January | Travel
Kisawa Sanctuary, Mozambique
Complete with your own acre of beachfront and coastal forestSusan Ward Davies
This might not be the best time to launch a hotel in Africa – although Mozambique has escaped the dreaded Red List – but this month sees the eagerly-awaited opening of Kisawa, a Robinson Crusoe fantasy of a resort, set on Benguerra island, 14 kms off the coast of Mozambique. Kisawa’s 22 bungalows are ranged along 5kms of the finest white sand, with elements created using sand and seaweed mortar in 3D sand technology, instead of more environmentally damaging construction methods. The workforce was made up of 80% islanders, 50% of them women, with local artisans contributing much of the handiwork, from textiles to thatching to furniture making, in keeping with Kisawa’s ethos of combining innovation and tradition. The interiors are all warm sandy tones, earthy textures, and vibrant textiles, the vision of NJF Design, the company belonging to owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist Nina Flohr. She is also the founder of the neighbouring island’s Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies (BCSS), Africa’s first permanent Marine Observatory, which Kisawa’s profits support. The seas here are home to the rare dugong, as well as whales, turtles, rays and sharks, and guests can see the conservation work in action, diving with marine scientists, or tagging sharks from the research vessel.
Images courtesy of Kisawa Sanctuary, Mozambique
Book one of the luxury residences and you get your own acre of beachfront and coastal forest, a private pool, and an electric Mini Moke to whizz around the island on. In the dunes you’ll find the Natural Wellness Centre, specialising in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where you can try the massages, yoga rituals and the Iyashi Dome infrared sauna.
Food is zero waste and sourced as locally as possible, much of it from Kisawa’s garden, local farmers or the surrounding Indian Ocean. Eat in one of the restaurants, on your verandah or on the beach, or check out the pizza tuk tuk – a kind of Castaway Deliveroo.
Getting there: flights via Johannesburg or Maputo to Vilanculos, then a 35 minute boat ride to the island
Offset flights with @atmosfair.de
Kisawa Sanctuary, Benguerra, Mozambique