Benguerra Lodge has two Cabanas, ten larger chalets called Casitas and a huge Villa.
Benguerra Lodge: Our full report
Benguerra Lodge, on the western coast of Mozambique's Benguerra Island, is positioned on its own beautiful palm-fringed bay about a kilometre down the beach from Azura. The mature gardens and abundance of greenery give this lodge a tropical feel and it is decorated in North African style - with an array of reds, golds, oranges and ochres dominating the colour-scheme.
There are four types of rooms at Benguerra Lodge:
- 10 Casitas - these are huge open-plan chalets, built of stone and thatch with their longest sides looking out over the beach. They have lots of space and their own plunge pools. (Read more about the Casitas here... )
- 2 Cabanas - which are very similar, and decorated in the same style, but much smaller. They still have great views and a private plunge pool, but lack the bathtub, the view from the bed and the amount of open deck space that the Casitas have.
- 1 Villa - which sleeps four people in comfort, comes with its own chef and is perfect for honeymooners wanting more privacy, or families.
Finally, if you're travelling with children (aged 8-17), and staying in a Casita, then it's possible for your children to stay in one of 10 bungalows which are set back from the beach. These are for children only; they are not available for adults to stay in.
These bungalows at Benguera Lodge are built slightly off the ground on wooden stilts. (In fact, they are the old rooms that the lodge had, prior to 2008!) They are open-fronted from about waist-height upwards, with bamboo blinds which can be lowered at night, and set back from the beach – one behind each Casitas. The beds have mosquito nets but there is no fan. There is an indoor shower and sink, and flushing toilet. These are relatively simple rooms, without outside decks, plunge pools or sea-views.
In the main area of Benguerra Lodge you'll find a small curio shop, lovely bar and large open-sided lounge area with plenty of comfy seating, a good selection of coffee table books, chess and other board games. Through the bar you'll find an open-sided dining room which looks over the gardens, although dinners are often served outside on the deck or even on the beach.
Whilst the Villa and each Casita and Cabana at Benguerra has its own plunge pool, there is also a small pool near to the main lodge which is used predominantly for diving lessons. In front of the pool on the beach is a great beach bar which has been cleverly fashioned from an old dhow boat - it's the perfect spot for enjoying a sun-downer as the beach is west-facing.
The activity centre is a 5-minute walk up the beach from Benguerra Lodge. From here you can arrange salt water and deep water fly-fishing, snorkelling trips, diving, island hopping tours, dhow cruises, kayaking, island landrover tours and horse-riding. Benguerra also offers massages and a modest range of treatments, which can either be carried out in the treatment room or in the comfort of your own room.
Benguerra Lodge is in a beautiful spot and the lovely beachfront rooms have some of the best beach-views of any of the lodges on Benguerra. Come here to relax and unwind - a superb stop at the end of a safari.
Ideal length of stay: 5 nights or more
Directions: The flight with Pelican Air from Johannesburg to Vilanculos takes approximately 2 hours. It is then a 15 minute hop on a small plane to Benguerra airstrip. The lodge will pick you up in its 4WD for the 10 minute road transfer to the lodge.
Staff: Each Casita at Benguerra has its own allocated butler who helps with organising activities and any special requests.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The meals at Benguerra are served buffet style at breakfast and lunch, and served to your table in the evenings.
At breakfast you can help yourself to a selection of cereals, fresh fruit, muffins, toast, a cooked breakfast and tea and coffee.
On our most recent visit to Benguerra the lunch buffet consisted of a very good selection of salads - including pasta salad, avocado salad and green salad - and an array of freshly caught fish dishes. We chose from calamari, prawns and fish cakes, as well as barbequed chicken drumsticks. Pudding is also served if you have room!
For an idea of the kind of dish that is served at supper, we were offered a choice of clam chowder or calamari and chorizo pasta for starters, followed by crayfish or lamb for main course. For dessert we could choose between a choice of lemon pudding or cheese and biscuits.
We found that overall the standard of food at Benguerra was very good, although as meals are based primarily on sea-food, guests need to let us know if this does not suit them, so that we can warn the lodge beforehand and they can organise alternative options (which they are very happy to do).
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Soft drinks, local beers and spirits and house wines are included. There is a special wine list which is not included.
Honeymoons: Benguerra is a peaceful and secluded lodge, ideal for a Mozambique honeymoon. The rooms have big bath tubs and outside showers, and are very private. Romantic activities such as sunset dhow cruises and trips to deserted beaches can be arranged, or a massage in your own room!See more ideas for Honeymoons in Mozambique
Beach holidays: Benguerra Island’s pale, sandy beaches are beautiful and this old, established lodge can deliver a superb beach holiday – amongst the best bets after a Southern Africa safari.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Mozambique
Diving & snorkelling: Benguerra has a fully-equipped dive centre and NAUI dive courses are offered. The reefs are pristine and rich in a variety of fish and coral species; with a range of depths to suit beginner and experienced divers, and snorkellers too. Note that there is no reef snorkelling outside Benguerra - you need to jump on a boat for the best experience.See more ideas for Diving & snorkelling in Mozambique
Riding holidays: Benguerra Lodge stables ten horses near the lodge. It offers guided horseback riding around its local area, including along the pristine white, palm-fringed sandy beach in front of the lodge. Feeling the ocean spray as you gallop through the waves is unforgettable.See more ideas for Riding holidays in Mozambique
Attitude towards children: Children aged 8 years and over are welcome at Benguerra, although children under the age of 12 must vacate the lounge and bar area by 7pm.
Special activities & services: Babysitting is offered for a nominal fee, and special kids' meals can also be prepared on request. (note that baby-sitters are local lodge staff; they are not secialy-trained.)
Generally recommended for children: Yes, for children aged 12 years and older - although this is more of a honeymoon destination than a family resort.
Notes: A third bed can be put into the Casitas at Benguerra if parents are traveling with one child.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: There is fairly good mobile phone reception and WI-FI at Benguerra Lodge. The cost of internet facilities is US$ 55 per hour.
TV & radio: No
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The managers at Benguerra Lodge are first-aid trained. It is possible to call out MedEvac in an emergency (a jet can be on the island within 45 minutes of an emergency call).
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Guards patrol the lodge grounds 24 hours a day.
Fire safety: There is a fire hose under each Casita and Cabana which can be utilised in the event of a fire.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Included
Money: There are safe deposit boxes in the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: The lodge accepts Visa, Mastercard and all major currencies. Benguerra lodge does not accept travellers' cheques or Amex.