200 bird species, including weavers, plovers, pelicans and flamingos, as well as fresh water crocodiles wallowing in the lakes!
Surrounded by a pristine National Park means the destination is also a diving and snorkelling haven, not to mention a fishing mecca. It is here that record-sized Marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, kingfish and barracuda are caught on a tag and release basis.
Fishing is strictly controlled and only locals, who hold fishing quotas, are able to sell their catches.
The recently furbished Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort, with 44 villas, blends beautifully with the natural island environment without compromising on quality. Some villas offer private pools but all are only a few steps away from the beach. They have lounges, private
patios, indoor/outdoor showers, baths with views and the luxurious touches which come standard at any Anantara property.
To highlight the attention to detail at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort a pillow menu is offered to ensure you have sweet dreams. You have six choices - from a head and neck support pillow through to duck down, natural fibres, orthopaedic or rattan. And, if that isn’t
enough, there is also a soap menu which includes vetiver, cedarwood, patchouli and ginger.
An explanation of the benefits of the natural aromatic for body and soul is included, as well as the ingredients. The soaps are handmade and remnants recycled by locals in a job creation project set up by the Resort.
Activities in and around the island include everything for adventure junkies from sandboarding down some of the highest dunes, scuba diving or snorkelling, cycling, kayaking and horse riding on the beach, or you can simply relax around one of pools, sip cocktails, indulge in a spa treatment or take a cooking class.
Cuisine features strongly at the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort with no less than three restaurants offering different dining experiences but you also have the option to ‘Dine by Design’ on the beach or have a private barbeque on your patio. Executive Chef Donaldson is South African born and raised, with years of international experience.
He prides himself in combining the vibrant and punchy flavours of Portuguese cuisine with Asian, Italian, Mediterranean and Arabic influences to offer a unique combination of flavours. His ‘Sea, Fire, Salt’ dining experience at Clube Naval is not to be missed.
Another item on the to do list is a trip to Pansy Island, it’s a 30-minute boat ride from the Resort with the journey broken to pause for a snorkel, taking in a mosaic of coloured coral and fish.
Along the way you are likely to see dolphins and turtles. We did. The 5-star lunch picnic on the island gives you a chance to relax and reflect on the beauty of your surroundings as you leave only footprints amongst the pansy shells and scuttling crabs.
The 3-night excursion ends too quickly, there is so much more to be said about this idyllic destination. Hopefully the picture perfect images will reflect the rich reality of what the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort has to offer.
Airlink is privately owned and funded. It has direct scheduled flights from Johannesburg and Nelspruit to Vilanculos, Mozambique.
From Vilanculos it is either a 45 minute boat ride or a 15 minute flight to Bazaruto Island.