INDIGO BAY ISLAND RESORT & SPA, BAZARUTO ISLAND
Opposite Vilanculos on mainland, lies a chain of idyllic islands which make up the Bazaruto Archipelago
. Covered by a diverse landscape of large sand dunes, freshwater lakes, savannah grassland and thicket, and surrounded by crystal clear water allowing startling glimpses of underwater life, is Bazaruto Island, the largest of the bunch.
Here, Indigo Bay Island Resort & Spa
presents visitors with luxurious accommodation set on white sandy beach and overlooking the Indian Ocean. As preservation of the island’s unspoilt beauty and its local community is a top priority, the resort is involved in various community projects, such as building community centres which provide locals with transport facilities and access to water, building of schools and initiating adult literacy programs and various other schemes which aim to conserve the island’s marine life.
This environment is brought into the construction of the hotel itself. The guest areas, beach chalets and nearly all the villas are made from natural materials
like reed, soft-fringed thatch and wood. Rooms are set apart from one another and nestled in their own sheltered spots, with direct access to the beach. They include en-suite showers and/or baths, mini-bars, televisions, telephone access, and are air-conditioned and fully mosquito screened. No matter which accommodation you choose, you will still be surrounded by those little, and some not-so-little, extras that will add to your comfort. There are 29 beach chalets which come with outdoor showers and verandas, a beach honeymoon chalet with a splash pool, 12 Bay View Villas with two bedrooms, an outdoor dining area, shower and splash pool, one Executive Suite with a veranda and private plunge pool, and finally, the Presidential Villa has its own spa bath and swimming pool, bar, one king room and one twin room, each with an en-suite bathroom.
Restaurants specialise in scrumptious seafood and bars will take you back in history with walls dating back to the early Portuguese traders. Also at the resort are swimming pools, an activity centre, a business centre and the Sanctuary Spa which offers a range of relaxing treatments to rejuvenate mind, body and soul.
Active guests will not be disappointed with the range of activities on offer as well as some unique to the area. Sunlight shines down on magnificent sand dunes and changes their colour as the day wears on, creating a beautiful playground for dune boarders. An interesting drive will take you around local areas and allows you to get a feel of the history and culture of the island. Groomed horses are ready to transport you to the island’s best kept secrets or provide you with quiet company while you relax in the garden area surrounding the stables.
Let the taste of the freshest of seafood linger on your lips while looking out at the ocean in the dining area, at the poolside or even sitting on the sand. In your free time, or whenever you’re in the mood to be pampered from head to toe, the 5 star Sanctuary Spa will take care of you with a wide range of treatments and facilities.
North of Matemo, and also lying in the Quirimbas Archipelago, is Medjumbe Island. This small, untouched island offers guests comfort, luxury, privacy and breathtaking views. Each of the 13 palm-thatched chalets sit on their own private piece of paradise. Any gap between curtains will allow morning sunlight to stream through your room, encouraging you to open your doors to the shimmering ocean and dazzling white sand surrounding your chalet. Decks with swinging hammocks and a private plunge pool offer you the perfect position from which to view this fantastic sight. The chalets have en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, ceiling fans, mini bars, satellite TV and air-conditioning. 28, 29, 30, v
Delicious meals are served at the central dining area, on decks and patios, or in the lounge area around the pool and overlooking the ocean. You can sip cocktails in bar areas or visit the informal lounge upstairs where you can gaze out at the view, drink coffee, check emails, read or play games.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is renowned for its pristine islands which provide a sanctuary for animal life, above the sea and below it. Beneath the water, rest sea-grass beds, undersea canyons and some of the richest coral reefs in the world. Naturally, the warm water is home to an abundant marine life, such as moray eels, stingrays, barracuda and kingfish. These and numerous other exotic species, joined by the occasional friendly dolphin, envelope divers as they find secret places not yet discovered and explore all areas of this underwater paradise. There are opportunities for beginners as well as the experienced, such as Matemo’s 40 metre wall dive and 90-foot-long wreck dive, and Medjumbe’s Sambi Sambi, the Edge of Reason and Cliffs of Insanity, which drop up to 40 metres. As the waters are well protected and rarely visited, you may end up leaving something of yourself behind as new sites are often named after those who discover them.
Visitors preferring to stay above water but still wanting to get up close and personal with some of this incredible marine life might enjoy fishing, which is made easier with deep waters occurring close to the islands. Gamefish including dorado, queenfish, wahoo, sailfish can be caught, as well as kingfish
, which are present year round. Both resorts have a fishing boat and professionals on board to guide you to the best spots, such as St Lazarus Banks, a sea mountain which rises from 2.4km deep to within six metres of the ocean surface. You might spot different species of turtles which often come ashore to lay their eggs on the sandy beaches. Between August and October, humpback whales migrate to this area.
Plenty of other water sports are available for your enjoyment, such as windsurfing, water skiing, wake and knee boarding, sailing, kayaking, boat expeditions, snorkelling, dhow cruises
. There are also land sports available like volleyball, beach tennis, cricket and nature trails. Bird watchers will enjoy Palaearctic migrants and waders that frequent the area.