Imagine staying in some of the world’s most undiscovered, pristine environments. Completely private and removed from the rest of the world. Where authenticity of the experience, without compromising on standards, is the key. Where there is a philanthropic goal of both protecting the environment and giving back to the local community.
Azura offers some of Africa’s ultimate private luxury hideaways for just a discerning few to discover. Privately owned and managed, our hotels are small and personalised, with award winning 'eco-chic' villas, delicious local cuisine, and a whole range of unique experiences to enjoy. Welcome to Azura.
On land or sea, at Azura it’s all about the experience. About doing things a little differently. About our experienced guides sharing their knowledge and passion for the pristine environments we are lucky enough to have around us. About our guests getting the most out of their stay, whether it be plunging the ocean’s depths, just relaxing with a picnic on a private island, or walking up close with wildlife.
On our islands, a kaleidoscope of colour greets you above and below the ocean. Magnificent reefs for diving and snorkelling, home to the turtles that nest on the island’s outer shores. Migrating humpback whales, dolphins, and the elusive and protected dugong ply our waters, along with marlin, sailfish and tuna to tempt the sports fishermen. We have a vast array of birdlife, our local people make for fascinating cultural encounters, and the starry night sky is quite magnificent to behold.
On safari, our location is remote, meaning you will be the only vehicle at a sighting. A raw, authentic, almost pioneering experience. The Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve, and home to lion, elephant, buffalo and wild dog in abundance. The area surrounding our camp offers ravines for leopard to hide out in, plains for buffalo to roam, and the rapids of the great Ruaha River where the hippos noisily spend their days.
Where we operate
- Beach Holidays
- Bird Watching
- Safaris - Fixed Camp
Our Commitment to Responsible Tourism
Our dedication to conservation and the community lies at the heart of everything we do. Being luxury resorts with all mod cons we are not ‘eco’ in the traditional sense of the word, but have defined our own ‘eco’ in terms of our focus on the community and the preservation of the pristine environment that we find ourselves in.
In Mozambique, we are one of only a handful of resorts where the community are major contributors and stakeholders. At Azura Benguerra Island for instance, Gabriel and his family, after whom the site is named, first established a tourism business here several years ago. They are major stakeholders in the resort, and continue to be involved on a daily basis.
Azura is seen by the local authorities where we operate as a model for ethical sustainable community based tourism. We have a firm policy of upliftment at Azura, which means most of our hosts, housekeeping staff, gardeners and so on are Mozambican and Tanzanian. Typically they have grown up in disadvantaged communities with poor education, and are being trained by Azura. By staying with us you are helping them to advance their skills.
Our Rainbow Fund is the first registered charity of its kind in Mozambique. It supports a variety of social and environmental projects large and small, from building a new school, to environmental protection initiatives.
Through the Rainbow Fund, Azura was able to build a school for the children, as well as the teachers’ housing blocks.We now have some 400 children in education on Benguerra Island, compared with just 40 when we started out. We have had many generous donations such as uniforms and clothes for the children, stationary for the school, and food for the community. Our next project in the pipline is a much needed health clinic, for which we are currently raising funds.
The Rainbow Fund supports special event days such as Christmas day, Children’s day, Environment day and Women’s day by holding events that are designed to educate and uplift children and their families.
We work alongside the National Parks and local communities wherever we can and have a dedicated environmentalist and community officer at Azura.
At Azura Quilalea, the Rainbow Fund has been instrumental in helping to protect the reefs around us, as well as providing books and medicines to nearby communities.
Azura's Rainbow Fund is Mozambique's first officially registered charity organisation that is directly affiliated with a hotel. It is approved and endorsed by the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, and is authorised by the Governor of Inhambane. The charity has two main goals; Our Community: To provide long-term, increased standards of living and welfare for the locals of Benguerra Island, in terms of Education and Health care. Some of Azura's projects so far include; building a school for the islanders, providing uniforms and clothing for the children, sponsoring a struggling family each month and organising social and up-lifting community events so as to better improve quality of life. Environment: At Azura we believe in Eco-Awareness, Education, and Commitment to correct practices in responsible, sustainable tourism, ensuring minimal impact on the Archipelago. Amongst many schemes, Azura has implemented a 'no fishing zone' in the shallow waters around the lodge in order to allow the rejuvenation of all marine life.
02 September 2016
We are so excited that a pack of 10 Wild dogs and their eleven 4 week old pups have set up their den close to Azura Selous. It means all our guests are getting some great daily sightings. Every day the pups have more and more confidence and are beginning to wonder out into the open, giving some great photo opportunities. We expect them to be with us for the next few weeks, so if you have always longed to see wild dog and their pups close up, and can travel last minute, this is a fabulous opp…Read More
29 June 2016
The Earth, Moon and Sun are aligning for a spectacular show. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon eclipses the sun, but is at its furthest from earth. The moon does not cover the entire sun, leaving a "ring of fire". On 1 September 2016, an annular solar eclipse will pass over the remote Quirimbas Archipelago in the North of Mozambique. Azura Quilalea Private Island will be in the centre line of the moon's shadow - the perfect place to experience this once in a lifetime …Read More
27 June 2016
We are excited to announce that Azura is launching a new villa type: The Royal Beach Villas. At 172 square metres they are the largest and most lavish of our villas, and are packed with features, including a 10m infinity pool and adjoining Jacuzzi that spans the entire front deck, a separate lounge area with TV and 2nd bathroom, two spacious outdoor relaxation pavilions, as well as all the normal features of an Infinity Beach Villa that you are used to. Stella Bettany, Owner of Azura, commente…Read More
09 May 2014
Azura Retreats, the Company which owns and manages luxury boutique hotels in Mozambique, has announced that it will be expanding into Tanzania from 1 June this year. The first to open of a potential 3 new projects in the country will be Azura Selous Game Reserve. Azura will be taking over and refurbishing an existing top end property, Amara Selous, which is located on the banks of the Ruaha River. The 12 luxury tented suites, each with private pool and river views, will be upgraded to reflect …Read More
10 October 2013
Azura Retreats have appointed Andrew Viljoen and Drienie Pieterse to the position of Management Couple at Quilalea Private Island in Northern Mozambique. They come to Azura Quilalea from Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge in South Africa, where Drienie was Lodge Manager and Andrew was Assistant Manager and Head Ranger. Previously they managed Royal Madikwe Game Lodge together. ‘We are delighted with the appointment of Andrew and Drienie’, says Stella Bettany Owner/Director of Azura Retreats, &l…Read More
16 February 2012
Azura Retreats have just launched a fantastic new website (www.azura-retreats.com) where you can download all the information you may need on both Azura Benguerra and Azura at Quilalea (rates, special offers, fact sheets etc) The website also has live availability so you can get an instant idea of whether there is availability at either lodge for your clients. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the agent password for the agent login.Read More
01 November 2011
Azura at Quilalea, Mozambique is delighted to announce that it opens its doors today to guests. The island welcomes its first paying guests after a six month renovation project redeveloping the entire infrastructure, expanding facilities and upgrading the nine villas. Owner of Azura Retreats, Stella Bettany said “We are so delighted to be able to welcome guests to this island after a 6 month renovation project. The renovation has been a real labour of love as …Read More
23 August 2011
As the opening of Azura at Quilalea Private Island is near, two new, experienced managers, Paul and Kelly Ricklan have been appointed to ensure the smooth running of the hotel. Paul & Kelly have a huge amount of experience of working on Mozambican islands having run Marlin Lodge for the last 7 years. Kelly started her career off as a professional chef and worked at Makalali Game Reserve and Marlin Lodge as Executive Chef. After two years in the kitchen she moved on to become the Guest Rela…Read More